Perception BalwantGurunay

 To gain and maintain the capacity to affect the perceptual abilities of general public, or different segments of it, so as to regulate their resultant perception is the core competency of a perception manager.
Perception is the process by which organisms interpret and organise sensation to produce a meaningful experience of self and the world.  In terms of psychology it is the recognition and interpretation of immediate sensory stimuli, based chiefly on memory, and our basic values and beliefs. It concerns the neurological process by which recognition and interpretation of stimuli around us is affected.
Sensation which is the basis of all perception refers to the immediate, unprocessed result of stimulation  through our external sense organs. Perception, on the other hand is the result of brain having processed the sensory input. Thus perception is the process by which sensory stimulation is translated into organised experience. All experience till now was supposed to come from the real world but with rise of multimedia technology, the power of virtual world has become extremely powerful, resulting in reality being affected or created to suit individual needs as never before. Artificial stimulus can be created by using a mixture of audio-visual aids and the personal or public opinion can be convincingly remodeled within no time. This can be done to serve the interests of an individual, organization or a nation as well as to the disadvantage of an adversary.
Though in terms of NLP we know that map is not the reality but a map happens to be the only reality till the time the subject has had an exposure to an actual reality. In terms of the mental map of any person thing or situation held by the general public, map is in most of the cases, the only reality they ever come across. Their being exposed to true reality could be a 'rare phenomena'. Let’s take Kargil war as an example of this. The strategic reality is known only to the strategic planners on both sides, the battle reality is known only to the tactical commanders in the theatre of action, as far as the general public is concerned, all that they have is just an opinion, and in their opinion, the countries on both sides won the war, as portrayed by their respective medias.
In the world of business the companies continuously try and shape the perception in order to stimulate desired behaviors and purchase actions. The surprising thing is that most of the times perception does not even have to be remotely related to reality. We are dealing here with making the the human mind believe something and than reinforce that belief. Repetition is the key for a deep and lasting impact.
Perception management is one of the most important fields of business management as it has the power to enliven the dead or bring to life absolutely new products, services or solutions. Perception management is also applied in manipulative marketing where first a company creates a product not needed by the public and then tasks its Marketing and Advertising departments to falsely make the public believe that they need the product or the service. In the world of fashion, fashion stylists are responsible for forecasting future fashion designs or  trends where as the perception managers tune and fine tune customer perception  by making sure that these designs are worn by celebrities before so as to set trends. For being a brand manager perception management is the key competency required. Nowdays image management firms are also offering services to celebrity clients. This is all about positive or suitable image building, maintainance and reputation repair. Thus perception management is a science when it comes to its nuts and bolts but an art when it comes to its execution due to its vast and varied applications.
Perception management is nothing new. It has been done for ages by kings and queens who chartered authors or poets to redefine their images and thus their destinies. Hitler as we all know is famous for his propaganda initiative of world war two. The advanced and potent means like satellite television, mobiles, personal computers and hand held internet devices available today to execute perception management operations have created opportunities never available to mankind before.
Perception management is also used by and on political or military leaders at all levels, so as to influence official estimates of their own as well as their enemy's strengths and weaknesses. All this results in influencing the behaviors of individuals, organisations and nations to take actions that are favourable to the objectives of the perception manager. In nut shell, perception management is the soul of all psychological operations. In today's outrageously dynamic and challenging media environment, with adversaries using propaganda to its hilt to serve their ends, Perception Management is the key to all political, military and business success and should be treated as a Core Capability for all these fields of Operations.
How can we forget that even long ago, Alice discovered 'Life' really to be a 'Mad Tea Party' and 'Wonderland' a 'Clever Theme Park' meant to displace 'Reality'.

...Balwant Gurunay...

1 comment:

  1. Great and comprehensive article on perception management!