Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy

Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy

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by Dev Patnaik
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

Proclaiming the age-old "walk a mile in their shoes" wisdom, Patnaik (founder, Jump Assoc.) and Mortensen (communications lead, Jump Assoc.) assert that human beings are biologically wired to feel empathy for others but often lose sight of this consideration at the organizational level. To show the effects of the empathic corporate approach, the authors use detailed narratives on topics ranging from the brand loyalty forged by Harley Davidson with its Harley Owners Group to Pixar's in-depth culinary research in preparation for creating the Disney film Ratatouille. Patnaik and Mortensen show that the success of these companies is more than just coincidence by presenting countless stories (referencing Nike, IBM, Xbox, and Bill Clinton) that illustrate the dramatic impact of organizations and individuals who take a break from the numbers and genuinely engage the people they serve. This book's abundance of real-world case studies and in-depth analysis of the producer-consumer relationship will educate and inspire everyone from senior executives to frontline staff. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
—Allen McGinley

From the Publisher
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.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780137153909
Publisher:
Pearson Education
Publication date:
01/09/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
286 KB

Read an Excerpt

Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread EmpathyPRAISE FOR Wired to Care

“Wired to Care describes how to recover the basic human abilities of empathy that may be buried by your day-to-day business routines. Dev Patnaik shows how you can create a more empathic—and much more successful—business.”

CHIP HEATH, author of Made to Stick

“Wired to Care will convince you that businesses succeed with their hearts as much as their heads. Dev Patnaik has given us just what we need for the lean years ahead.”

MALCOLM GLADWELL, author of Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point

“Dev Patnaik’s Wired to Care maps a path to innovation fueled by ‘seeing the world with new eyes.’ On numerous occasions, Dev and his colleagues at Jump helped us break through to those most critical insights.”

BETH COMSTOCK, Chief Marketing Officer, GE

“Wired to Care offers a roadmap to success paved with empathy. The bottom line is better profits, better products, and happier employees. There is a better day for business (thankfully) when companies are wired to care.”

ROBYN WATERS, former VP of Trend, Target Stores and author of The Hummer and the Mini

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

DEV PATNAIK is a founder and principal of Jump Associates, a growth strategy firm. He is an advisor to some of the world’s most admired companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Target, Nike, and GE. Dev is an adjunct faculty member at Stanford University, where he teaches research methods to design and business school students. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

PETER MORTENSEN is the communications lead at Jump Associates and a blog contributor for Wired.

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