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The Catalyst  By  cover art

The Catalyst

By: Jonah Berger
Narrated by: Keith Nobbs,Fred Irby
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Publisher's Summary

"Jonah Berger is one of those rare thinkers who blends research-based insights with immensely practical guidance. I am grateful to be one of the many who have learned from this master teacher." (Jim Collins, author Good to Great, coauthor Built to Last

From the author of New York Times best sellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone's mind. 

Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers' minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way? 

This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it's not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it's about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, "How could I change someone's mind?" they ask a different question: "Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?"

The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You'll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs.

This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you're trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Jonah Berger (P)2020 Simon & Schuster

Editor's Pick

Change your mind first
"I waltzed right into Jonah Berger’s The Catalyst half expecting a list of ambiguous "persuasive" conversation techniques loosely rooted in pseudo-science. The expectation had nothing to do with any reputation on Mr. Berger’s behalf, I’ve just been around the business/self dev block enough to be very wary of half-baked nonsense. But this one gets real. I found myself getting uncomfortable at times, as Berger uses raw and very real political examples (from both sides of the aisle) to illustrate numerous biases and persuasion roadblocks. It’s not a political discussion, by and large, but the persuasion tenets Berger covers are almost painfully revealing, and were far enough outside my baseline expectations to be surprisingly illuminating. I’m used to business title performances being quick, peppy, and forgettable, but narrators Fred Irby and Keith Nobbs are emphatic and deliberative, which really helps insist upon the key aspects of the content here. Making it the whole experience very… persuasive."
Michael D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Catalyst

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    3 out of 5 stars

Was this book written to change my mind from a republican to a democrat?

Great book and learned a lot. The biased left wing ideologies was a turn off. Could have been more impactful if those examples to prove a point weren’t in there. At points, it felt it was a book that was trying to change my mind to change from a republican to a democrat through viewing party principles in a different light. Sure, he used examples that were swaying right wing as well, but the book as a whole came across a bit manipulative during these left wing honoring instances.

9 people found this helpful

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Good book, but where is the Accompanied PDF.

The book is generally good, well narrated and has helpful case studies. But where is the company PDF as referenced several times in the audio?

4 people found this helpful

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Negative- Pushes Agenda

This book has some good content, but I agree with another reviewer that it pushes a political agenda. I don’t care either way but it was not necessary, felt forced, and created a negative experience. There are better options if you want to learn these concepts. Try Influence by Robert Cialdini.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing as usual from Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger is one of my favorite authors when it comes to analyzing human behavior, so I just had to get this book on launch day. It was fascinating, and I binged it within the first 24 hours.

This book, as well as his others, aren’t just for marketing. It’s easy to see the wide application of these strategies. For me, it helped me figure out ways to help people want to improve their mental health.

3 people found this helpful

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The book is not what it seems to be!

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME
The first two chapters of the book are the only ones carrying some value. However the techniques, the methods and the basic concepts are far better explained in "Never split the difference" by Chris Voss and "Influence" by Robert Cialdini. When i got to the middle i realised that i had wasted my money. The goal of this book is to present conservatives as dumb, homophobic racists. There were a lot of political examples in which the possible counter arguments and beliefs of the conservative, whose mind was changed, were not mentioned and he was presented as simply racist and homophobic. If you are wondering whether to buy this book or not i have a advice for you. DON'T BUY IT. All concepts and methods are far better explained and covered in the books that i already recommended ("Never split the difference" by Chris Voss and "Influence" by Robert Cialdini).

2 people found this helpful

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A must read for every entrepreneur

Loved it! If your thinking about going into business for yourself this book is a must read.

1 person found this helpful

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Don't say I don't mind, mind your step, and listen

A basic know-how, for NLP, mindsets and characteristics of the "change". A clear presentation of behavior and decision making principals...

1 person found this helpful

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Secret Sauce

I feel like I have insider knowledge to the most powerful tools in history. Like every super power, this book is awesome and dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. Use wisely.

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A decent companion to "Contagious"

I love Keith Nobbs' narration and the overall content is good. But I wouldn't call this, "How to change anyone's mind." It's more of generalized ideas that can help sway influence in a broader scale. To me, this is a companion to "Contagious" and could add to those marketing techniques. The case studies in a different voice were distracting at first but because the content of those studies was sometimes vulgar, I can see why they wanted to use a different voice. As a left-leaning person myself, I also agree that there were a few examples that sounded like the author was disparaging conservatives. In a book like this, sure, contrasting political opinions help explain some of the topics...but some of the specific examples felt either made up (Ohio conservative changing to a Democrat... Californian liberal changing to a Republican) or crude and inappropriate (anti-gay South American man in FL). Maybe cut the specific politics and focus more on business-related examples of how to apply these principles, ie: someone who doesn't see the value in using a dog daycare service but the common ground is love of a pet and the desire to meet the dog's needs. There was a late story about the US pushing organ meat during WWII to save beef and pork for the troops and allied forces. In the tail end of this passage, it was like, "They applied every topic covered in this book" without explaining which topics were related. But then a fantastic example of Middle Eastern teens working together and ultimately overcoming their differences.

Overall, the book feels like it's a very solid draft of what Jonah Berger intended...but could use a revision and more applicable content to make it complete. And why not just update the sub title to spin this as a companion to Contagious?

An additional comment...it's bizarre how many extremely short, vague reviews are here. "This was a great book and taught me about changing people's minds!" It looks like a lot of paid reviews from people who didn't read the book and typed a review in 15 seconds...which I would imagine was not the author's idea. This book should stand on its own merits.

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  • Ty
  • 07-01-22

Absolutely amazing

Completely new understanding of how people change their minds vs how people argue their points. Very valuable.