Ori Brafman, Author of “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior” on Purchase Psychology, Interview Insights and Employee Incentives
Susan Bratton

Episode 57 - Ori Brafman, Author of “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior” on Purchase Psychology, Interview Insights and Employee Incentives

Ori will change the way you think about the way you think. Sway is an insightful book on a personal and professional level. In this interview, Ori regales us with story after story of "typical irrational behavior" and artfully applies it to:

1) Insight for marketers into purchase psychology.
2) How to leverage the power of beauty.
3) How to hire the right person, not just the person you like.
4) How to find and work with a winning therapist.
5) Managing your VC as an entrepreneur.
6) Incentivizing employees for pleasure vs. altruism.
7) Becoming an expert in challenging authority in your organization.
8) The 4 personality types it takes to make good decisions.

This fast paced and entertaining interview will help you overcome "the diagnosis bias," "loss aversion," "value attribution," "commitment issues" and the "chameleon effect." You are suffering from many of these scenarios in your daily life right now. Listening to this show and reading sway will help you overcome your biases, become a more rational decision-maker and have more success in your career and your personal life.

Powerful insights, packaged in a fun conversation make this a must listen episode of DishyMix.



Narrator: This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com

Susan Bratton: Welcome to Dishy Mix. I'm your host Susan Bratton. And on today's show you are going to get to meet Ori Brafman. Ori is a speaker, an organizational expert, and an author. And it's the author side of Ori Brafman we're going to start with today. He's recently written two books: "The Starfish and Spider" and a book called "Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior".

On today's show we're going to talk about the communication process, appreciating blockers, the hidden world of sway, and the power of beautiful women.

Ori Brafman: You look at companies today, like Cisco for example, and their collaboration effort; a really great example of traditional companies that are embracing the collaboration and having a lot of success with it.

When we meet a new person, we diagnose them or label them. And after that, we ignore any other evidence that contradicts our initial diagnosis.

Do the cold interview first and actually find the people that you want to hire and then give them....it's almost like a fake interview or like a warm interview that you have to come off to the candidate as actually a pleasant place you have to work at.

Just because someone thinks that you're pretty, it actually makes you sound and act in a different way. What's so interesting about that is that there is a hidden dance that happens between people that we're not aware of.

Susan: Welcome Ori.

Ori: Hi Susan. How are you?

Susan: Great. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really enjoyed "Sway". I just read it over fourth of July weekend while I was in Montana. And I thought, ok, it's another business book. I couldn't put it down. I was reading in the car and I started reading it out loud to my family. I would stop for a second and Tim and [xx] would say "Keep reading! Keep reading!" My 11 year old daughter was enjoying it as much as my husband was enjoying it. They loved the stories. And I think that's what's so great about your book. It's a terrific group of analogies you use to get across the concepts.

So before we get into "Sway", you wrote another book called "Starfish". Tell us about that because that's interesting and I haven't read it.

Ori: Sure. "Starfish and Spider" is about distributed social networks and how organizations from Craigslist to Al Quaida to Wikipedia fundamentally change the rules of the game when it comes to business and politics. And all these organizations, what they have in common is that they don't have a leader at the top.

Susan: So it's the concept, I think, of cooperative networks.

Ori: Absolutely. And you see in the systems.....they're actually played by different rules. So when we fight them they actually get stronger. When they attack us they can do so with less people. And we're just starting to understand more about distributed systems. And there are a lot more of those companies coming out because of the web.

Susan: Well this is a gross generalization, but as a woman I think I'm a fabulous team player and most men in general are horrible. They're worriers, they have fiefdoms, there's turf wars, there's silos. So one of the things that I question is the ability for humanity to actually work in this cooperative network. Do you think, other than Al Quaida and a couple of other examples, can companies really work this way?

Ori: Well, I mean, you are right that a lot of women have worked this way. The women's movement, for example, was a very distributed system in getting the women the right to vote. But you are looking at companies today, like Cisco for example, and their collaboration efforts, are really great examples of traditional companies that are embracing the collaboration and having a lot of success with it.

Susan: It sounds like a good book. I'm very intrigued by it. And if it's as good as "Sway", I've got to read that too.

