Create the Change You Seek with Jonah Berger
my guest today. I will introduce in just a second, but wanted to take a moment and, um acknowledged these strange and difficult times. I want to give you all a pat on the back for doing what you can to make this all better. We had creativelive were going crazy behind the scenes trying to increase u on a free content we bring you and also provide some Solis in a time of need. Um, part of what we're what we stand for is helping you live your dreams and career hobby in life. And we acknowledge that that might be talked tough right now. But I want you to know that we're doing everything we can. I understand from my interactions on all of the different platforms with you all face to face time calls a lot of you that you are doing everything you can and just a reminder, but that that's that's all we got. So we're all in this together unlike any other time in human history. We're all going through our I guess, modern human history. We're all going through this together, which it is. Our hope ...
is that we can uniquely come together to not only beat the virus but connect in new and novel ways to the benefit of everyone. So that's part of what today's broadcast is about. Again. Live from my own kitchen table. My guest is someone that I have had on the show in a very unique way. Back in 2014 at South by Southwest, we collaborated with uber and I brought some of the best guests from south by Southwest live from a car driving around Austin. And the last time I spoke with this person on the show was, in fact, a to that time. And my guest is a world renowned expert on change where the mouth influence consumer behavior and how ideas and behaviors catch on. So, um, his work is always welcomed and very well received on the global stage. It's especially relevant right now. Um, he's published 50 articles. Uh, he teaches at the Wharton School of Business and their highest rated online course. You've probably seen his work in The New York Times, a Harvard Business Review. I've seen him. Aquino's all over the world. Um, and my guest is Mr Jonah Berger, and I'm so excited to have him here on the show. We're gonna talk amongst other things about his new book called The Catalyst Had to Change Anyone's Mind. It came out just two weeks ago, so we're happy to bring you essentially on his book tour here. Teoh Freedom Live Services. Jonah, welcome back to the show. Thanks so much for having me. It seems like we meet it the most unusual of times. It's so true. And I know that you know, I referenced our last conversation. Attn. Uber who were alive at south by Southwest a few years ago now counted six years ago. So it's great to have you back on the show. I know you've been very busy in those six years you've pushed out a handful of new books. Among them, um, contagious, invisible influence. And now the most recent one. The catalyst. So a congratulations and and be for the people who don't know, uh, are are new to your work or want to know a little bit about what you've been up to if they are familiar but haven't been paying attention now that you've got a new book out. What? What's Thea? A little bit of back story on your personal area of interest in study and just give us a little bit to acquaint people who may be new to your work. Yeah, sure. So as nicely mentioned in my day job, a marketing professor at the Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, I've taught there now for 13 years. At the moment I teach the marketing core. So sort of the introduction of marketing the basic kind of five sees STP foresees of marketing that you either may love or hate, depending on your marketing preferences. But in addition to doing that, I also do a lot of research on word of mouth, Social influence, How to Change Minds and Dr Action. Since contagious came out a few years ago, I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of companies and organizations everything from you know, the Google's and Apple's on Nike's of the world. To a lot of small startups on DSO really. Now, I spent about half my time doing academic research on the other time, speaking and really about it, kind of. How do we change minds? How do we drive action and how do we get stuff where that stuff is an idea. Whether it's a product, whether it's a service, how do we get our our stuff to catch on? Amazing. Amazing. Thanks for that. That backstory. Andi, Speaking of back story, we're gonna go back to what? What made you interested in these areas? I can usually trace from our guests primary interests back to something in childhood. Or sometimes it's trauma or sometimes scenario, curiosity or interest. Um, what was it for you? How did you get started on this path? And yes, so so growing up, I always loved logic and math and sort of experiments, you know, was always interested in why things work and how they work. I remember one year for the holidays getting a book of, like, L puzzles, which were little logic puzzles that I usedto fill out. And so I always thought the way to sort of pursue that interest was traditional kind of math, science, computer science, and so went to like a magnet junior high school in Magnet High School. Thought I would be an environmental engineer. Got to college, sort of discovered social psychology, realized I was in a class that was about the intersection of science and policy. Great article on how we build buildings and how that changes how we raise our kids So you know when we build buildings and we all live in little single family homes and kids can play in the front yard. But when we start living these big apartment buildings, we can't see our kids disease landing more. And so it changes how we kids and I remember here calling, That's super interesting. You know what classes would you recommend? I take to learn more. They recommended social psychology and so sort of kind of down that path read a book called The Tipping Point that many of your listeners were probably quite familiar with. Got interested in the idea of why things catch on. Started doing research with a guy named Chip Heath many may know for the books made to stick decisive. I started doing research with him when I was an undergrad with grad school. Continue doing research with him on that sort of sort of the journey. So always been interested in kind of experimentation data on those sorts of things and love, applying it to sort of social questions. Can we understand the often messy and confusing and seemingly non rational social world of why this stuff, why things happen and why people do and how, by understanding that can get good, valuable stuff to become more popular. I remember our our conversation back in the car six years ago now, and I was deeply inspired by how your research pertains to the individual and your most recent book that I want to talk about The catalyst is about helping change minds. And, um, I think when we on the outset when we think about changing minds, we often think about, uh, changing minds of other people. And I do want to talk about how we change our own mind. Yeah, put a pin in that for a second, um, and shift gears and as a reminder, you know, you've been on the show before. Most of the audience are creators and entrepreneurs. They identify us as such, um, and while many of them work inside of large organisations, they still have to be persuasive, and they have to change their bosses mind or a co workers mind, um and own acknowledge that you know a cross section of our audience. But we also, um you know, have ah, large cohort of freelancers and people who are entrepreneurs or solo preneurs in their own right. And the minds that they're looking to change are often you know, that of their clients who you know, they they have a belief that they have a problem and they might misunderstand the problem. Or they need to provide a solution for that client as they get hired as a designer or photographer. So knowing that that's our our audience, Onda also, I want to