“The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind” by Jonah Berger approach to change is about removing barriers. Berger’s five hidden factors that impede change are branded as REDUCE: reactance (when pushed, people push back), endowment (attachment to the status quo), distance (perspective must shrink the distance), uncertainty (alleviating the switching cost of another option), and corroborating evidence (some things need more proof). Together they reduce the barriers to change.

Here are examples from his book:

How do you stop kids from smoking? One way is to highlight a gap or disconnect between their attitudes and actual behavior. They wouldn’t let kids smoke, so why are they smoking themselves? Check out this ad from Thai Health Promotion Foundation and Ogilvy.

The Truth Campaign is successful because it provides kids with the stats and information to educate and empower themselves to reject the manipulative tactics of the tobacco industry. In this ad, they drop body bags outside Philip Morris headquarters to visualize the 1,200 deaths caused by tobacco use each day. Rather than try to persuade, the messages laid out the truth and let the teens decide. Check out the ad.

How a rabbi from Nebraska took on a klansman by demonstrating that there is something more powerful than hate — human kindness. Read the article.

Photo Credit: Jonah Berger