So I want to get to "Sway". And one of the things that you're really talking about here is how we behave as humans and we're almost blind to that behavior. You've put the names to quite a few of these kinds of things that we try to do to trick ourselves; the diagnosis, bias, loss aversion, value attribution, commitment, which often combined with loss aversion is a heady negative mix, and the chameleon effect.

What I wanted to do is I wanted to apply. A lot of the stories that you've told in the book are very very applicable to the work that we do in our daily lives. For example, how we can overcome our biases and be more rational to decision makers in general. Insights for marketers who are a lot of the people that listen to Dishy Mix are in marketing and advertising. That's helpful for us to continue to understand human dynamics and purchase psychology.

I want to talk about beautiful women; the power of beauty. It blew me away, the examples you used of how powerful beautiful women are, even now. Some job interview insights that were fascinating. Working with a winning therapist; for those of you going to a therapist, if you're not making progress, Ori can help.


Ori: And who's not in therapy these days, right?

Susan: And if you're not in therapy, how to get a good therapist or if you are thinking about therapy!


Susan: And also, managing your VC as an entrepreneur or understanding how your entrepreneur might be managing you if you're a VC. That's very interesting. And incentivizing employees. Pleasure versus altruism and what we can do to really understand human dynamics and what incentivizes us the most and how we can leverage that as business owners.

And then becoming an expert in challenging hte status quo. A lot of us work for crazy CEO's or we are the crazy CEO. You know you are if you are listening. And so Ori has some advice on how to manage that and create a culture where there is a possibility to challenge the crazy people running your company.

So that's a lot of work. Are you ready to roll Ori?

Ori: Absolutely. Looking forward to it.

Susan: Alright then. So let's go with the first one. The professor Alan Huffert and the job interview story where there was the first date method versus Joe Friday. Tell us how we can hire the right people.

Ori: So this guy studied 20 years worth of research of job interviews. And he came up with one singular finding: that we're actually terrible at interviewing. An [xx] interview is what he refers to as something like the "first date" interview, right? Where you meet someone and you try to get a sense of how they're like and maybe what do they want to to five years in the future. What's their favorite hobbies. You try to get a sense of the person and through that you make the hiring choice.

And what it turns out is that those kinds of interviews are actually very very poor predictors of actual job performance. And the reason for that is when we meet a new person we diagnose them or label them. And after that, we ignore any other evidence that contradicts our initial diagnosis.

Susan: And this is value attribution. That's the tenant of labeling people and making a snap decision based on early information rather than letting it be revealed?

Ori: Exactly. And what Huffert suggests is that the interviews that actually do have meaning and are actually useful in terms of predicting actual performance are very structured; what we call the "Joe Friday" interviews, right? Just the facts man. So rather than talking about, "Oh, what do you do for fun on the weekends?" you say something like, "What experience do you have using this specific program? What would you do in this scenario?" What you do is you write all the questions ahead of time, you structure the discussion, you try to have a group interview with a bunch of people, and the entire day is that you don't allow yourself to diagnose the candidate to early. And those are the interviews that actually work.

The only thing with those interviews is that they tend to be very cold and impersonal. So the professor actually has a reallly interesting suggestion. What he says is do the cold interview first and actually find the people that you want to hire and then give them....it's almost like a fake interview, a warm interview that you have to come off to the candidate as actually a pleasant place you have to work at.

Susan: It's a briliant maneuver and the prof says it's six times more effective in hiring candidates who actually stick on Excel. So that's a good thing to know. Let's move on to psychologist Dr. Bruce Wompold [sp]. He talked about three elements that make a therapist successful. And it has nothing to do with diagnosis. The diagnosis is actually something that's potentially counter prodcutive to helping you move forward. So talk about those elements and how we can get the right therapist.

Ori: Yeah, and that's interesting. You'd think that of all people, psychologists would be really good at diagnosing. But it turns out that they're actually not great at it. And more importantly, how you get diagnosed......so if you get diagnosed as Bi-Polar or ADD or what have you, diagnosis doesn't actually play any significant role in terms of whether you will get better or not. The things that are actually important is first and foremost is whether you have a good therapeutic relationship with your therapist. So if you get along well, if you have that kind of bond, that is fundamentally the most important thing.

The other important thing is whether the therapist believes in the practice that they're doing. Specifically, sometimes you have people working in big clinics. And if they don't believe in the orientation of the clinic they they're not going to be a good therapist.