acknowledge that we do have again we're streaming live to a number of different platforms and I can see comments and questions coming in from all over the world from Cresskill abo a selling author. Long time good friend of both of ours Cresskill about in the house. Matias Um Ryan Richelle for Taylor, Um, a bunch of folks. And so they may have some questions, but as we're open to entertaining those questions first, give us a little orient us around your new book, the catalyst and and why is changing minds? Uh ah, skill rather than just some default application in our world. Yeah. So, um, an academic at heart, you know I'm used to doing academic research. My first book, Contagious, comes out on, and I sort of get a chance to work with a lot of organizations. I've learned a lot about different industries have really enjoyed that process. But what I realized along the way is that most of those companies, most those individuals I work with, had something in common, which is they all had something that they want to change right. So employees their bosses mind on leaders, want to change organizations. Marketers want to change behavior and sales be a change. The client or customer you know, nonprofits want to change the world. Startups want to change industries. Askew mentioned many of folks that sort of in the creative industry. We think we hope that our stuff is just good enough. It'll be successful, but often to get that stuff to succeed, we have to change someone's mind, whether it's a client, whether it's a gallery, gotta change someone's mind. So the question, though, is how do we do that? Because as many of your listeners and audience know, we often push. We try to persuade the pressure we cajole, and it often doesn't work and So I started wondering, What could there be? A better way and at the cool this book is all about. So I started kind of a journey where I started interviewing amazing sales people and lead it years for profits and non profits I talked to Some folks might not usually think of his changing minds. So everything from kind of crisis counselors and hostage negotiators to a rabbi who got some under announced the KKK and I started looking across disparate situations to say, What could there be? A different approach to change and what I realize is we're kind of doing it wrong, right? When we think about change, we often say, Well, how can I get someone to do what I want them to do? But we often don't think about it a slightly different way, which is why hasn't that person changed? Ready, right? What's stopping them? What are the barriers are the obstacles that are getting in their way and ramen pushing them harder? How can I mitigate those obstacles? So you know, when I talk to folks, most people say, Oh, what do I try to do to get someone to change? I get the more fax more figures, more reasons. I found an organization. I give him a power point deck. If it's a client, I give him another phone call. But as we know that pushing often doesn't work right, just is. Often people end up saying no thing in the exact opposite and clear why we think pushing works. Sit at home and there's a chair in the middle of the room. I want to move that chair. Great way to move. That chair is pushing right. We push the chair and the direction we wanted to go and it goes. But when you push people, they don't just go. They often pushback because it turns out the more we try to get at someone, you said, the more they dig in their heels and try to do the exact opposite. And so the book is all about what are the barriers that are preventing change and and how can we mitigate them? I think a good analogy is almost like a parking brake, right? So think you're you know you're in a car, right? You're on. Ah, let's say an incline. You're trying to get the car to go. Um, you stick your key in the ignition, you step on the gas pedal if it doesn't go, we think we need more gas. We rarely go. Well, wait. Maybe the parking brake is just up. Right? And so really, what this book is about is how do we find those parking brakes has often hidden barriers or obstacles that are preventing change. And how do we mitigate them? And as a result, change minds and insight. Action. All right, well, you've given such a a a gorgeous sort of overview. Um, I would love to get in and others, uh, five key barriers that we're looking to overcome. Maybe we'll teas. We don't necessarily need to walk through all because I would be the equivalent of reading the book, which, by the way, congratulations. All Thanks. I appreciate it. And for those who are curious, I see a lot of folks commenting about your previous work contagious. The new book, The catalyst is a little all the same, all the same places where you've got that and probably e book is the best way now in this code covert environment that we're in. But again, with that background in place and I think people at home and you're your analogy of moving the chair by pushing and sometimes even pushing harder when you get resistance knowing that, that's that's actually the, uh, I think some recent research shows that it's an pathetic all the harder you push, the more facts that it causes actually, people to dig in. So, um you know, rather than us going through all of the bears, why don't you talk about the 1st 1 which is sort of the reactant since yeah, sure, happy to. And so I think that's really kind of what we're both talking about her about digging our feet in. People like to feel like they're in control, right? Why do we do the stuff that we do? We do this stuff because we chose to Why did I buy that product? Why did they use that service? Why did I engage in that behavior? I did because I wanted to do it. But the challenges, whenever we try to influence someone to do something in particular and they end up thinking about doing that thing, they're not clear whether doing their thing because they wanted to or because we wanted them to, and if they feel like they're doing it because we wanted them to, they're less likely to do it right. Even if it might have been something they would have done originally right? They may have been happy to do it if they came up with it themselves. But if they fit, we came up with it. We can think about this in our personal lives, probably as well. If they feel like someone else came up with it, they're less likely to do it. And thats this idea of reactant. Essentially, at the core, people have, like an anti persuasion radar, almost like an anti missile defense system that kind of goes off when they feel like someone's trying to persuade them. So I think about a spy t sense right where you know you get an incoming call from a sales person or, you know someone sends you an email. That's a pitch, you know. Our barriers go up, our radar goes up and we kind of shoot down those incoming projectiles. We delete the email, we change the channel on the television or even worse, we count. Argue, right, We sit there. It seems like we're listening, but we're really doing is think about all the reasons why I we don't want to do what someone suggested. I think about it in your personal life context, right when we your spouse says, Hey, what do you want to do this weekend? We say, Oh, let's go to the movies. They think about all the reasons why that is a terrible idea, right? Oh, it's nice outside. I went to the movies a couple weeks ago. Why don't we do something else? And so what? The idea of reducing react, it's really is, is how do we give people more freedom and autonomy rather than pushing them or pressuring them rather than selling them? How do we get them to buy in? How do we get them to persuade themselves a pause here? I'm happy that, you know, answer questions about this, but the book really talks about a couple ways to do that and the challenges again, not pushing people, but get them to feel like it's their choice, like they're participating. Now you're on a roll, and I want you to keep going. Let's get into the great. So I understand