The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions
By Guy Kawasaki
Published by Portfolio
Copyright © 2011 by Guy Kawasaki
FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
Enchantment n: 1) To charm, delight, enrapture.
How do companies such as Apple create such enchanting products? And how do some people always seem to enchant others?
According to bestselling business guru Guy Kawasaki, anyone can learn the art of enchantment. It transforms situations and relationships, turns cynics into believers, and changes hearts and minds.
This book explains all the tactics you need to enchant. Kawasaki’s lessons are drawn from his tenure at Apple, as well as his decades of experience as an entrepreneur. Few people in the world are more qualified to teach you how to enchant.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Guy Kawasaki is the former chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com (an online magazine rack of popular topics on the Web) and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. His nine previous books include the international bestseller The Art of the Start, as well as Reality Check and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA. He lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and four children.
You have first to experience what you want to express.
—Vincent van Gogh
The world will not beat a path to your door for an insanely great mousetrap. In fact, the greater the mousetrap, the more difficult it is to get people to embrace it because it is so different from what people are used to. This chapter explains what enchantment is, when and why you need it, and the ethics of enchanting people.
What Is Enchantment?
When Karin Muller, filmmaker and author, was in the Peace Corps from 1987 to 1989, she dug wells and built schools in a village in the Philippines. One night, seventeen members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, came to her hut to interrogate her. Earlier that day, villagers had warned her that this was going to happen, so she collected two precious commodities: sugar and coffee.
When the NPA arrived, she exclaimed, “Thank God you’re here. I’ve been waiting all day. Please have some coffee. Leave your guns at the door.” Her reaction baffled the leader of the group, but he took off his gun and sat down for a cup of coffee. She avoided an interrogation or something worse because, according to Muller, “You can’t interrogate someone you’re having coffee with.”
Muller did not react with anger, indignation, or panic (which is how I would have reacted). Instead, she touched an emotion in the leader of the group and transformed the situation from brute force and intimidation to conversation and communication. She delighted him with her unexpected hospitality and changed his heart, his mind, and his actions.
In short, she enchanted him.
Enchantment can occur in villages, stores, dealerships, offices, boardrooms, and on the Internet. It causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions. It is more than manipulating people to help you get your way. Enchantment transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility. It reshapes civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers.
When Is Enchantment Necessary?
There are many tried-and-true methods to make a buck, yuan, euro, yen, rupee, peso, or drachma. Enchantment is on a different curve: When you enchant people, your goal is not to make money from them or to get them to do what you want, but to fill them with great delight. Here are situations when you need enchantment the most:
* Aspiring to lofty, idealistic results. Want to change the world? Change caterpillars into butterflies? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to convince people to dream the same dream that you do.
* Making difficult, infrequent decisions. The greater the difficulty of the change, the greater the need for enchantment. Factors that cause friction include cost, risk, and politics. If a change is a big deal, then it’s a big deal to make it happen.
* Overcoming entrenched habits. Most of the time, habits simplify life and enable fast, safe, and good decisions. But they can also prevent the adoption of a new idea that challenges the status quo. Enchantment can open the door for consideration of such a change.
* Defying a crowd. The crowd isn’t always wise. It can lead you down a path of silliness, suboptimal choices, and downright destruction. Enchantment is as necessary to get people to diverge from a crowd as it is to get them to join one.
* Proceeding despite delayed or nonexistent feedback. A high level of dedication is necessary when feedback is rare or not readily available, and your efforts take a long time to see results. In these cases, moderate interest and support aren’t enough. You must delight people so that they stick with you. For example, working for a biotech company takes a great deal of faith, because bringing new drugs to market can take ten years or more.
Do any of these situations sound familiar? They should, because they are present whenever people are trying to make the world a better place.
What Are People Thinking?
During the 1980s, Apple failed to sell Macintoshes to the business market. The fundamental flaw of our approach was that we did not understand what potential customers were thinking. Indeed, we believed they should leave the thinking to us.
We were so enchanted by our own product that we could not understand why everyone else did not feel the same way. That’s when I learned that one must understand what people are thinking, feeling, and believing in order to enchant them.
The fix is to imagine yourself as the person you want to enchant and ask the following questions. If you can’t come up with reasonable answers, don’t expect your enchantment to work.
* What does this person want? You can’t blame someone for wondering what your motives are. This doesn’t mean that you should not benefit, but you should disclose your motivation to put her at ease.
* Is the change worth the effort? The next step is to help her understand how your cause ties in to what she wants. The benefits of change must outweigh the costs of change and the benefits of staying the same. The fact that you think change is worthwhile is not enough; the person you’re trying to enchant must believe this, too.
* Can I change? Even if change is worthwhile, can she do it? Factors that prevent the change include the expense, effort, and risk that your change requires. She may doubt that she can change even if she wants to and believes it’s worth it.
In the case of Apple in the 1980s, our motivation was to sell computers. We thought switching to Macintosh was worth the effort because of the gains in productivity and creativity. But we underestimated the difficulty of altering corporate policies and overcoming the perception that the Macintosh was easy to use but wimpy in terms of raw computational power.”
part two of ‘Enchantment’ will appear here tomorrow