Influencer by Patterson et al

Influencer is about changing behavior, whether of an individual, a group, or an entire nation.  The premise of the book is that any behavior can be changed.

Behavior is changed by searching for vital behaviors, and once they’re determined using six sources of influence to change them: personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation, and structural ability.

The book is full of case studies from scientific research and business to show how the various concepts are applied.  Whether it’s changing the behavior of hardened drug addicts and criminals into productive citizens, stopping the spread of aids, or turning around a software business plagued by missed deadlines and cost overruns into a business that executes its business plan and meets deadlines in a timely manner, there are examples of applications of the concepts to a wide variety of behavioral problems.

I first listened to the audio version of the book, and then checked out the book from the library.  While the narration is good, it would be very hard for me to apply the concepts from the audio version alone.  To be useful, I think you need the book.

Applying the concepts will take some work; it’s not a quick fix.  Just determining the vital behaviors can take some subtlety.  I’ve yet to apply the ideas in the book, but I do intend to.

I recommend the book to anyone who wants to change their own behavior, or the behavior of others.

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