this is is so fundamental. And I think there's a reference that has a skill in my original question. And I think just awareness of this as a is half the battle for most people because the the dominant narrative of the dominant story that I think most people tell themselves is that if I just, you know, continue to give them or good reasons to think the way I think, whether again, it's the boss or a client. And now again, following the reactions principal part of your book. Keep going and unpeeled this onion another layer. But we can understand some of the techniques that you you suggest you just to build on what you said. By the way, you know, we assume that people see it the way we do. If we just give them more information that we have, they'll see it the way that we see it. But we forget that they're not us, right, and again, we're so focused on us, we're not focusing on them. And so, you know, one approach I talk about it is what I'll call providing a menu or sort of guided choices, and I think this is a really simple one. that any of us can use in almost any situation. So, you know, imagine where consultants were presenting to a client we're even imagine again. We're talking or spouse about what to do this weekend. When we give people want option, they think about all the reasons why that's a bad idea, right? So imagine that, you know, I have a new project and someone's, you know, potentially hiring me. And they're looking a couple different people, and I come and I present a solution. It is not just going thinking about all the reasons why that solution will work. It'll be too expensive. Oh, how is it gonna work with our existing stuff? How do I know you're going to do a good job? They're gonna think about all the problems. When you give people one option, they sort of find all the holes in that one option. And so, what great catalysts do? A great change agents do is they don't get people One option, the human least two. They give them multiple options because what that does is it shifts the role of the listener now, rather than sitting there and think about all the wrong with what you're suggesting now There Think about when they like the best, which makes them much more likely to pick one of those options at the end of the day. And so we can think about it. Is providing a menu. Are kind of guided choices, not giving people 1000 choices were not giving people infinite choice. We're giving people a small number. Ah, select set of options and ask him to choose from that choice sex. And we've chosen the choice set, right? We've given them the options, but by allowing them to choose from that set, they feel like they've participated like they've gotten that freedom and autonomy. And so they're much more likely to go along cause they played a role in the decision. So I'm gonna play Devil's Advocate for a second, go for it. And, um, right now, someone who's listening who might be scratching their chin a little bit is like, Yeah, but isn't this just a form of manipulation? Aren't you? Aren't you just using human psychology and giving them guided choices? And it's sort of like, um, the analogy that I'll use is now. I'm not a father, but I'm an uncle. And I know that if I asked my nephew well back when he was much younger. What do you want to wear today? Is an infinite number of possibilities Vs Like you want the Red Sox or you want the green socks. He's you know, he feels empowered. But I feel as, ah, you know, as the adult there that I'm manipulating the situation. And so, for someone who is worried about integrity and whatnot, how can you help us understand it that we can still operate and integrity and drive the results that we want to see in the world? Yeah, so this is a great question. Um, and there's a two part question I heard so answer the first part. And then the second part, the first part of sort of about integrity, of manipulation in the second part is how many choices to give people. Ah, And so the book came out just a couple weeks ago, but we gave some early Amazon reviewers vine reviewers, whatever their Summerlee copies, earlier views come in. Many of them are positive, but there's really one strongly negative review. So I was like, What is this person saying this person saying these tools are really useful, but they'll be used by the wrong people. They will be used by salesman and manipulators and phone ease to get people to do bad stuff. And I was sitting there going, Well, if your concern is that these tools are so useful Ah, that the wrong people youth, um actually feel like I've done an OK job, right? Like I'll take that three start two star review because the biggest concern you have is that it'll fall, the tools will fall into the wrong hands. You know, I did invent these tools. You know, I didn't create the idea that we like choices. Um, and the challenge with tools is you know, any tool can be used for bad or good. Think about a hammer, right? We think about a lot of good, useful things we could do with a hammer. We can also think a lot about bad things we can do with a hammer. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't better understand what hammers are and and how to use them. And so I certainly agree that I hope the right people used these tools on when I take on consulting clients or give talks. I think a lot about who I'm giving the tools to, um, and try to give them to audiences that I care about on find valuable. But, you know, it's not like some of these ideas aren't out there ready and disparate places on DSO. I don't mean, I hope the right people use these tools, but you know, my my hope is that we use them for good, not for for bad. On the second thing, I would say it is actually a talk a bit in the book similar to your example of kids. You know, people use this all the time with kids. I have a two year old at the moment, and whether it's, you know, choose which color socks or you want to take off your shirt in your pants first. But it's not just kids. All of us like having choice. All of us like feeling freedom and autonomy and having a role. But notice what we're not doing right? What? Neither you nor I were doing an example saying which of the 45 items in your closet do you wanna wear right? Which of the 100 things in our fridge. Do you want to eat for dinner? No, we say. Which do you want first, your chocolate, your broccoli or your chicken? You know, which do you want to put on first, your shirt or your pants? We're choosing the choice set, but by doing that, it encourages other people to feel like they got some freedom and autonomy and notice. This happens to us all the time, right? When you walk into a restaurant, you walk into an Italian restaurant. You don't get upset that they don't offer sushi, right? You say? Well, it's an Italian restaurant. This is one of Italian restaurant offers. People always give us choices. It's just thinking about how to give people with right choices to encourage better decision making and encourage people down the right path. So let me play it back to you. What I heard is we're doing this already, and you're trying to help us shape the way we think about it, so that we can use the tool in a better way in a more refined way. Yeah, I mean, I often think the best authors, when they write the best books, are not uncovering things no one ever thought of before, though sometimes academics do and and that's great when it happens. Sometimes what we're doing is we're helping us better understand ourselves and codify some things that we might have seen it work in one situation but not understand why it worked and not understand how we can apply it to a broader set of situation. So many people may go, Oh, when I give my kids a choice, it works better. You know, dinner time and bedtime is less difficult, but we don't realize that's actually a broad principle of human motivation that we can apply beyond our kids beyond dinner time on a variety of situations. I love it. I love it well. Your heart