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Book Review

Follow This Path

by Curt Coffman and Gabriel Gonzalez-Molina, Ph.D.

For years, companies have been adamant in stating that employees are their greatest resource. And while the sentiment is admirable, very few have displayed a commitment to that core value when the day is done.

Cutting costs (cutting out jobs, slashing payroll, reducing training budgets) and refining processes (outsourcing, automating) may reduce overhead, but at what expense? Follow This Path challenges readers to re-think their definition of an employee-centric organization, and to examine closely the relationship between human talent and profit margins in order to better understand The Emotional Economy.

Understanding Human Nature.

The Gallup Organization has been studying determinants of human behavior for more than seventy years, interviewing ten million professionals about their preferences, likes, dislikes and workplace conditions. And what did they find? Two important facts: people are emotional first and rational second, so employees and customers must be emotionally engaged for an organization to succeed.

Engaging the customer is not a new idea, but forging an emotional bond with a customer is. The importance of talent isn’t a new idea, but its immeasurable value compared to experience and knowledge is. Thinking of humans as emotional/rational beings isn’t new, but forging a work environment that leverages that truth is. These are but a few of the jewels one can find in this book: concepts sure to spark interesting ideas and conversations, but not practices easily implemented into daily operations.

Whether you’re in HR, trying to better understand how to motivate teams, in Marketing, wondering if your advertising is connecting at an emotional level with your customer base, or in Customer Service, trying to field customer complaints, this book will be instrumental to you (and validating if you’ve struggled to find a place for your own feelings and talents in the workplace).

Besides being a very quick and interesting read from a philosophical standpoint, Follow This Path contains a wide array of anecdotal examples sure to inspire strong feelings and 50 pages of research summaries, appendices and line charts to satisfy the most rational thinker.