David Taylor of Local Business Videos interviews Ken Hantman, a business consultant with a background in psychology and expertise in loss prevention and security. He has advised at schools, hospitals, industry, military bases, prisons, and to the insurance industry and as an expert in liability prevention on Cognitive Dissonance and how it effects decision making with local business owners.
So Ken, tell us your views on Cognitive Dissonance.
Ken Hantman: People avoid seeing things that don’t fit with their comfortable picture of the world. This is the operative principle of Cognitive Dissonance and it plays a heavy hand in business decisions and planning, or to put it more aptly, in failure to do business planning.
For people understand better, can you give an example?
Ken Hantman: A trivial example of this ability to not see things we don’t want to see was shown in a study of how people do expense log entries for pleasure trips versus business travel. If you guessed that people underreported and underestimated the cost of their golf or ski outing, but quite carefully detailed their business trip expenses, you were right.
Now how does this affect business when it comes to security for their business?
Ken Hantman: This gets a lot more serious when it comes to important decisions, for example those affecting security. Most business owners and managers know in the back of their mind and in their gut that there are scary, crushing risks all about. One way to deal with this unpleasant awareness and the uneasiness is to hide from the reality and take comfort and deny it. Since business owners are dominant, powerful people, this denying of reality in this respect has the added “benefit” of reinforcing one’s feeling of being indomitable or even of being lucky. One lifts one’s chin above such nuisances and boldly blazes on. Until, of course, the statistics catch up and calamity hits and the business owner’s world and business are turned upside down.
Ken, I’m sure you have seen lots of examples of businesses trying as they say “to close the gate after the horse is gone.”
Ken Hantman: After 38 years consulting to industry I have seen many such examples since people usually come to me after they have had a loss.
Ken, has there been any studies by the security industry on when businesses make a commitment to buy or upgrading their security systems?
Ken Hantman: The security industry has studied this extensively and found that ninety-eight percent of requests for security improvements are made after a significant loss has been suffered. They also found that companies only spend about one twenty-eighth on security what they lose to losses. This clearly defies logic and defies the Law of Supply and Demand in essence, since rationally a company should spend one dollar less, instead of one-twenty-eighth the amount, on security than it loses to theft, vandalism and sabotage. However, it perfectly follows the emotional logic of Cognitive Dissonance.
The big loss hasn’t happened yet, you can put it out of your mind, you have other things that need to get done today…this is the process that justifies the irrational decision to do nothing and reside in a delusion. The delusion is supported by ideas such as, “We have a burglar alarm system, we have standard video surveillance cameras, we have insurance, so we are okay.” The problem is that none of those things prevent bad things from happening.
For those businesses who have questions on your futuristic camers perimeter security systems Ken, how do they get in touch with you?
Ken Hantman: My website is: http://perimeterprotectivesystems.com and my contact number is (877) 865-8886.