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The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 214 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"An engrossing read on what it takes to open other people's minds. A leading psychologist and a crackerjack entrepreneur team up to demystify the science and practice of convincing people to let go of the status quo. If you've ever been frustrated by people rejecting an innovative idea or refusing a constructive change, this book might just be what you need."
Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

The Human Element pulls back the curtain on the psychological forces that stop people from embracing new ideas and adopting new products. Whether you're a creator looking to execute or an executive looking to create, this book is a timely read."
Daniel H. Pink, Author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

"Why is it that customers looking at new products or services that would dramatically change their lives or business for the better find it so hard to embrace and adopt them?
The Human Element cracks the code. It describes the four forces that act against innovation and provides entrepreneurs the insights and tools on how to overcome them. This book is essential reading for any entrepreneur or innovator looking to accelerate adoption of disruptive innovation."
Steve Blank, Eight-time entrepreneur-turned-educator and originator of the Lean Startup movement

"Too often marketers rely on features, benefits and promotion as the way to get customers to adopt a new product or service. But as it turns out, this is only half of the marketing formula. The Human Element makes a critical contribution to the world of marketing by identifying the four primary Frictions that inhibit consumers' desires to adopt new offers. This book shows readers not only how to forecast these Frictions, but more importantly, how to overcome them. The Human Element is a must read for anyone attempting to launch something new."
Philip Kotler, "The Father of Modern Marketing", Author of over 80 books and Professor Emeritus at the Kellogg School of Management

"Adoption of your products and services is key to innovation success. Let this book be your guide."
Alex Osterwalder, Innovation Thought Leader, Best-selling author of Business Model Generation and originator of the Business Model Canvas

"What invisible forces slow or stall even our best innovation efforts? Schonthal and Nordgren identify four "Frictions" that get in the way, and then tell us how to overcome them. The Human Element is full of insights for designers, innovators, and executives alike."
Tom Kelley, 3-time, Best-selling author of the Ten Faces of Innovation, The Art of Innovation and Creative Confidence

"Thank heavens for friction--it makes driving possible. But when traveling on the innovation superhighway, friction is stifling. In The Human Element, Nordgren and Schonthal argue that although a bigger engine can promote creativity, friction-reduction is the secret ingredient. This beautiful, elegant book is the essential tour guide for those of us seeking to develop creative and influential ideas."
Eli Finkel, Best-selling author of the All or Nothing Marriage and Professor at Northwesten University

"Innovation often connotes cutting-edge, advanced, or feature-rich. In this book, however Schonthal and Nordgren make the case that, after all is said and done, innovation is simply about helping people. The authors provide paradigm shifting frameworks that will help managers and entrepreneurs improve their odds of success."
-Efosa Ojomo, Author of The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty and leader of the Global Prosperity research group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation

"There's always something standing between ourselves and innovation: an overwhelming and very human resistance to change. The insights Loran Nordgren and David Schonthal surface are important reminders of the care and attention designers need to bring a new idea to life and to build our shared future."
Sandy Speicher, CEO of IDEO

"A revolutionary approach to bringing new ideas to life. Insightful and engaging, this is a must read for anyone who want to successfully launch a project, a product or an idea."
Francesca Gino, Award-winning Harvard Business School professor, innovation expert, and author of Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and Life

"The ability to elegantly overcome Friction is one of the most crucial skills an innovator can possess. The problem is, most don't know how to do it! The Human Element finally reveals why we're all wired to resist new ideas, and provides intuitive tools and methods to insure that even the most cutting-edge innovations are enthusiastically received."
Bob Moesta, Author, educator, and originator of the "Jobs-To-Be-Done" approach to innovation and marketing

"Nordgren and Schonthal offer a revolutionary and profound approach to getting new ideas embraced: Don't follow the conventional path of intensifying your persuasion; instead focus on reducing the friction that fuels resistance. The ideas are eye-opening and the writing is eye-pleasing, elegantly combining fascinating examples with scientific insights. The writing itself personifies the very message of The Human Element: it is all fuel, no friction."
Adam Galinsky, Professor at Columbia Business School, co-author of the best-selling book, Friend & Foe, and a popular TED speaker

"Friction Theory is a powerful framework for understanding user behavior. A must read for every product designer."
Andy MacMillan, Founder and CEO of UserTesting

"Contrary to popular belief, innovations rarely succeed because they are chalk-full of features. This book makes a strong case for forever dispelling this view in favor of a laser-like focus on knocking down the barriers that keep customers from beating a pathway to your door. If you want a new way of thinking about these sources of friction--and more importantly, what to do when you encounter them--you should read this book. It will give you a valuable recipe for how to design and introduce innovations that are a good bet for success in the marketplace."
Christine Mooreman, T. Austin Finch Sr. Professor of Business Administration, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Marketing

"The Human Element underscores the crucial role that empathy plays in innovation and change. It's not enough to talk about it, one must internalize it in order to have the impact they desire. David and Loran will show you how."
Maelle Gavet, Best-selling author of Trampled by Unicorns and CEO of TechStars

From the Inside Flap

As businesspeople, inventors, and managers know all too well, convincing people to adopt a new idea or behavior is only partly about the innovation itself. Successful changemakers learn that they have to overcome the deeply rooted Frictions that oppose the very nature of change.

The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas is a revolutionary new take on how, exactly, you can expose and eliminate those Frictions that create such drag on innovation. You’ll learn about how increasing the appeal of the idea itself is only a part of the equation that unlocks widespread adoption of your idea, and why adding more features and benefits to your product or service doesn’t seem to excite others in the same way it excites you. You’ll also discover the Four Frictions—inertia, effort, emotion, and reactance—that operate against every innovative new idea, product, or service, and how to overcome them.

With insightful commentary and revealing case studies, the accomplished authors draw on decades of experience in design thinking and behavioral science to deliver an insightful “how-to” guide to getting your invaluable new ideas incorporated into the lives of the people you’re trying to reach.

Perfect for anyone trying to introduce a new idea or innovation into the world, The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas belongs in the libraries of marketers, innovators, executives, activists, and others who hope to change the way anyone does anything.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wiley; 1st edition (September 17, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1119765048
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1119765042
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 214 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
214 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Stephen Luff
3.0 out of 5 stars The audible voice spoils this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 4, 2022
Mr. A. D. Parnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, informative, Easy to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 4, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars Good categories, not so new content.
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on February 25, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars The Interaction between energy and friction
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 12, 2021