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“Jonah Berger is one of those rare thinkers who blends research-based insights with immensely practical guidance. I am grateful to be one of the many who have learned from this master teacher.” —Jim Collins, author Good to Great, coauthor Built to Last
From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind.
Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way?
This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?”
The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs.
This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.
In this practical, convincing introduction to the art of persuasion, Berger (Contagious), marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that people try to change minds in the wrong way. To influence others, he suggests becoming a "catalyst," one who persuades not by pushing an agenda and marshaling arguments but by identifying and removing the barriers to change. In each chapter, Berger discusses a major roadblock to change (such as uncertainty or attachment to the status quo) and provides examples and case studies of overcoming that roadblock. He chooses broad examples, such as public health campaigns and interpersonal interactions, with particularly illuminating sections on eliminating teen smoking and cultivating mentorship habits within sales teams. In an insightful chapter, Berger explains how formal interventions can provide addicts with persuasive evidence of their need to change. Then he digs deeper, explaining how interventions create a high concentration of evidence, which becomes increasingly convincing for most people. Some of the discussions are strictly business concerns, such as how to encourage purchases by giving consumers free product trials. This broadly appealing guide will convince general readers, but will be of particular interest to sales and marketing professionals.