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

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

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

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.

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

About 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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Wired to Care 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lessons in empathy that everyone should learn for both business and personal life
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Executives often know little about the people who buy their companies' products and services. This is not surprising. To study people, you must care about them. However, most companies eliminate empathy from their operations. In essence, they proceed as if they have calculating, survival-bent reptile brains. Profits drive everything. This is an odd disconnect because corporate livelihoods depend on people - not lizards - and people's brains are hardwired to be empathetic. Dev Patnaik (writing with Peter Mortensen) shows why firms that connect empathetically with their customers do better financially. He insists today's cold-hearted, bottom-line business world has room for caring companies, and he points to IBM, Nike and Harley-Davidson as examples. The fact that empathy is also a strong business strategy is icing on the cake. getAbstract suggests this fine book to CEOs, marketing officers and other executives who want to build their business by acting on their respect for their customers. As Patnaik explains on his blog, "Empathy isn't about having a visionary leader. It's about making customer information an easy, everyday and experiential part of working at your company."
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