And the last thing is actually whether the therapist is an objectively good therapist and whether they're an intelligent individual. And the big variance between what makes for people actually healing or not is whether the therapist is a good therapist. And we really need to pay attention to that when we go in because it's so tempting to put ourselves in the hand of someone else and not ask to many questions and not rock the boat too much. But it's that therapeutic alliance that makes all the difference.

Susan: Get some references, make sure you like them, and make sure they're good at their job. It's good advice.

Ori: Exactly. That's what it comes down to.

Susan: And don't let them diagnose you to early. If they're just starting to pigeon hole you into a specific thing, maybe there is a problem.

Ori: Exactly. And remember, the diagnosis doesn't really play a role in the long term therapeutic benefit.

Susan: In the outcome of health. That's what they say.

Ori: Isn't that weird?

Susan: Yes it is. You go to find out exactly what is wrong with you so you can fix it. It's counter intuitive to think...

Ori: Completely counter intuitive.

Susan: Yes. So beautiful women; who doesn't love beautiful women? Everybody does, and apparently to a quite extraordinary level. You talk about the chameleon effect with some telephone conversations in one story and then some South African banks doing some email market testing; control and test against different messages. Everybody listening to Dishy Mix has probably done AB tests on various calls to action so we're going to get this one. Talk about the power of the beautiful woman.

Ori: So I love this study because it involved a man and a woman having a ten minute conversation over the phone. It was kind of like a blind date over the phone. And there was a group of women sitting in one place and a group of men sitting in another place. And the men and the women never met each other. And to prepare them for the conversations, the men were shown pictures of the women they were about to talk to. The only thing is, the pictures were fake and the men didn't know it. And half the men received a picture of a very beautiful woman. And the other half received a picture of a less attractive woman. And I always wondered....I feel sorry for the women who were selected to be the less attractive; rather different story.

Susan: The ugly girls didn't have such a good time.

Ori: Yeah. And what happened was the women had no idea that the men were shown the pictures, beautiful or not. And the pictures had nothing to do with how the women actually looked like. But the women who the men thought were beautiful ended up sounding more beautiful. And the women who the men thought were less beautiful ended up sounding less beautiful. Just because someone thinks your pretty, it actually makes you sound and act in a different way. And what's so interesting about that is that there is a hidden dance that happens between people that we're not aware of.

Susan: So, it turned out that the women that they guys thought were beautiful, after you separated the conversation, what was the thing.....there was some afterward thing that happened?

Ori: So what they did is that the women and the men had the conversation and then they edited out the voice of the men completely, right? Because if you have a guy thinking that it sounds like a beautiful woman of course he is going to give some cues there, right? So you just have the voices of the women. And they let a third group of mutual observers, kind of like a beautiful jury or something like that....and they let the people listen to this. And again, all they're talking about is like the weather and classes and stuff like that. And just based on the sound of the women they rated them on whether they sounded beautiful or not.

Susan: And this was the chameleon effect that you pinpointed?

Ori: Exactly. So when someone describes a role to us, we tend to take on the role that we're given.

Susan: So, these women, the men talked to them like they were beautiful, they felt beautiful, they spoke back like they were beautiful. And then an independent third party listener who had no idea was able to pinpoint the beautiful woman solely by their responses. I love this because it's like pigeon holing anybody. You know, you decide they're stubborn. You decide they're dumb. Whatever it is, then you start to speak to them like that and they follow suit and respond that way.

Ori: Without ever realizing it.

Susan: And that's a big sway. I bet if you're listening right now you can think of absolutely times when you've responded and you've become a chameleon. And you knew you were doing it and it was wrong and it wasn't you and you still did it. Like, why do we feel like we have to respond that way?

Ori: Exactly.

Susan: So, being more mindful of it. What I liked about "Sway", not only were there some insights for my business and my personal life, but it was just about being more mindful when you know those things are happening; when you see that chameleon effect happening, especially if you are a people pleaser. You can probably be a chameleon a lot more than you're comfortable with. I liked that.

And really fast, tell us about the South African banks and the photos.

