Book Review: Kawasaki's 9th an "Enchanting" read
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  business_analytics ibmsoftware
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I love the smell of a new book. I also love the pull of a new idea.
Lucky for me then, that Enchantment has both.
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is the ninth and latest book by tech legend Guy Kawasaki – former chief evangelist for Apple, co-founder of Alltop.com and founding partner of Garage Technology Ventures.
Enchantment – the concept – is the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea. The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial. Kawasaki says his first enchanting moment was meeting his wife. His second enchanting moment was seeing the Macintosh, which convinced him of its ability to make people more creative and productive than they’d ever dreamed.
Enchantment – the book – distills Kawasaki’s experiences as an evangelist into valuable lessons and examples that you can put into practice in your own career.
Enchantment – the concept – can happen anywhere, Kawasaki writes, whether you’re trying to win over a skeptic, attract new followers to your cause, or even change the world.
At 224 pages (including a quiz), Enchantment – the book – is a short enough to consume over a weekend, even for a slow reader such as my self. It’s divided into 12 chapters including “Why Enchantment?,” “How to Make Enchantment Endure,” and “How to Enchant Your Boss.” Each chapter is further divided into several sub-topics that make for remarkably easy navigation and easily digestible bits of content. Kawaski writes in a breezy and personable style whose simplicity belies the hard-won lessons underneath. And it comes with one word of caution: It can take weeks or months for enchantment to occur, Kawasaki writes, so prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.
Given that adherents of IBM Business Analytics software spend a lot of their time trying to convert more people to their cause for better business outcomes, I thought it appropriate to highlight some of the more pertinent passages from the first 90 pages.
Enchantment – the concept – rests on two fundamentals that everyone must master: likability and trustworthiness. Kawasaki devotes an entire chapter to each and in each includes specific activities to help you along. For example:
I found chapter four – "How to Prepare" – particularly useful for its discussion of a “Premortem.” It’s an idea Kawasaki borrows from Gary Klein, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. Companies rarely conduct post-mortems on a failed product because there’s usually no money or people left to investigate. Premortems, on the other hand, are useful because they can help you prevent failure rather than explain it. To conduct a Premortem, Kawasaki suggests assembling your team and asks everyone to assume the project failed. Your task is to find out why the failures occurred and come up with ways to prevent them from happening.
Chapter 5 – "How to Launch" – is useful for its discussion of storytelling. Enchantment runs on inspriation, not information, Kawasaki writes. And the ones with the best stories are the ones who win. When you’re pitching your product, find the narrative that best suits your goals: Will the world be a better place because of your project? Is this David vs. Goliath, or perhaps a Profile in Courage? Structure your proposal with a beginning, middle and end and you’ll increase your chances of success.
The chapter is also useful for its suggestions for demos: if you’re trying to wean people off their spreadsheets, make sure your TM1 demo shows these attributes:
There’s lots more I could cite, but I’ll stop here for now. With any luck I've already enchanted you. If I haven't, you can always check out Guy's site or these reviews. If you're trying to enchant people with IBM Business Analytics, our Champions' Kit has bountiful resources that can help.