is very handy, and a lot of the ways that I like Teoh dig another layer deeper when I'm talking to people who are there, they're entrepreneurs or academics or scientists is learn a little bit about your process. So clearly you've done a bunch of research with all your books again. Very bird from the your most of deeply, probably with contagious. Um, and I remember having a conversation with you about it, but what what was your research method here. And how did you uncover these things and ground them in the, you know, the social psychology that you're sharing with this year today? Yeah. You know, this book was actually little bit different for me than some of my other books contagious. You know, I had never worked with companies really Before. I'd work with very few companies. I really wrote that book from my own personal academic research. It was all about kind of research that I had done or others around me had done on dso res that had come out in my class. When I was teaching that material and things along those lines, this book was a little bit different. This book came out of of, of challenges that came up working with companies and organisations and individuals where tools I would usually use work, working or approaches weren't working and trying to figure out, you know, could there be a better way or a different way? Some of it was looking to the literature, some of academic literature, other other folks research. Some was digging into my own research and some more recent papers that I and others have done, and some was just really talking to a wide swath of individuals. Think about change differently, you know? Yes. Salesman. Think a lot about change that makes sense to us. But I think we don't think about hostage negotiators as changing minds. We don't think about substance abuse counselors, a Z changing minds and so reaching out to some individuals who think about change in a very different set of situations. Even folks that I've written parenting books, you know, I talked to folks who've written parenting books to understand some of the tips and tricks they suggest when, when working with kids and really using that to put together a set of principles. So, as you mentioned there, kind of five barriers that I talk about in the book that 1st 1 is reactant is. But then there's also endowment distance uncertainty and corroborating evidence, and so really trying to kind of boiled down. Ah, lot of what's out there in a variety of different domains to some key principles and some key ways to apply those principles, you know. Often we both want understand why something happens, but most of us also understand how to make it better, right? If if we that Okay, we understand that reactant exist. It's interesting. What I really want to know is, well, how do I solve that? And so you know everything from providing a menu, which we talked about to some principles, like highlighting a gap where you point out gap between people's attitudes and their actions or, you know, asking questions, rather telling people things, you know, thinking about different approaches that worked to solve this problem and then really finding great examples of of ways that people have solved these problems. And that's always the fun part for me, you know, seeing the different situations where the supplies, you know. Yes, it applies to our kids at bedtime, but it also applies toe salesmen and leaders and organise, you know, seeing some of the common themes and pulling them out. Yes, that that reminds me of when you said leaders were in a time that's unprecedented here in a modern culture where we have historically, in most cultures been able to move freely. Information moves really. And now we're finding ourselves many of us in lock down, whether self imposed or government imposed, and so obviously an unprecedented times. Here we are doing remote broadcast with people across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, instagram, all watching it in a way that we haven't participated before. But it it reminds me that we're seeing great leaders emerge. Um, not just in government, because I think we got the whole spectrum, the whole spectrum, it on every in every category. But I'm thinking of leaders of organizations, uh, thinking of leaders of Fortune 100 businesses and thinking faith based organizations. I'm thinking community organizations where people have historically gathered and we need to both stay socially distanced but connected. And so I'm really studying a lot about leadership right now. And it occurred to me when I was consuming the catalyst that, um leaders are, um, are clearly a group that you've had toe have studied when we're right, shape the minds of others. So what were some of the most interesting things that you found in studying leaders and leadership that, you know might not be on every everyone's radar? Yeah. I mean, I think the challenge of being a great leader is similar. The challenge of some of the domains we've talked about already, right where you kind of assume there's something that's better or right that people should do it right. So think about even social distancing, right? You know the right thing to do Help spread, you know, stem the spread. Uh, this disease, this virus. But, um you think Okay, if you just tell people here the fax people will do it. Ah, and they often don't. And so I think the challenge of being a leader is is the same challenge of being ah, salesman or saleswoman, the same challenge of being a parent. Ah, the same challenge of being anyone else where you're trying to change minds, but the leader you're trying to do in its scale, right? You're not just trying to change one person's mind. You're trying to change an entire organization. And one thing I often found that leaders, is they just assume, you know Hey, I write that email that has all the information in it, or I make that speech and I tell people this is important and everyone will do it. And that really doesn't work. Ah, and so I think really good leaders not only have vision have principles, have vision, they understand why they're doing what they're doing and what they want to achieve. But they also just people that they're trying to change right that great hostage negotiators start with the people they're trying to change. They don't talk with the change of China achieve. They start with the person they're trying to change and understanding. Ah, that that person And you think about a couple examples you know, related to reactant. So I was talking to one leader of an organization trying to people to stay late, right? So it works in a star kind of people to stay out late for work and on the weekend work, work harder. And he's telling people, Hey, you gotta work harder And obviously everyone says Thanks, but, you know, I'd prefer to have my free time. So it's convenes a meeting where he says, Hey, what kind of organization we want to be was he asked the question rather than telling people Now you want to be a good organization or a great organization. Now we all know how people answer that question. Nobody goes. We want to be a good organization. Know that we want to be a great organization. Worst start up, we want to do amazing things. Okay, great. What do we need to do to be a great organization, Right? Solicits that feedback, ask people for their opinion, rather telling people what to do. And people come up with different solutions. Right? But then once they've come up with those solutions later, When you say great, you know, John, you suggested this thing. We're going to do this now. It's a lot harder for someone like John not to go along because you asked their opinion here doing what they suggested. And so, in some sense, they have committed to the conclusion, right When they said they want to be a great organization, they say we need to work harder. Great. Well, then we need to work weekends. I didn't come up with it. You came up with it, right? And so, by getting people to