Evidence-based ​communications

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About Us

Evidence-based communications to help leaders reduce risk, costs, and transfer skills and knowledge that solve problems in complex business, societal and governance environments.

Our Story

Why do we d​o it?

After years of concern that strategic risk communication was not getting to the issues that matter to the stakeholders, a new approach has emerged that offers new opportunity. 

Crossroad Communications and Decision Science specializes in strategic communications and solving problems related to decision and behavioral sciences. We take an evidenced-based, science-backed approach to enhance behavioral adoption of complex systems in health, safety, and change management and this also bolsters competitive advantage. At its core, Mental Modeling Technology Platform™ (MMT Platform™) is a practical and proven approach to help you cut through the noise and take the step that will bring you to the next level.

Can Integrating MMT PlatformTM into Your Organization Help You?

When the next great opportunity, risk challenge, high-stakes decision presents itself, how will your organization face it? Do you have a way to consider options, risks and decide whether to take on the issue? Do you have a way to move it forward that takes people into account – their ideas, objections, resistance?

For many organizations, the answers to these questions are “no”.

These challenges are frequently met in an ad-hoc fashion, without a consistent process, by divergent internal teams and guided by gut and intuition – whether it’s related to competitive advantage, risk reduction, development of a new product or service, stakeholder or regulatory approval, or behavior of a stakeholder group for health and safety reasons.

Now there is a proven, patented process and approach that can be integrated into your organization that will tailor solutions to your requirements.  

The reality is that you do not have to fly blind, trust intuition or hope that your best “problem solver” will, somehow, get the job done.

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If your organization could benefit from a science-informed, evidenced-based process, supported by a body of knowledge and technology, providing a consistent road map that reduces guess work and brings stakeholder together on a plan of action, then you’ll want to learn more about Mental Modeling Technology PlatformTM.

Judgment, Decision Making and Behavior

The success of today’s leaders and the companies and organizations they lead often hinge on the ability to understand the judgment, decision making and behavior of key stakeholders -- to manage risk, meet challenges or advance high-stakes opportunities. By consolidating multiple solutions from a variety of disciplines in behavioral science on to a platform, with the software required to work all solutions, a new model for strategy and communications for all types of organizations has been created where users can work through three steps:

  1. These challenges or opportunities typically reside in complex systems, so understanding these complex systems and how they are supposed to work is critical and done through creating an expert model.
  2. Mental Modeling TechnologyTM enables discovery of stakeholders’ mental models in a structured, rigorous, respectful manner. The ability to understand the key influences on the behavior of a stakeholder group is also critical. Obtaining their understanding of the issue, what they know, what they don’t know, their trust criteria, their gaps and biases and the information they need to decide, is done through mental models research.
  3. Mental Modeling TechnologyTM has been recognized as one of the premier methods for informing the development of strategies and communications that precisely address people’s current thinking, judgment, decision making, and behavior on complex issues, including risk.

Organizational Integration

Mental Modeling Technology Platform™ can now be integrated into any organization to model, understand and address stakeholder judgment, decision making and behavior. Leaders can now produce and manage strategies driven with insights using applied behavioral science, non-persuasive interventions and communications. By integrating the MMT Platform™, any organization can reduce risk and costs, transfer skills and knowledge and help leaders better address complicated problems and leverage opportunities in complex business, societal and governance environments

After thirty years of application, a patent and success in meeting nearly every type of challenge, thousands of people have been helped to make well-informed decisions and take appropriate actions.

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Mental Modeling Technology™ has been applied for the past thirty years in a consulting capacity. Now there is a patent -- including a unique body of knowledge, tools for implementation, software to expedite and experts to train – making it possible to integrate solutions into an organization through a licensing arrangement.

To make decisions, people need a diverse set of cognitive, social, and emotional skills to understand and interpret the knowledge they have and the information they receive from communications of various kinds. In the past, those skills were acquired from a behavior scientist through formal education, self-study, and personal experience. The MMT PlatformTM has changed this.

To make decisions, stakeholders need trustworthy and comprehensible information about risks, benefits and trade-offs involved to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions, especially for complex and consequential decisions. People need to understand to weigh the options fairly and make an appropriate decision. Different people need different information to make these decisions. MMT PlatformTM is applied to understand people’s underlying judgments and beliefs to develop behavioral insights that inform strategies and tactics needed to implement a desired solution. 

To What Type of Challenges is MMT PlatformTM Applied?

MMTTM has been applied to hundreds of challenges over the past 30 years, including multiple applications done with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as multinational corporations, other Federal Government Agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Application topics range from addressing homeowners’ decision making about Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, to saving lives in South Africa by increasing miner adoption of health and safety technology, to enhancing value and competitive advantage for a private equity firm, to consulting with stakeholders on infrastructure development, to developing a strategic plan for industry associations undergoing intense change, to managing flood risk. Several case studies are detailed in the book Mental Modeling Approach: Risk Management Application. Today components of MMT Platform™ figure prominently in FDA guidance for science-informed, evidence-based risk communication

How Does Mental Modeling Technology Platform™ Work?

Mental Modeling aggregates information about a problem or system in a structured way to facilitate an evidence-based approach applicable on a wide range of issues and topics. A core technique for MMT Platform™ is to model and analyze the human phenomenon of mental models and deploy advanced versions of a framework for developing behavioral interventions identified in the mid-1980s by decision science researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

It starts with a Solution Valuation Analysis to help define the problem. Getting different perspectives on the issue helps to eliminate the “fuzzy front end” that can derail a process part way through. Using that description, experts are engaged to develop a system model, or expert model. This expert model is a formal, comprehensive graphic diagram.

Research and experience have shown that to engage people through communications, and enable changes in their beliefs, behaviors and decision making, one must understand their mental models. The Mental Modeling interviewing process is a structured in-depth process that gets at what people think, believe – and, most important, why they think and believe it. Mental Models research is about developing an understanding about people’s judgments and beliefs and why. Mental models yield rich, high-quality data on complex thinking, by intensive study of relatively small samples. It results in an overlay model, in graphic diagram format, that adds understanding to the expert model.

Based on the insights developed from the expert and stakeholder research, the primary, secondary and tertiary influences are identified. Specific strategies and tactics are then prepared to address these insights to reinforce accurate information, satisfy unmet information needs, clarify misconceptions, and deliver important information needed to make informed decisions.

Strategies typically yield results that are win-win and support non-persuasive interventions and communications. They must:

* Reinforce what they know is correct;

* Address key knowledge gaps and misunderstandings;

* Communicate what they need to know to make a well-informed decision;

* Reinforce judgments of credibility of the communications and their source.

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The Bottom Line

Now there is Mental Modeling Technology PlatformTM as a new subscription service that includes employee training on how to implement Mental Modeling in their context, using the patented process, methodology, software and experience. This process can be carried out internally by organizations using the frameworks and protocols with guidance. As these skills are transferred, they are integrated into the organization to be applied and managed by those closest to the issues. Typical return on investment is 20 to 1000x. Once integrated, an organization can remove itself from crisis-to-crisis response and embrace a systematic approach to decision making, opportunity realization and problem solving.