If you’re a word nerd like me, you probably also love books. The dictionary defines a book as “a long written or printed composition or a group of pages bound between two covers.” But they are so much more than that. Books are vehicles for learning, vessels that transmit information and insight, spark new ideas, and fuel innovative ways to solve problems.
My favorite books cluster around two #CX-related topics:
How different individuals experience the world, and
How personal experiences shape the way we interact and live with others.
My non-fiction faves are not CX books, they’re general works on behavioral science like “Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard” by Chip & Dan Heath and “Social Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. The major frameworks I’ve developed over my career have all come from applying general ideas and principles in such books to the unique world of #CX.
In the fiction realm, I love stories based on real people who lived through real events in history, especially the ones time has forgotten. For example, “America’s First Daughter” is a fictionalized account of the American Revolutionary War era through the eyes of widower Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha, who filled many of the roles we associate with modern First Ladies. It’s one of my favorite books ever.
What does historical fiction have to do with #customerexperience?
It reminds me that experiencing an event in real-time is very different from analyzing things after the fact. We know how historical events turned out; the characters in those books didn’t. What was it like to live in the uncertainty? How did their brains interpret what others did and said in the moment without the benefit of hindsight or objective research?
Appreciating that gap helps us avoid mistakes and assumptions as we research and design experiences for today’s world. And if you’re worried that too much has changed to use history as a guide – don’t. The human brain processes experiences the same way it did 10,000 years ago. It is the ultimate legacy technology.