commit to the conclusion, you're getting them to put a stake in the ground, You getting them to participate, more likely to go along. And I even think about this, you know, a little bit when we think about the stuff with the Corona virus. You know, leaders are telling people Hey, you got to stay indoors. You can't go to bars. You can go to restaurants. Gotta do the social distancing Talk about reactant. So what are people gonna do? Don't tell me what to do, right? Just like people have done with smoking and drinking. And when you know anything else, don't text and drive. You tell me not to text and drive. Actually, B'more likely to do it. And so you know, one thing I've talked to some people about that I think has been quite successful is rather telling. People paid Do this, you know. Think about social distancing. Don't go to these places. Say, Hey, I'm not asking about you. What would you recommend? Your grand parent or your elderly parent or your child? If you have a child, what can they do? Would you recommend that they go to bars and restaurants? Would you recommend that they're out and about? And everyone would say, Well, no, of course I wouldn't recommend that they're out and about. OK, great. Then why are you doing it right? And again asking Ravin telling not telling people. Hey, I'm gonna tell you what to do but asking you will if you don't think other people should do this. Why are you doing in the first place? Which is basically highlighting a gap between their attitudes and their actions and allowing them to resolve that cognitive dissonance by bringing them in line? And so what I think great leaders do is the same thing that great folks in any industry do. They understand the people they're trying to change, and there's use these tools toe change their mind. Brilliant, brilliant. I wouldn't put a pin in this and recognise people were tuning in from all over the world. We've got Greece and Berlin in California, Vermont, Um, when I welcome me if you just joined us here we are Live with Jenna Burger, bestselling author of numerous books, were talking about his most recently published, a book called The Catalyst, which was just out two weeks ago were here on Creativelive doing a live live conversations essentially Jonah's book tour. It's very hard to go some people person, so we're doing it virtually here and I want to say thanks and welcome to those of Mr those of you who are just joining us. We've covered a lot of ground, but in specifically under reactant. So this idea of providing a menu of choices, asking questions whether than prescribing the solution and then identifying a gap between what people say they want to do and what the current experiences, especially how it relates to leadership. I want to go back to something you said not too long ago. Uh, it's about the spy t sense, and this is the You could call it the bullshit meter, The fear of being convinced of something. And, you know, I find this is present in, um, sometimes quantities that are too high for me personally, the cynicism and whatnot and it bugs the crap out of me. But I want to focus rather than in the thing that bugs me on the Spidey sense because I'm a huge fan of intuition to talk about it. A lot of my book creative calling. Um, and what role does the spy T Sense play in, Um, in changing people's minds and how we both are aware of their Spidey sense and And what role does our own play? Our intuition? Yeah. I mean, I think intuition is is super important, right? I mean, intuition is is in some sense the way we begin toe have knowledge, right? We begin to recognize relationships between things. I think the challenge, though, is when we end with intuition, right? I'm a big fan of starting with intuition. Anytime I work on a project with a client, you know, I always start by building that intuition by talking a real customers and rial consumers. And understanding with situation is like and using my intuition. But then it's really important to test that intuition right to build experiments or build situations that allow you to see whether that intuition eyes right. Because the challenges everyone thinks their intuition eyes right, whether it's actually right or not. Right, you know, in the we mentioned sort of distance is another one of the key barriers and one of the challenges that people are very far away from you, right? They may not see things the same way that that you see them. I share the study. This great study was done by a Duke sociologist where he goes on Twitter and he gets people toe follow people on the other side of political spectrum. So it gets conservatives to follow Democrats and you know, liberals to follow conservatives with the notion that people had information from the other side, they would come around. But if you just knew what the other side was saying, you'd be more likely to see things from their perspective. Consistent. Many pundits have said, you know, if we just bridge the I'll a little bit if we just reach across that I a little work. He found the exact opposite, right? You're sort of, you know, you might be smirking right now. You might be guessing what he found, what he found. Hey, you know, liberals follow conservatives. They become even more convinced they're right. Conservative file liberals even more convinced that liberals are wrong because in part, those intuitions air in very different places on a football field of life, right? Our belief systems. If someone's not seeing things the same way that you're seeing them, your fax and their fax may not be the same. And so we need to their sort of ask for less, move them in the right direction. And so I think intuition can be a powerful tool, but we think about how to test that intuition and how to bring people's intuition may be different from yours, Maurin line with your own perspective. So, yeah, keep pulling on that thread and the political example is a good one. What about when? Presumably if we're using these tools that you're giving us for good as you've asked and encouraged. And I think anyone who's gonna pick up and read the book will want to do. Um, your intuition, when you're trying to test your intuition like is given some guidance on a way to test your intuition, you've given us some really clear guidance on how to create a menu of choices identifying the gap through asking questions. What about eyes there? Some rules of thumb on how to test your intuition? Because I'm also I I believe deeply in intuition, as I mentioned earlier, and I'm fascinated by this idea of testing, and I'm wondering how that if I've been doing it wrong all along, you know, and I think the challenge, by the way right, is we all rely on our intuitions a lot. If we didn't rely on our intuitions, life would be, ah, lot harder. The challenges. We also all think our intuitions air right even when we disagree. Ah and so our intuitions might be right, but they might not always be right, and so to begin, to test them. You know, I think what's important to collect some data, but to think about the right data toe to collect any time. We think there's a relationship between two things, anytime we think one thing is causing something else. If we start by assuming that's right, it's gonna buy us the type of data we collect. And so we're really interested in what? Whether we're right or not, we need to start by saying, Okay, what's the right experiment? What's the right data to collect? Even if that data is talking to three people you know to begin to test that intuition to see whether it's my opinion or whether it's someone else's opinion in writing this book, for example, you know, I obviously think certain examples are better than others, but I didn't just assume that I gave the book to a lot of people to read before I finished it, including family and friends, but also wider circle of people who say, Hey, is this working for you? Is this not working for you? What pieces of this are working for for you because I might have that