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Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy Hardcover – 9 Jan 2009
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A veteran business strategist and adjunct faculty member at Stanford Univ., Patnaik explores the role of empathy in successful companies, producing a thoughtful, practical meditation on the power of walking in someone else’s shoes. Though he utilizes examples from his work with Harley Davidson, Cisco and Nike, his skills in the classroom get a good showcase too, with lessons on history and biology, as well as revealing exercises from his class (called Needfinding) with “aha” revelations like: “For thousands of years, people made things for other people they knew”; it was the Industrial Revolution that divided producer from consumer. Essentially, Patnaik proposes that a successful company must cross that divide and learn about their customers’ needs by interacting with, understanding and, in some cases, hiring them. Incorporating some familiar ideas–the power of “framing,” the golden rule–Patnaik manages to keep his text fresh and brisk, making this a cagey but compassionate guide for execs and business students. (Publishers Weekly, Jan.)
Blurring the Line Between Inside and Out What's the critical difference between Nike and every other shoe company on the planet? Why do some airline executives continue to insist that air travel is great, when we all know better? What has enabled Zildjian, a family business founded outside Istanbul, to thrive for almost 400 years? In this essential and illuminating book, top business strategist Dev Patnaik tells the story of how organizations of all kinds prosper when they tap into a power each of us already has: empathy, the ability to reach outside of ourselves and connect with other people. When people inside a company develop a shared sense of what's going on in the world, they see new opportunities faster than their competitors. They have the courage to take a risk on something new. And they have the gut-level certitude to stick with an idea that doesn't take off right away. People are "Wired to Care," and many of the world's best organizations are, too. In pursuit of this idea, Patnaik takes readers inside big companies like IBM, Target, and Intel to see widespread empathy in action. But he also goes to farmers' markets and a conference on world religions.He dives deep into the catacombs of the human brain to find the biological sources of empathy.And he spends time on both sides of the political aisle, with James Carville, the Ragin' Cajun, and John McCain, a national hero, to show how empathy can give you the acuity to cut through a morass of contradictory information. Wired to Care is a compelling tale of the power that people have to see the world through each other's eyes, told with passion for the possibilities that lie ahead if leaders learn to stop worrying about their own problems and start caring about the world around them. As Patnaik notes, in addition to its considerable economic benefits, increasing empathy for the people you serve can have a personal impact, as well: It just might help you to have a better day at work. See all Product description
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It is unclear to me where (a) he set out to validate his faith in the power of empathy (i.e. "the ability to step outside yourself and see the world as others do") or (b) he arrived at that conclusion only after acquiring substantial empirical evidence. Either way, Patnaik asserts that that "the problem with business today is nit a lack of innovation; it's a lack of empathy." Moreover, for many of the world's greatest companies, [empathy] is an ever-present but rarely-talked about engine for growth." I agree to the extent that empathy is not defined in terms of warm and fuzzy feelings gushing out from the bleeding heart of a sappy sentimentalist.
In his book The Opposable Mind, Roger Martin explains how and why what he characterizes as "integrative thinking" can help us make much better decisions. That is, "the predisposition and the capacity to hold two [or more] diametrically opposed ideas" in one's head and then "without panicking or simply settling for one alternative or the other," be able to "produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea." I think this is what Patnaik has in mind when urging his reader to "tap into the power that every one of us already has - the ability to reach outside of ourselves and connect with other people," to "see the world through the eyes of other people."
Patnaik and Mortensen carefully organize their material within three Parts. First, they makes a case for empathy (i.e. what it is...and isn't, why it is potentially so important to organizations and even countries as well as to individuals); then they explain how to create and sustain "Widespread Empathy" between and among people, whatever the nature and extent of perceived differences may be; and finally, they focus on the results of empathic values and behavior (i.e. e.g. circumspection and intelligence, social and economic impact, mutual trust and respect, increased appreciation of one's self as well as of others). Throughout the ten chapters that precede the book's conclusion, Patnaik and Mortensen demonstrate "how empathy can be a driving force to develop more prosperous, more ethical, and more enduring companies."
Then in the final chapter, they assert that empathy "also has the power to help us see how we can change for the better...Empathy can awaken us to the power that we have to change the course of everyday life. But only if we're willing to step outside of our own preconceptions and see the world through other people's eyes." To that I presume to add my own hope that others will also be willing to step outside their own preconceptions and see the world through our eyes. Perhaps all that is needed is setting a proper example. If not now, when?
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In the not-too-distant past, empathy was a necessary ingredient of all businesses. All businesses were small businesses, and people made things for other people that they knew personally. However the world changed with the industrial revolution, and mass production created a rift between producers and consumers. The scale and complexity of modern industry require that organisations use "maps" which simplify their understanding of their customers, but it is important to remember that "The map is not the territory," and organisations need to find ways of staying close to customers if they wish to remain successful.
In my view the authors make a convincing argument for the importance of organisations empathising with customers, although they do not address the issue of empathy inside an organisation, such as empathy of managers for employees. Essentially the book is about empathy in marketing, not empathy in management. There are numerous engaging anecdotes which make the book interesting to read.
Zildjian (400 year old company) why it is successful ?
Why Micorsoft xBOX defeated playstation But Zune Failed ?
Mercedes expermiement in Jump Start .
Londons Farmers Market Success story .
Why world follows the Londons Tube Map example ?
How Harley Davidson is survived and going so strong in bad market/economy .But Ford and GM failed.
Why Bill Clinton win and Bush lost in election ?
Author did a experiment with Wheel Chair ( Very interesting - for me it was something eye opening )
The Bilogical Limbic system - how it works ?
Dale Carnegie references
Steelcase Corporation - how it figured out why they were successful ? yes the survey result was very interesting.
A recession is when the guy next door loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. (it's an awesome quote from the book)
How Target and Netflix create customer empathy.
Why Smith & Hawken employees have gone out to dig in the garden ?
How Mahatma Gandhi could win the support in India ?
Why OXO designs are so great ?
There is great example of CISCO about ethics .
There is example of Patagonia apparel maker and NORTHWEST airlines about comminication to employees .
There is very good example of San Francisco's Joie de Vivre hotel group House keeping Staff.
There is a example how Disney came with Animal Kingdom idea .
So i would say overall this book is filled with lot of real world example and interesting facts. I liked it very much.
I’ve been teaching User Experience design for the past few months and realized that really what I’m teaching is empathetic observation/information-gathering and empathetic storytelling. The key word here is empathetic. This is an attribute I’ve taken for granted - I mean, we as humans are born with a mirror neuron system so duh, aren’t we already fully empathetic at birth?
Turns out there’s quite a few folks out there that have their empathy-meters turned way down or even turned completely off and they are in dire need of classes, training and examples of what empathy is and how to develop it. Whew - thank goodness I came to the rescue huh? :) Thank goodness Dev Patnaik wrote “Wired to Care” too!
The book is written as a series of business case studies examining why certain products or companies failed pre-empathy, learned how to develop and implement empathy in their daily work and then demonstrates the transformative power of empathy in these businesses.
Key Takeaway: Investing in empathy has a tangible effect on your bottom line and provides a rapid ROI. So invest in it
Overall the book is well researched, provides a plethora of resources to act on and memorable stories. I have recommended this book over and over to my students and colleagues and will continue to evangelize this as a “primer on empathy in the modern world”.
Hats off to you Dev Patnaik and thanks! (read this review on my blog: http://lalithac.com/post/95225357675/required-reading-for-ux-professionals-wired-to-care)