Alan Clark, current CEO of SABMiller, began his career as a psychologist and later used his experience as a Training and Development Manager. Whilst this is unusual as a career development plan for the CEO of a business, we at Thompson Dunn would suggest that he has a distinct advantage over many of his counterparts in that he will understand how people behave and think at times of change and uncertainty.

Those of us who have been involved in large-scale Mergers and Acquisitions are well aware of the risk to the businesses and profitability when employees of both companies feel uncertain about their own and the company’s future. As words like ‘customer’ disappear from the company conversation and are replaced by anxiety and questions like “will I have a job after all this?” then it is definitely time to take action.

At Thompson Dunn, we believe that the Decision Profile is an invaluable tool to assist CEOs and change leaders at these crucial moments in time. Merging two quite disparate corporate cultures and ensuring that the ensuing merged entity has a common ‘language’ and understanding, is a complex and difficult challenge. However, tackled it needs to be!

In our work across individual cultures, it is clear from results on the Decision Profile that there exists within an organisational culture incongruent views and behaviours on decision-making. Once these have been identified and understood by leaders, then it becomes possible to create better functioning teams by working towards a more insightful and potentially unified view. In terms of merging cultures if sufficient due diligence is paid to the identifiable behaviours of different parts of the new organisation, then greater possibilities exist in creating a ‘whole’ which has more potency than the sum of its previous parts.

Using a tool that can identify the individual person’s ability to make decisions can assist in that person’s insight into how he or she will embrace change and respond to perceived levels of risk-taking. Having the ability to build teams that have a collective knowledge of how they work under duress can be invaluable both in the recruitment and deployment of personnel to strengthen the functioning of teams.

The unique ability to have a ‘whole’ organisation perspective to attitudes to risk, and how decisions are made across different parts of a merged entity, surely acts as a powerful catalyst to assist the merged organisation in its endeavours.

The Decision Profile provides key insights into your workforce and how they embrace or are paralysed by innovation, rapid change and uncertainty. It will help to identify emergent leaders who will facilitate and help others to overcome their difficulties in adapting to the new environment, such as in the proposed M&A activity for these brewing giants.

The instrument measures individual, group and whole organisational attitudes to Risk, Luck and Decisiveness, as well as providing an in-depth analysis of how intuition is incorporated into the decision making process both individually and collectively. The tool is administered online and feedback can be provided by licensees within your organisation or through our Thompson Dunn consultancy services. For an insight into this invaluable instrument and to become a licensed practitioner of the Decision Profile, please visit for more information. Alternatively, contact our team of psychologists at Thompson Dunn on +44 (0)207 486 1199.


Pat Thompson and Michael Johnson Consultant Psychologists Thompson Dunn Ltd. and Decision Profile Ltd.