Everyone needs to refresh his mind, get some inspiration. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re an employee or an employer. And of course everyone wants to get inspired and learn from the best. I reached for the latest book by Guy Kawasaki – “Enchantment. The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions”. I was wondering if the former Apple’s evangelist can offer anything for small and medium businesses, any useful tips on how to make a SMB become a great one.
To be honest, reading first chapter of Enchantment I thought Guy made fun of readers. Smile truly, shake hands with eye contact, dress to feel comfortable, accept others, show your passion… Is this really “the secret” of the former Apple’s evangelist? You can read this sort of advices in many other books on business psychology or learn it at business courses. Yes, I’ve definitely heard it before. But – without discouragement – I continued reading and chapter after chapter I became more enchanted. Why?
This book is for people who see life for what it can be rather than what it can’t.
There’s no need to explain that when we’re enchanted, we’re willing to share emotions, feelings, and experiences with others. The best way to spread information about products is simply through the grapevine or using buzz marketing. People trust their friends and family much more than advertising. Guy Kawasaki explains how to enchant others – he leads his readers though the enchantment process step by step. He explains how to prepare and launch an enchanting product, overcome resistance, how to make enchantment endure and… how to resist enchantment.
Before you start enchanting others, you have to achieve peoples’ likeability and trustworthiness. Without this, the enchanting won’t even start. The way you behave and communicate (verbally and nonverbally) is extremely important for building your network. There are some useful tips in Guy’s book that help to work out a professional and transparent approach towards people you’d like to cooperate with.
And if you’re ready to enchant others, it’s time to prepare your product or service. And it’s not less important. Without something great (and in Kawasaki’s meaning, great is something deep, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant) you won’t make much impact. Guy gives instructions for managers how to work out the process of preparation and launching a product or service.
The way of cooperating with colleagues, subordinates and organization’s environment is crucial. Your solutions should be easy and intuitive enough to swallow and follow (but also to use, to pronounce, to notice, to decide etc.). If you make your solutions complicated, you won’t be able to encourage people to use it. They’ll lose their motivation before even trying. But with great solutions – you can start enchanting. According to Kawasaki, in this process you have to engage lots of people, and don’t think only about celebrities and ‘influentials’. The time of Internet and social media is the time of ‘nobodies’ – and there are lots of them.
…nobodies are the new somebodies!
The former Apple’s evangelist is aware of the obstacles that are to be encountered on the way of enchanting. You’ll meet many reluctant people on your way, and you’ll have to be patient and work really hard to convince them. You have to understand some psychological aspects of the decision-making process, and maybe you’ll find some other useful books, e.g. by Robert Cialdini – the master of social influence (mentioned a few times by Guy). If you studied psychology or sociology, you’ve already done your homework.
Enchantment is a process, not an event.
The next step is to build a whole ecosystem around your solution that’ll include: users, websites and blogs, developers, consultants, resellers etc. No organization exists in a vacuum. You have to recruit, engage and motivate people to spread news about your solutions (which should be significant, worthy, interesting or inspiring enough for your evangelists and their audience). Then remember to be ready for feedback (even critical), suggestions, updates and actions. Ecosystem is a living organism, change is constant.
Kawasaki also gives some suggestions telling how to enchant using push technology (presentations, emails, Twitter) and pull technology (websites and blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn or Youtube). What’s the difference between these technologies?
Push technology brings your story to people. Pull technology brings people to your story.
You may think that you know how to use them. But are you really sure you do it well? And even if you feel you’re the master of e-communication, it’s always good to refresh your knowledge form time to time.
At the end, the cofounder of Alltop gives his readers some bonuses – two chapters on how to enchant your employee and how to enchant your boss (depending on the professional situation that concerns you). Let’s be honest, if you cannot enchant your closest co-workers, how do you want to enchant your solution’s future users?
While at the very beginning I had some doubts about the former Apple’s evangelist’s tips, whether they can help small or medium businesses in any way, now I’m sure they can. Every business was a start-up in the past. The enchantment process doesn’t need any enormous budgets, which only big, international corporations can afford. Every business’s owner can customize Kawasaki’s advices to their company’s situation and it will work that way.
So, to read “Enchantment” or not to read? Well, I feel enchanted.