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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions

Enchantment Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

By Guy Kawasaki

Published by Penguin Books Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-58184-379-5

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is Guy Kawasaki's tenth book. In it, he explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and what the pillars of enchantment are: likability, trustworthiness, and a great cause. The next topics are launching, overcoming resistance, making enchantment endure, and using technology. There are even chapters dedicated to enchanting your employees and your boss. Finally, because there are times you may want to resist enchantment, there is even a chapter about how to do this too. If you want to change the world - or even part of the world, this book is for you.

I usually review books about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability, and Enchantment does not pretend to fall into these categories. However, there is nothing more fundamental to ensuring a sustainable future than the preservation of relationships, ethics and positive interactions with all we meet and with whom we interact. In this sense, Enchantment is the ultimate required reading for CSR and Sustainability; it precedes and prepares us for the entire journey of changing the world based on universal values and respect for all.

Enchantment is not the product of a scientific research program nor is it a collection of corporate case studies that define sustainability processes. It is the product of Guy Kawasaki's collective experiences, coupled with his intelligent development of an innovative basic behavioral model which can be summarized in one sentence: Enchantment will save the world.

At the heart of this book, is a compelling definition of enchantment which gives this word new meaning and an empowering platform with which we can immediately identify. Enchantment "causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions. Enchantment transforms situations relationships. It converts hostility into civility. It reshapes civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers." When you want to enchant people, you want to fill them with "great delight".

The book, Enchantment, is a how-to guide, describing the multiple situations in which you can genuinely and authentically enchant your colleagues, friends, family, associates, employees, your boss and even yourself in order to promote a worthy cause. Ranging from "Disclose your interests" (a key component of trustworthiness), to "Conduct a Premortem" (preventing potential problems in order to increase the likelihood of success) to "Make it Short, Simple and Swallowable" (when creating marketing messages) to "Default to Yes" (adopt a yes attitude, which buys you time, enables you to see more options and builds rapport), the book is peppered with chunks of great advice on how to build an enchanting attitude, behavioral framework and actually, way of life. Enchantment also applies in the world of social media (maybe, especially in the world of social media), and Guy Kawasaki includes two chapters on enchantment in email, twitter, websites, blogs, Facebook and other online hangouts. One of my favorite sections is the one called "Think Japanese", where lessons from Japanese wisdom inspired by Garr Reynold's book, Presentation Zen Design, such as Kanso, Shizen, Datsuzuko, Seijaku, Wa and Ma, will "make people think you're smart and more enchanting" (unless you are Japanese and this is your mother tongue, I guess) and also provide some useful insights. Personal stories from interesting personalities are offered throughout the book, showing how they have applied or experienced enchantment in practice.

But, getting back to CSR and Sustainability. There are some enchantment themes which are directly relevant to sustainability programs. "Diversify the Team" is one. "A diverse team helps make enchantment last because people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills keep a cause fresh and relevant." "Empower your employees to do the right thing" is another - because employees care, and "money isn't their sole motivation". Also, ethics gets a mention - "not everyone is an ethical enchanter" - and Guy makes the case for resisting situations in which ethics might be compromised - rather like Code of Conduct training.

All in all, this is a short book with a powerful message which, actually, does enchant as you read it. Guy Kawasaki radiates throughout his book a certain nice-guy authenticity which makes his message credible and gives you an insight into how he has achieved wide acclaim and success as founder of and and advisor to many technology and social media ventures, as well as being a popular speaker and writer.

For all those struggling to sell CSR in organizations or those who want to achieve transformational results in promoting the cause of sustainability or simply improve relationships, Enchantment is well worth the read and will leave you, yes, enchanted.

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainabilty Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices  Contact me via  on Twitter or via my website

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