intuition. But I think that intuition sometimes can can be wrong. And if we're not willing to ask others and also we're not willing to listen to what those others say, then the question is, Why even ask? Right? If we're so sure intuition is right, then we shouldn't even collect any data. But if we're willing to let's think about right way to ask that information and then be willing to listen when we get it. Wow, well, you mentioned, um, things like distance, other principles and one of them you mentioned, I think it's five. Maybe uncertainty. Yeah. Can you give us a little color on that shore? I think one of the desert change is that new things are often uncertain. If we're buying a new product, we're not sure it's gonna work better than were using a service. We're not sure that service is gonna work better than the one we're using already. Um, and anytime people are uncertain, they tend to want to stick with the status quo. They didn't want to stick with what they're doing already, because any time we're not sure why take the risk to do to do something new. Meantime, we're changing. Ask people, change their switching costs new per month. Services require time and effort, even just pulled a higher or work with. Think about hiring employees, right. It's always easy to work with the people you've worked with in the past or the programs you've done in the past, rather than the higher work with with new folks. And so, um, since when uncertainty does it cause us to hit that pause button? Rather do anything new, rather take that risky step. We do nothing at all right, which feels a lot safer. But it's hard to move things forward if if we're not doing new things. And so one thing, great catalysts or great change agents do is they figure out, How do I reduce that uncertainty? How do I make people feel more confident in what they're doing? And so there's a bunch of ways to do that right? Many of your listeners are probably familiar City of Freemium. We see this all the time with you know, dropbox or, you know, linked in or various services. They often have a free version and a premium version. Many companies have even creativelive We give away billions of minutes and yet there's under great in an individual classes. So where you were experiencing it right this minute? Yeah. Or even, You know, I do that myself, right? You go to my website, they're free. Resource is you don't have to pay any money to download those Resource is for for the catalyst and is a creator, right? I myself created that content, right? I might say, Well, holding. I'm giving away for free. How can I make money giving it away for free? Anyone who's ever had, like a lemonade stand from when you're eight or 10 years old, you can't make money giving away something for free. At the same time, though, think about the uncertainty that the potential buyer user has. Sure, you say your content is great. Sure, you Jonah Berger say the catalyst is a great book, but how do I know it's a great book, right? You would say Your stuff is great. You'd never say it's terrible. How do I know? And what Freemium does is it lowers that Barry to trial. It gives people, in some sense a lower risk test of what your offering, because you might say it's great, but no one's gonna be more convincing than themselves, right. If I go box and I have spent two gigabytes of storage using that, we're gonna be willing to pay more to get the premium version. Because I have convinced myself it's valuable, right? If I farm using creative Live and getting some of the free stuff eventually would have say, Well, I should throw a couple bucks is way right? You know, I found the free stuff valuable. I've convinced myself it's useful. I'm going back there week after week, month after month. Maybe I should pay some money to get that the premium stuff. But notice that principle is even broader. I think about a test. Driving a car is not a Freemium version of free version of a car in a premium version, there's no two versions of the car, but a test drive conceptually does the same thing. It says, Hey, consumer, you're not sure you might like this car well, rather having to plunk 30 or $40, before you see if you'd like it, we'll give you a test drive to give you a sense of whether you're gonna like it or not. And if you like it, you be willing to pay the money. Think about free shipping. Same idea. It's not a free version of premium version, but it gives people the chance to experience the item without having to pay the up front cost. Renting does the same thing rather buying. And so what All those ideas do is they lower the bear to trial, right? Any time we're trying to convince someone of something, let's stop trying, convince them ourselves, get them to convince themselves. But to do that, how can we give them a baby version of what we're offering a way to experience what we're offering and let them decide themselves. Right? These efforts don't work. If the products not good, this is good. This is good. They'll like it and they will convince themselves. Yeah, This is a big topic in Freelance World and the creator on entrepreneurial world about working for free, for example. Um, you know, we could have an entire show. We could have entire ah, lifetime shows around the idea of working for free. Um, just thio going to get your thoughts on that for a second. I'll give you a chance to consider your point of view, and and I'll share one Teoh for you to either, you know, align with their contrast. You know, my point of view is that working for free is a great place if you're getting value and if you're creating it in at the same time. So if someone's, you know, if you go to a project and someone says, Well, you know, um, or you say it's gonna be $ since I don't have any money and then you decide to do it for free. Just because you're sort of approaching this point of view with the wrong with the wrong end in mind versus going out into the market or looking for an individual who you can work for free four so that you can develop things like relationships, things like a portfolio and things like experience. Um, and there's a host of other ways of thinking about it. But this idea for creators and when you know, again referencing the catalyst when this idea of reducing uncertainty for people giving them a freemium model letting them test drive the car. Any advice you have based on your research? For how creators entrepreneurs should thinking about giving their work away for free? Yeah. So I I love the way you talked about it as thinking about, you know, uh, I shouldn't give things away for free. I should get something in return and doesn't have to be money. Yeah, right. And that return could be many things you talked about, right? It could be Syrians. It could be a portfolio. It could be referrals, right? Many times, events reads out to me and they say, Hey, we don't have very much money, can you? Can you fly to this far away place through this event? I say, Look, if it was in my backyard and I could pop outside my house and do what? I'd be happy to do it for free. But if I've got a travel, I can only do so many things of free and people say, Well, there's so many clients in the audience that will want a book you for for future events. That's great, you know. But at a certain point, you know you have to be getting something in return. Even if that thing isn't money. And so you know, myself. I've been very lucky toe intern with various companies, organizations, or work with people that have taught me many things. I did that work for no pay, but I learned a lot in exchanges. I love the way that you talked about it. And I also think there different situations you could find yourself in where, um, challenge might come up right. I don't have any money to pay you is slightly different than I'm not sure if you're gonna be a good fit. Right. Um you know, how do I know that I'm gonna like your work? Well, then you could come up with someone says, Hey, look, you know, I'm willing