History of Movement Pattern Analysis

Movement Pattern Analysis was developed by Warren Lamb who dedicated his life’s work to the study of human movement in the work place. Over the course of his career he conducted thousands of MPA profiles for corporations, government agencies and executive management teams.

Lamb began his study of human movement in the workplace in the 1940s under the instruction of Rudolf Laban and FC Lawrence. Laban and Lawrence were helping to shift the study of movement in the workplace away from a more mechanical approach that treated each worker the same on the factory line, and toward a more humanistic approach that examined the ways in which movement is unique for each individual and where they could be best positioned on the factory line.

Lamb continued to refine these ideas and started a consulting firm in 1952. By 1965 he had established the MPA profiling system as a systematized, grounded theory, which he continued to use for the rest of his career and has since taught to scores of practitioners.


How Does The Decision Profiling Process Work?

The Decision Profiling process generates a unique Decision Profile for each individual. This profile indicates where a person spends time and energy in the decision-making process, expressed as percentages that add up to 100% of their total time and energy. The process involves a two-hour interview that is video recorded, a 1.5 hour feedback session and a one-hour follow up session. 


What Is Discussed In The Interview?

The topic of conversation in the interview is not important, we can talk about anything. The movement pattern will be revealed regardless of what is spoken about. 


Why Is The Interview Recorded?  

The interview is recorded so that the subject’s movement can be analyzed by a certified movement analyst. The video is kept private and is only seen by the movement analyst. The video is analyzed on mute so the conversation is not heard again after the initial interview. 


How Is Decision Profiling Applied In Business?

  • Increase Understanding Within a Team - With the decision profiling process, team members increase their understanding of each other, why they might have made a particular decision or how they prefer to make a decision.  Personal tensions can be understood within the objective framework of the decision making process.  
  • Enhance Team Workflow - With the decision profiling process, team members can be assigned tasks and responsibilities that compliment their profile. For example, one team member may like to research information while another prefers to take action, and proper assignment can compliment these preferences.
  • Assembling a Team - The decision process can be used to ascertain whether or not a team is strongly assembled for a particular purpose and target hiring to fulfill specific needs.


What Do You Look For When Analyzing Movement?

We only code integrated movement that involves the whole body, and we look for 12 specific movements. We do not analyze body posture, how one holds their body, or gesture, how one moves isolated parts of their body. Integrated movement is extremely difficult to change, requiring a tremendous about of awareness and practice. By focusing on integrated movement, our process is almost impossible to fake. 


Why Doesn’t One’s Decision Profile Change Over The Course Of Their Lives?

The Decision Profile is generated from one's integrated movement, which takes a tremendous amount of awareness and practice to change, just as it is hard to change one’s speech pattern. You can speak with an accent, but it would be hard to maintain that long enough that it becomes your default way of speaking. This is why we can recognize the voice of someone we know speaking from ten years ago. It is the same for movement, your movement pattern is deeply ingrained and practiced in your everyday life, making it difficult to change.


Is There A “Good” Or “Bad” Profile?

There is no good or bad profile, rather there are positive aspects to every profile that can be leveraged. 


How Can My Decision Profile Help Me Get A Job?

Your MPA profile brings awareness and deepens your understanding for how you move through the decision-making process and what your preferences are for where you like to spend time and energy when making a decision. Knowing your profile can therefore be helpful in identifying what sorts of jobs you might be a good fit for.

For example, if your profile shows that you do not like to spend much time investigating information then you will not be comfortable in a job where you are required to do a lot of detailed research. If you are more action-oriented in your decision-making process, you might look for a job that allows you to take frequent action.

Knowledge of your profile therefore helps you not only identify positions that will harmonize with your preferences, but will also help you communicate your strengths and preferences to possible employers.

Many employers recognize the benefit of having employees with self-awareness, such that they know when a particular position is a good fit for them. You can leverage your strengths by aligning your profile with job specifications.