Ori: It's not just women who get swayed by men, men also get swayed by women. And in South Africa they did a loan offer and they sent it out to thousands and thousands of people. It had different variables in terms of how much interest you'd have to pay, the terms of the loan, stuff like that. And one of the variables was having a picture on there of a beautiful woman or not. And it turns out that with male clients, they were much more likely to accept the loan if there was a picture of a woman on there. And in fact, the picture was a bigger predictor than the interest rate. So you think that people would be rational, right? Like here you're are getting a loan offer and you would accept it based on whether you are getting good terms. But, no. It's whether there was a beautiful woman on the junk mail piece that actually got people to sign up.

Susan: It was amazing. It was a 4.5 point interest rate increase on the offers with the women in the picture. And nobody even looked at the interest rate. They just did it because there was a woman. It really is impressive. So we're going to go to a break and thank my sponsors. I love them so much. They let me play with you Ori. Isn't that great?

Ori: I love them too then.


Susan: Exactly. Thank you, thank you, thank you sponsors. So listen to the stories you are about to hear. And when we come back we're going to talk about VC's in Silicon Valley, Comi High [sp], and also about, gosh, let's see. A couple things. We've got some more to do. Incentivizing employees and becoming an expert in challenging the status quo; how you can actually do that. So good stuff Ori! We'll be right back after we thank our sponsors. I'm with Ori Braffman. He's the author of "Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior".


Susan: We're back with Ori Braffman. Ori is the author of "Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior". And what I wanted to talk to you about now Ori is this idea that you call the need to be heard from VC's in Silicon Valley. You have a story.

Ori: To think that venture capitalists of all people when they monitor how satisfied they were with an investment they would look at the cold, hard money, right? If an investment made them a lot of money it's a good investment. If it didn't make them a lot of money then it probably wasn't a great investment.

Susan: Yeah. We would expect them to take the Joe Friday approach; just the facts man.

Ori: But it turns at is that when they have satisfaction with the investment is very highly correlated with how often the CEO or the entrepreneur would call them. And CEO's would call them a lot of times [xx] than CEO's that were busy doing their job as in calling VC's. And the reason for that is it is important for all of us to have our voices heard and feel that we are part of the process. It's amazing for venture capitalists, for car dealers, even for criminals, having their voices heard made them much more satisfied with the overall outcome.

Susan: So if you are a VC you need to check in with your entrepreneur. If you're an entrepreneur you need to check in with your VC a lot more often. Keeping them in the loop makes them happier about the money even if it's taking a long time to make it back.

Ori: Even if it's bad news. When it's bad news our tendency is to want to shut down and not communicate much. But that is an especially important time to be in constant communication with your VC.

Susan: So I want to move on to the next one. We're going to talk about posterior, superior, temporal solcace [sp] versus nucleus accumbends [sp], which is the pleasure center versus the altruistic center of our brains and how one is more important than the other. Ori, tell this story so that we can understand how to apply it to incentivizing our employees.

Ori: So think of all places....Comi High. And this is not the name that we give them. It's actually the name that they go by. Their mascot is like this rainbow zebra. So you get an idea of how Comi High is like. And they started a new program to incent teachers to increase attendance. They tied their salaries with how well attendance was in the classroom. What that did is it actually tapped into a different part of their brains.

Before this the teachers were concerned with teaching the students. And we have a brain called the social or altruistic center. And that's where.....you know, if a friend asked you to help them move or you are doing someone a favor, that's where our brain responds. And the moment that you introduce money into the equation, all of a sudden you have parties in class just to make sure that the students came in. They started not teaching as much. The test scores went way down because they were just focusing on getting that financial reward.

And it turns out that we all have this part of our brain called the pleasure center. And we call it the Las Vegas center because this is sex, drugs, and rock and roll. In fact, when people do cocaine, that's the part of their brain that gets triggered. Money, interestingly, and this is brand new research, money has the same effect on the brain as taking a little hit of cocaine. And when you introduce a financial incentive you override the altruistic center of the brain.

Susan: So what you're saying is that when incentivize employees there's this power thing that happens in our brains. There's this nucleus accumbends; did I say that right? I don't think I did. Ok, nucleus accumbunds, and that's this altruistic side. So our employees are going to do things because it helps the company and it helps our stock price. It's the right think to do. That's what we're paying you for. It's your job. It's one for the team; whatever it might be. But as soon as we put an incentive in to place that's money, another part of our brain takes over; this posterior, superior, temporal solcace. And it overrides any altruistic tendencies and makes you just focus completely on how you're going to get the money even if it ends up not really meeting the objective, which for Community High, or Comi High it wasn't just butts in seats. It was actually grade point average. They wanted more kids to spend more time in school so the grade point average would go up. It went down because they spent all their time having parties to get the kids to come to school, right?