to do this little bit for free, and if you like it that I'm willing to do them or for pay. But let's agree ahead of time to a contract of I'm going to do this thing for free. And if it's good enough, you'll be willing to do the rest for pay. And that's what Freemium into some sense or lowering the barrier trial does. It says, Hey, I'm gonna give you an appetizer, right? Think about when you walk down Aisle three of the grocery store and they give you a sample of smoked sausage. Notice what they're doing. They're giving you enough to try the smoke sausage, but they're not giving you the whole smoked sausage because then you're not hungry anymore. They're giving a little bit of smoked sausage, so if you like it, you'll come back for the rest. And so if the issue is I don't have money, then I love the idea of trading at four. Experience Trading for referrals, trading for portfolio if the person does have money, but they're just uncertain about whether you're going to do a good job would be a good fit. Will say Great. Let's get rid of the risk. But let's agree that if this little bit goes well, doom or let's do a money back guarantee where you know, I think you know X Y Z is gonna lead them or sales for you. Let's find out a way to measure that. And as long as it works that I'm gonna get compensated on the back end, there many ways to set up an agreement that if someone uncertain versus doesn't have resource, is to make it work for both sides. And so I definitely wouldn't Giving things away for nothing. I'd be willing to give things away for no pay or I think about ways to structure agreements So similar. Freeman me given appetizer. But you don't give him the whole meal. Yeah, and looks like chases go flying. Sorry about that. I think the Internets coming back, Hopefully it'll fix it. Oh, it looks like I'm still on, actually. So if I'm still and I'm gonna talk for a minute while chase works his way back. So as I mentioned, the book talks about sort of five key barriers to changing minds. We talked a little about reacting, talking about uncertainty, which is idea that new things are risky. Ah, and that because of that, people don't want to do them. And so lowering the bear to trial front end using things like Freemium renting test drives, but also in the back end. Think about making it reversible. So this actually is how I ended up getting my dog. I always wanted a dog but wasn't sure I was ready for one was visiting a shelter when I saw this great puppy and sort of played with it for a little while, but then was walking out the door. Ah, and they said, Oh, you look like you like that, Poppy A lot. And I said, Yes, I do. You back. Hey, I was just telling a story about adopting a puppy. I love it. I love it. Okay, Uh, eso I was walking out the door and they were saying, Hey, you look like you like this puppy. And I said yes. And he said, Why don't you adopt? I said, Oh, you know, I'm not sure I like it. I was uncertain. I wasn't sure I was ready to have a dog. I would be home enough. And I said, Oh, well, we have a two week return policy, you know, two week trial policy. Take the dog. If it doesn't work out, you can bring it back and notice on the front. And it didn't make the dog any cheaper. Easier. I start to get a food for the dog. I still had to get a cage, the dog to make sure I could take care of the dog. But I knew that if it didn't work out, I could bring it back. And of course I didn't. Now Zoe has been a wonderful dog for eight years and art in our home. But I wouldn't have gotten her if they had lowered that certain right. If they hadn't figured out a way to make me feel more comfortable. It didn't work out on the back end. It could work. And so both on the front end, lowering the barrier to trial but also in the back end, making people feel like it's reversible in worst case, they can turn it around makes people more likely to do things in the first place. Love it, love it. And I think this stuff is so important. Specifically for those listening are our audience, the creators and entrepreneurs lowering the barrier of entry. Teoh experiencing your work and that takes me back. I'm gonna put a pin in your most recent book here, the catalyst for a second on and go back to some previous work of yours contagious. Now it's a little bit of Ah, um, either really appropriate or ominous, depending hire looking at it contagious with respect to go viral here in post Kobe world, but part of the your work. Um, understanding social transmission, understanding consumer behavior is Ah, I think people people want that. Especially when we're talking to creators. Entrepreneurs. You're trying to get their ideas to catch on to get their ideas. Um, what advice would you give for folks trying to break through in a very, very noisy world in line with your previous work? Uh, you know, in in contagious. Yeah. I mean, I think I'd say a couple things. So So, first of all, it's become tougher and tougher toe breakthrough. I think the good news is that content has been democratized in some ways. Rather being, you know, two or three or five major. Any of us can create our own media channel on social media. We have to build a naughty at channel. We have to fear, engage that audience on. Eventually, we have to figure out unless was doing it for free. How to monetize that that audience in some way, shape or form on. So I think the folks that have done it really well I understand both why engaging these platforms in the first place, but also use content on other things. Like was talking about deity of lowering the barrier trial to give people a chance to experience something. You know, if if I'm an artist, well, what am I selling at the end of the day on how can I provide access to it? There was a great music artist named Nipsey Hustle who read contagious and applied the ideas. Um uh, your back are said Nipsey Hustle. Yes. Yeah. Um ah, great guy. And unfortunately, is no longer with us. But before he passed, he applied one of the idiots. When containers I thought really cleverly. He rise. You know, it's a music artist. What are you selling? Yes, you're selling an album. But you're also selling belonging. You're also selling being part of a community. You're also selling, you know. Hey, I was on this. Artists are interested in this artist before other people were. And so what he did is, you know, similar. I start contagious with story of ah $100 cheese steak sort of steak restaurant that to gain attention steak for $100 to super high end cheesesteak. He comes out with $100 mixtape. Well, what he does is he says, look, you know, part of reason why you're buying this mix tape is to get access to music. But part of it is also to show that you were there first. And so he makes it limited. Edition. He signs each one you know. He's owes him for $100 each. He only makes of them, makes $100,000 in a day. Selling these gives people access to a concert and gives people free, limited edition content, right And what he realizes What what are really the consumers buying? They're not just buying the music itself. They're buying something, something else that's important as well as we try to build an audience, you know, what are the parts of the audience we're gonna try to extract value from and also create value and give them some something to build that following and particularly on? We gotta build that following. If no one knows who we are. And then once we've gotten larger than we can think about how toe transition. Sorry about that. Well, sorry about that. Keep going, Jonah. No problem. I think I think we're on the twilight zone of Ah, Twilight Kobe Experiments part two million. Yeah, I love. By the way, I have to ask the background. You're in front of his. Amazing Is that your wallpaper? Something that, like definite definite Ah, sideshow. But this was a custom custom wallpaper that an artist did That my wife fell in love with. Eso is great credit. Look at the your hand drawn and then blown up and replicated