News

Playmaker Systems Releases Influence Decision System 2.0

September 17, 2012

First Patented Decision System for Influence Professionals Perfected by Exhaustive Field Testing at Fortune 500 Corporations and Leading Research Universities.

White Paper Details System’s Evolution

BETHESDA, MD – September 17, 2012 – Influence is arguably the most important outcome of any communications, political, or information warfare campaign.  It is also the most difficult to manage and measure.  Today, Playmaker Systems, a consultancy and developer of systems and standards for influence professionals, took a big leap toward the holy grail of influence management, releasing version 2.0 of The Playmaker Influence Decision System™.  The new system is detailed in a companion white paper, An Evolution in Influence: The Playmaker Influence Decision System 2.0.

The System, which last month was awarded a U.S. patent for its raw originality, is the first definitive taxonomy and ontology of the plays and ploys that abound in tightly contested marketplaces and which dictate the forms and functions of such things as reputation, trust, brand, sentiment and credibility.  It is the basis for a code-cracking decision-making iPad and iPhone app, called Playcaller™, which provides on-the-go code-cracking strategies for professionals in communications, social media, marketing, sales, politics and military information operations (see companion news release).  The decision system also supports the company’s wide array of research, planning, training and simulation services.

The idea of the Playmaker ontology was sparked in 1995, while Playmaker System founder and executive director, Alan Kelly, led Silicon Valley-based Applied Communications, then the public relations agency of record for the database giant Oracle Corp.  When Oracle’s contrarian CEO, Larry Ellison, declared before a Paris technology conference and his rival, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, “The PC is a ridiculous device,” Kelly knew that something special had just happened.  Not only had Ellison driven what tech history often judges as the first crack into the Microsoft-Intel monopoly and the procession from network to internet to cloud computing, but he gave Kelly the idea that the games and gamesmanship of players and marketplaces could be purified into a framework of irreducible strategies, or influence plays, that anyone can use.

Today, the Playmaker system, and its 1,000+ prescriptions, options and tips, cracks the code of what of influence and its many practitioners.  As examples:

  • A salesman has a hot new lead.  He must quickly assess the situation to determine his first play: whether to assess with a coy Ping, condition with a self-effacing Lantern, or engage with an audacious Trump.
  • A politician is delivering a new policy under pressure from heavy opposition.  She can either test the situation with a Trial Balloon, freeze her opponent’s momentum by way of a Bear Hug, or engage with a preemptive Crazy Ivan.
  • A CCO is fending off attacks by rival activist groups.  He can either send them off-course using a Red Herring or employ a Disco to salvage the company’s reputation and move on.

The Playmaker Influence Decision System has been adopted by a wide range of practicing professionals across industries and even cultures.  Vice presidents of marketing and public relations at Fortune 500 companies use it to keep their organizations on-strategy and on-message.  Social media managers at the corporate and grass-roots level find it form-fit for the accelerated decision-making environment of their high-speed campaigns.  Military information/operations analysts understand it as an analytics framework and as a platform for winning hearts and minds.

The System was first described in Kelly’s 2006 book, The Elements of Influence.  In it, Kelly laid out the first Standard Table of Influence, a definitive periodic table of the 24 (originally 25) most basic stratagems in communication, social media, marketing, sales, politics and the military.

Following his work at Applied and the founding of Playmaker Systems, Kelly and his team have used The Playmaker Influence Decision System in consultation with numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Abbott, Dell, HP, Intel, Royal Dutch Shell, SAP and VMware.  Outside the boardroom, the system has been evaluated and critically acclaimed by leading academics at the University of Southern California, The Wharton School, and The George Washington University in communications, business and political strategy, respectively.

The 2.0 System comes to the marketplace with five years of market engagement and validation. Improvements to the second version include:

  • The reduction of the table from 25 to 24 influence plays, and the corresponding reclassification of the Standard Table’s subclasses to better describe the application of influence plays in myriad marketplaces.
  • Improved decision-support functions, including the development of collaborative options for each play.
  • Visual and color-coded emphasis of the Table’s seven subclasses for enhanced training and teaching.
  • Revised Risk/Reward and Transparency ratings for each influence play and surrogate.
  • The addition of a “Full Cycle” in the Standard Cycles of Influence™ resource, which details a four-player simulation model of competitors, collaborators, independents, and the focal player.
  • An improved Standard Factors of Influence ™ resource that accounts for monitoring, measurement, nuance, targets and conditions.

About Playmaker Systems

Playmaker Systems, based in Bethesda, MD, is an innovator in the industries of communications, social media, marketing, sales, politics and military information operations.  With our patented decision systems and applications, we help professionals analyze and anticipate the moves of their marketplaces for increased command-and-control and faster time-to-influence.

Our standard-setting Playcaller Influence Decision App™, Social Play Tracker™, Play Action Map™, Playmaker Academy™, Playmaker Wargame™ and other services are based on The Standard Table of Influence Plays™. First described in 2006 by Founder and Executive Director Alan Kelly in his landmark book, The Elements of Influence (Dutton/Plume), it is the centerpiece of the first, definitive ontology of strategies in business, government and society.

Adopted by Fortune 500 companies, including Abbott, Dell, HP, Intel, Royal Dutch Shell, SAP and VMware, and taught at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and USC Annenberg School for Communication, this breakthrough decision-making system helps professionals analyze, anticipate and prevail in the games and gamesmanship of their marketplace.

For more information contact us at Playmaker Systems, LLC.

Reference Links:

  • The Standard Table of Influence™ [link]
  • U.S. Patent for The Playmaker Influence Decision System [link]
  • Glossary of Influence Plays [link]
  • Playcaller™ Influence Decision App for iOS [link]
  • Standard Factors of Influence™ [link]
  • Standard Cycles of Influence™ [link]
  • The Elements of Influence (book) [link]
  • The 2.0 Whitepaper [link]
  • About Alan Kelly [link]