All of us know someone whose mind we want to change: the friend who believes in conspiracy theories, the customer who thinks wearing a face mask in a pandemic is a worthless gesture, the housemate who keeps everything they ever bought, because it might be useful someday, and the boss who always sides with the consultants instead of their employees. Using research drawn from psychology and behavioral economics, Berger translates principles into future actions using the easy to remember acronym REDUCE: Reactance, Endowment, Distance, Uncertainty, and Corroborating Evidence. Not all of these roadblocks to change will have strategies that will work in all instances, although sometimes they can work in tandem. The author uses some unexpected examples: the effectiveness of the slogan "Keep America Great," for instance shows the power of the endowment principle as surely as working with a family member reluctant to upgrade their software or clean out their closet. For fans of Malcolm Gladwell, Charles Duhigg, and even Gretchen Rubin, because sometimes the person whose mind you want to change is yourself.
“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.
About the Author
Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst. He’s a world-renowned expert on social influence, word of mouth, and why products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and has published over 50 papers in top-tier academic journals. He has consulted for a range of Fortune 500 companies, keynoted hundreds of events, and popular accounts of his work often appear in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas.”
“We’ve all been frustrated trying to change someone’s mind. In this captivating book, Jonah Berger removes that frustration by showing us how to remove the barriers to change. The Catalyst will teach you how to change anything." —Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better
“We all know it’s hard to change people’s minds. But now we know why: We’ve been doing it wrong. We’re spending too much time pushing people — and not nearly enough time removing the roadblocks to their taking action. In this cogent and compelling book, Jonah Berger outlines a smarter, more effective approach. Full of gripping anecdotes, smart science, and savvy advice, The Catalyst is an essential read for anyone in the business of change. Added bonus: It’s the rare business book that reads like a page-turner.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of When and To Sell is Human
"The Catalyst is a fascinating read and a powerful toolkit to help us change minds, organizations, and hopefully even the world." —Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
“Berger draws on research and case studies and offers intriguing anecdotes…A well-written guide that can be useful in both business and personal life.” —Kirkus Reviews
"[A] practical, convincing introduction to the art of persuasion....This broadly appealing guide will convince general readers, but will be of particular interest to sales and marketing professionals." —Publishers Weekly
“Berger has an optimistic outlook, gently suggesting that great change agents aren’t more persuasive, but they're really catalysts.” —Fortune Magazine
"If you want to create loyal trusting relationships with customers and the people in your life, you’ll read The Catalyst.” —Small Business Trends
"In the new book The Catalyst, Wharton professor Jonah Berger cites studies showing that orders and warnings often backfire. In some cases, telling people not to do something made them want to do it even more. The secret is asking people to look out—not for themselves—but for the group. We are hardwired for social connectedness. We have an strong internal desire to protect 'the tribe' at all costs." —Inc.com
"Berger’s approach sets his book apart from the others....Berger thoroughly explains HOW to catalyze principled persuasion. Therein is perhaps the greatest value of his rigorous and eloquent narrative." —Blogging on Business
"An insightful book by one of my favorite authors....I love how this book presents influence as a way to remove barriers with clear and elegantly-written examples." —FORBES.COM