at 110 inch pattern. So, yeah, it's a I didn't realize this one when Kobe it started, but ends up being no okay background here for Oh, my remote calls. Sorry. Small, small distraction there, But, um but this idea, like I think I would say it's been It's been great detail. I'm happy to answer maybe one or two questions. I'm a little worried about the connection, but it happened. Answer. Sort of one or two more questions on Ben. Ah, you know, I was great to chat. Okay, Awesome. So, um, I would say two things that if I'm sitting in the in the audience and I want to know, um, one is how do we? I guess it's a little bit of a replay, but I'd like it for a summary. We're How do we not feel like a new imposter trying to get people's mind if that's part of the foundation of the catalyst is is experiencing change? Is there something we need to tell ourselves to remind yourselves that were acting in integrity? Because I think that is, is you know, you mentioned in Thea the very the one in two star review that you mentioned on your book? Yeah, you know, I think, um, I think about this is an academic often right? Where is an academic, I think, Look, if I just do really good research Ah, that research will get out there and people will read it, But unfortunately, there's a lot of research out there, and there's a lot of things people have to pay attention to, and they often can't pay attention to all of it. And so what I often think about issue. No, we think marketing is a four letter word. We think it's a bad word. Ah, we think selling is is a bad thing. We think if stuff good enough, we shouldn't have to sell it. But I think anything that's ever caught on that's become big has done some sort of thinking about their audience, right thing about who that audience is, Even with books, they talk about this a lot. They say, Hey, you know what is the audience for this book? What is the set of people were hoping to reach? If your creator, you know, who were the set of people you think will buy your ideas were buy into what you're offering? And so starting with that sense of your audience on and think about how to meet the needs of that audience, I don't see that is negative in one way or another. I think that's really thinking about others and using understanding how change works to get those others on board. There's a lot of great stuff out there, you know, think about fake news and think about false information. False information doesn't succeed because it's valuable. It's exceed because it takes advantage of our our biases. And so if we're doing great stuff, if we're creating great stuff, we have to help it get out there. We have to understand how people work so we don't get beat out by some other stuff. That's not as useful. My second question and last question is in line with your point. Um, most people believe that the work stands on its own. And so part of as people look to unlock their potential, realizing that no work stands on its own, including your own. And so the a meta question to you. What have you done to help your work? Stand out from that? Your peers in academia. What have you done? Uh, you create, you know, multiple New York Times best sellers. And I think if you're willing to take your own medicine and we can hear about you taking your own medicine, that will help. Understand, Uh, maybe had a had a better proceed. Yeah, I'll even be brutally honest. Right? So my first book, Contagious did really, really well write That book has sold over 1/2 1,000,000 copies and 35 languages around the world. My second book didn't do so well. Invisible influence. It's a good book. I like it. I think it's better written. Ah, but in some ways it's a vitamin, not a painkiller. It's a nice toe. Have not a need to have, you know, Would people like to understand how influences often invisible? Yeah, sure. That sounds interesting, but so does 100 other things that I could do today. When I talked to nonprofits. They often have this problem to say, Hey, this problem is super important, right? Um, you know, 80 HD is super important. You know, uh, animals are important. The environment is important. Recycling is important. It's not that all those things aren't important. They are right. But the world has so many different things going on, we have to figure out how to give them attention. And so as I worked on this third book, I kind of looked back and tried to take as you said my own medicine and said, Well, why did my first book do better than my second book? And while I liked writing both of those books, I think that first book was really a book that people needed and wanted was a problem. People had people wanted to get their stuff to catch on. They wanted people to spread their ideas and products and services. They wanted their content to go viral, invisible influences, a good set of ideas. It's, I think, equally useful. But people didn't agree, and so I thought a lot and I think this is really hard for artists to hear. But I thought a lot about when creating my third book. Hey, if I'm going to do this and I wanted to have an audience, what's gonna be most valuable to that audience? And so I spent a lot of times starting with the audience and understanding their needs. And I think in certain creative industries, particularly artistic industries, we'd say, Well, I don't care about my audience and that's fine if you don't care about your audience But then you have to be willing if your stuff doesn't do as well right degree, you want your stuff to do Well, I think understanding your audience and starting with them rather than yourself is ah is a much smarter way to go. Amazing. Amazing. Had you in stereo there? Uh, when I say it May, they're gonna hear it like 50 times. That's the way that I do that. That was my little remix right there. It made it sound even more amazing. Remote. Uh, the way I like to say amazing. Um, Dr Jonah Berger, thank you so much for joining us here from, um, my kitchen counter to yours. I want to say thanks so much for your time. I want to say again, Congratulations. And for those who have been tuning in from all over the world, we were having again people from Germany from Budapest. We've got I mentioned earlier. Vermont, Brazil, from a global community A want to say thank you so much from the creative life community in particular. Thanks for sharing. What it is that you've done your latest book, The catalyst. Um, I wish you a ton of success. Um, And for those who are interested in picking up the latest book, it's all available for Amazon, of course, in this and world of instant delivery and where, um, we're locked down. Ah, probably e book would be an immediate solution and check it out to be reading that tonight. Also, of course, we talked about contagious your first book that you just shared. Um, Netherlands is making sure that we know that they're on listening as well. So truly a global audience. Um, what is the best place for people? Were people to ah track you the human on the Internet? Do you like to steer people toward one of your social feeds. Um, what is what's best for you? So first I want to thank you so much for having me. It was great to chat again. I know it's been a couple of years on and Ah, thank you so much. It was great to chat. Really appreciate the opportunity. Ah, best place to find me. Ah, is just my website. So Jonah Jongh, Burger B er g er I'm also a j one burger on Twitter, and you can find the catalyst wherever books books are sold. Amazing. Ah, wherever you are in the world, let's give a shout out to Dr Jonah Burner. Uh, round of applause for you stepping into ah from your living room toe ours, um, want to say stay well, stay safe across our this crazy changing time part of right now. And, uh good, sir, I bid you a good day and continued success with your work in the book. It's always a pleasure to have you on the show here for the second time. Now, five years later. Thanks for coming back. Thanks so much. Chase. Really appreciate it.