Ori: Exactly. The Nucleus Accumbends is the pleasure center. But exactly right.

Susan: Oh, did I get them backwards?

Ori: Yeah.

Susan: Ohhhh. Thank you. Ok, got it. So the Nucleus Accumbends is the pleasure center. But the concept is....

Ori: The concept is exactly right.

Susan: ....we go for coke and cash.

Ori: That's why I just call it the altruistic center and the Las Vegas center.

Susan: So we go for coke and cash anytime over doing the right thing.

Ori: And it overrides is the interesting part.

Susan: Yep. So thinking about that and knowing that's the most important thing, that pleasure center, how can we manage our incentives for our organization and our employees, right? And also you noted in the book that if it's something that you can't really pay much to get it done, just ask people for help. Like, "I could only pay you $15 to help me for the hour and your time is worth $200." Just ask for a freebie. People are still willing to be motivated by their altruistic center.

Ori: And they would rather do it as a freebie than that would for $15.

Susan: Right. Exactly. Because motivated your altruistic center still feels good.

Ori: Exactly.

Susan: Yeah. So knowing where that cut is. So let's move to another one. I like this. Barbara Conkey [sp], the psychologist who was an expert in non-verbal communication, that the airlines hired to help them with something called Crew Resource Management. I don't want to say CRM here because in our world of marketing that's Customer Relationship Management, which is really different.

Ori: Right.

Susan: And so what she was doing was training the pilots and the crew to speak effectively and accept feedback. Like the pilots were these Gods that were in charge, like the CEO, right? And so the crew thought, "Ok. If I see the pilot making a mistake, I don't really have a place to speak up." So what she was doing was training people in a process to challenge the captain or the pilot so that it was very recognizable that you could have the freedom to do this. And I think, if you are a CEO listening to this show, you should hear what Ori is about to tell you in the process that you could embew your team to do so that there was an open way that anybody's decision in an organization, including yours as the CEO, could be challenged. So Ori, tell us about that process.

Ori: So what they found out, and this is NASA aims, they found out that 70% of airplane crashes were due to pilot error. And as you said, the captain was treated as a God. So the co-pilots never wanted to stand up to the captain. And what they came up with is a very simple and effective strategy for basically standing up to the captain when something was really wrong.

So let's say Susan you are the captain.

Susan: I like to be the captain.

Ori: You're the captain. Great.

Susan: I love to be in charge.

Ori: And let's say we're making a landing and the landing is off. So as a co-pilot I would be taught to have three steps. The first step is I would say, "It looks like our landing is off." And let's say you ignore me. I would then say, "Susan. It looks like our landing is off by 15 degrees." So I would use your name and I would use a specific number. I would give you specific objective data back. And if you still ignore me and our flight is still doomed for disaster because your landing is off, then I will call the tower and abort the flight. And then you have to then go around for a second run.

And interestingly, pilots are actually teaching this to emergency room doctors and surgeons; teaching them to listen to the nurses and teaching the nurses to stand up to the doctors when they see something wrong happening in the hospital. And the same thing applies in business. Either when you're serving underneath a CEO or you're the CEO, how can you structure it that people can actually stand up to you?

Susan: Right. I like that. It's embedding in your culture the willingness to tolerate dissent at the top. I like that a lot.

Ori: Absolutely. And it's absolutely vital to staying rational.

Susan: Well there's another thing. I noticed that Barbara Cankey is an expert in non-verbal communication. There's also something big out here in California. Ori, you're here in the city too. You know. Have you ever heard of non-violent communication?

Ori: I heard a little bit about it. My undergrad degree was in peace and conflict studies.

Susan: Oh wow! Well it's really interesting. You can google non-violent communication. It's a little bit trippy talking, but I think it's one of those methods of languaging that allows you to come forward with your issues without being confrontational. So if this is interesting to you, this whole idea of stating the facts and to challenge the process of doing that in an organization where it might be difficult for you, another resource is this idea of non-confrontational way of communicating. And if you can walk the fine line between sounding trippy and actually communicating, I think there's some real value in that stuff- that non-confrontational.

