Thinking of scientific theories that explained what we see in nature, Einstein said: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler". But what if this advice is applied not only to complex physics theories, but also in business and daily life?
In his latest book Friction: The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage, Roger Dooley proposes that we identify roadblocks and strategically alter them for the benefit of business and customers. I am sure that the entire NMSBA community is already familiar with the author's popular neuromarketing blog (https://www.neurosciencemarketing.com) and most of you know him in person, as he was a key note speaker at various conferences.
Roger Dooley clearly defines the concept “friction” as "the unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, or money in performing a task in all kinds of places" and offers insights and takeaways that empower us in reducing friction. The book includes case studies, solid research and anecdotes that make reading it an interesting and informative experience, presenting extremely valuable examples and advice to anyone building businesses, products and working with people.
Published in April 2019, the 16 chapters of the book cover a wide variety of situations in which friction is encountered. The impact of friction in customer effort, abandoned e-commerce shopping carts, pointless procedures, transportation, decision-making, products that are not ready to use after buying them, meaningless meetings, excess bureaucracy and processes that are not designed for the current needs of the engaged parties has a huge effect on the economy and day-to-day life. The author warns us that this book will change the way we think and act, as we will start seeing friction everywhere after reading it. And once an enemy is visible, he is far easier to defeat, declaring war on friction. The book also contains examples of actions taken by tech companies to offer simple and clear services, helping the user or customer and not focusing on motivating their customers to take desired actions, as most of the less successful companies would do.
Roger Dooley explains the concepts in layman's terms. This is why I would recommend this book to a wide audience – not just to managers and people in leadership positions who could benefit from the insights to achieve success by removing friction for their teams, employees and customers, but also to anyone interested in understanding the blockers encountered at work, in their personal life or in the community. As technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of our daily lives, I also recommend this book to people engaged in software development so they can understand how to provide services that are easy to access and use. The book would also be a great read for government entities that are interested in eliminating bureaucratic blockers and creating a frictionless environment for large populations.