Emotionomics


Curious as to how to win hearts and minds of your clients (internal or external)? Dan Hill has written an fascinating book on the latest contributions from psychology, neuroscience, human interaction design and behavioural economics that shatter old assumptions. I had the pleasure of listening to his presentation at a recent Conference Board retreat and was intrigued by his approach.  For anyone interested in Branding – this book is a must.  If you are looking for insight – this book pushes the limits of research into a proven method that answers the all important question – ‘what do customers want?’  Hill is an expert in facial coding and uses a combination of the ancient art of storytelling with recent advances in brain science to drive actionable results.  

For too long, business has been crunching numbers instead of harnessing emotion. Big data doesn’t give you insight.  If you want to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, this is an invaluable resource. If you only read one book on customer insight or branding this year, Emotionomics wins my vote.

 

Emotionomics: Winning Hearts and Minds

Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that can’t stop talking


Finally! Some brilliant soul – in this case, Susan Cain – has written the book for which every introvert has been looking. For those of us who, when silent in a meeting, are asked if something is ‘wrong’ – this book will make an excellent gift for those who asked the question.  From the front cover:

“At least one third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying, who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favour working on their own over brainstorming in teams.”

Listen to Susan Cain on ted.com for an inspiring talk on the power of introversion. She speaks to the need to respect diversity in how we work – instead of forcing introverts to become something that reduces their creativity and ability to innovate.  If you know or more importantly, are introverted, this book will confirm what you already know and few believe. Introverted leaders often deliver better outcomes as they allow the employees they manage to run with their ideas.  So, if you want more innovative and sustainable leadership – perhaps you should look to the introverts in your organization. You might be overlooking an amazing source of creative capital.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

The Storytelling Animal


Jonathan Gottschall has written a great little book on how stories make us human. Drawing on the latest research in psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal. The purpose of any story is to carry a value system – a moral message – that is communicated to inform and inspire the listener/reader. We are genetically ‘wired’ to respond to stories – and this book explains how and why.  An excellent addition to a summer book bag for the beach!

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

Winning the Story Wars


Jonah Sachs has written a great book on the proper use of story and the five deadly sins of marketing (vanity, authority, insincerity, puffery and gimmickry).  Tapping into the power of myth, Sachs speaks to empowerment marketing and what that shift would entail. The most important takeaway for me from this new offering was the importance, again, of the value system that guides individual and corporate behaviour. In short, SHOW DON’T TELL.  Any brand who has maintained its value over time has relied on clearly expressed and lived values.  Brand communication becomes sharing your values with your customers and can be expressed in the following values “bucket”:

1. Values built into the founding story

2. Values expressed by products and services

3. Values held by leadership

4. Values you believe will most deeply resonate with your audience

To Sachs, these are the building blocks of the stories you tell about yourself and your organization.  If possible, the values should align over all the categories. Hard to do, yes! Living by values is never an easy choice. But it is the most sustainable and profitable course. So your intent for your organization? If sustainability and profitability matter, then you might want to add this offering to your reference shelf. The book can be purchased now for pre-release – Winning the Story Wars will be available in July.  You can also check out the video.

Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future

Molecules of Emotion


If you ever wondered what role emotion plays in consumer behavior or just human behavior, this book would be a great addition to your library.  Candace Pert is an internationally recognized expert, a neuroscientist whose extraordinary career began with her 1972 discovery of the opiate receptor in the brain and neuropeptides – the molecules of emotion in our brain and body. She appeared as one of the experts in Bill Moyers 1993 PBS video production, “Healing and the Mind” and many other segments on how our brains process information and emotion.  So how does this chemical soup affect our brain and behavior?  Interesting to find out!!

From Google Books:

“The journey Pert takes us on in Molecules of Emotion is one of personal as well as scientific discovery. Woven into her lucid explanations of the science underlying her work is the remarkable story of how, faced with personal and professional obstacles, she has grown as a woman and a mother and how her personal and spiritual development has made possible her remarkable scientific career. Molecules of Emotion is a landmark work, full of insight and wisdom and possessing that rare power to change the way we see the world and ourselves. Pert’s striking conclusion that it is our emotions and their biological components that establish the crucial link between mind and body does not, however, serve to repudiate modern medicine’s gains; rather, her findings complement existing techniques by offering a new scientific understanding of the power of our minds and our feelings to affect our health and well-being.”

Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine

Check out a new documentary special coming out that explores some of the best in brain/behavior research.