So I want, before we get into more about Ori; because your fun. And there's some interesting things about you. And we're almost out of time. Just briefly tell us about this construct that you've come up with for the four roles of what I would call taking action. The initiator, blocker-that piece.

Ori: This was actually identified by a psychologist from Boston. What he did find is that any group, whether it's a family group or a work environment, what have you, people take on one of four roles. And the first role is initiator. The initiator always has an idea. "Hey let's go to Disneyland! Let's take a trip! Let's start a new project!" The opposite of the initiator is the blocker. And the blocker is, let's say the initiator wanted to go to Disneyland, "No we can't go to Disneyland. It's really crowded this time of year." Or, "It's going to be rainy." Or, "We can't afford it." They are always going to shoot down ideas.

And the third role is that of a supporter. And the supporter will join forces with either the initiator or the blocker and really help come to a decision. So either yes, we should go to Disneyland or no, we shouldn't.

And the fourth role is the observer. And the observer usually looks at a very meta-approach. So they'll say, "Oh, it looks like we're having a decision about whether or not to go to Disneyland. Looks like we're having some conflict here." And when one of these roles is missing from the organization, that's when things really go haywire.

So for example, if you don't have an initiator in a company, everyone is going to sit there and say, "How everything is a terrible idea." If you don't have a blocker, and we tend to really want to get rid of blockers because they can just be a pain in the but because they are always naysaying everything, that's when companies get into trouble because there is no no one to stop the from going down the wrong path in a project or an idea or a strategy.

So having each one of these four roles is essential. And what's really good is to think about which role do you play. Personally, I usually play the role of initiator or a supporter. And it's really tough for me to play the role of an observer or a blocker. And when I have to be in that situation I really need to think about how I am going to say it in a way that actually is effective.

Susan: One of the things you said in "Sway" is that you aren't just one of those things. You can be any one of all four. And certainly you have a propensity to be one or two of them more often, but I think also from a career perspective, it's really wise if you know that you're most often an initiator or a supporter it might be really good to focus more on developing your skills around being an observer. Because I've noticed that the observers who can sum it up in a meta way are always very thoughtful and appreciated in those kinds of organizations, and the kind of people that many turn to for some objectivity in situations.

So I liked knowing about the four personas in decision making and action taking. And it's good food for thought from a career perspective, and probably in your household management for you family too.

Ori: Exactly. And we used this actually writing the book in thinking about the roles and making sure when I work with my brother in terms of getting all those roles; that they are present in the sitatuation.

Susan: Well, I also want to let our listeners know that I have four copies of "Sway" to give away to you. So if you'd like one, just go to Facebook, type in Dishymix (all one word), Dishymix. You'll fine my Facebook fan club. You just join it and post a request. And if you're one of the people that asks for it you will get it. I will mail it off to you. And Ori, thanks for giving us so many copies to give away. That was so nice of you.

Ori: My pleasure. And I look forward to hearing what other people think about it too.

Susan: Well, and post comments about "Sway". Absolutely.

Ori: Absolutely.

Susan: So we're almost done with our time today, but you have so many fun things that I want to talk to you about just in general. One of the questions that I asked you in getting ready for our interview today, and by the way, you've just done a beautiful job. Thank you for kind of stepping up and answering all the things I wanted to know. I really appreciate that.

Ori: You are so fun!

Susan: You are very much in service to my audience around the book; like being real specific about the things that are in there and applying it to our business. So thank you for that. I asked you who were three of the most amazing people in advertising and web 2.0 and why. And you said, Deana Caplain [sp], Noah Cagan [sp], and Julia Powell [sp]. I only know Deana. So tell us about these people and why you think they are amazing.

Ori: So Deana is absolutely amazing. She runs blip.tv. She is one of the most energetic people I've ever met in terms of getting stuff done and thinking about video and community in a brand new way. Deana is in New York.

The second guy is Noah Cagan and he does a conference called Community Next.

Susan: Yeah, I've never heard of that.

Ori: He's here in San Francisco. And he really has his pulse on the next generation of companies. And he also runs a group called Entrepreneur 27, so entrepreneurs who are younger than 27. What's just at the edge and the coolest stuff coming out. And he's great at building these amazing communities.

And the third person is Julia Powell, whose also in New York. And she's actually working on a book about social networks and specifically online social networks and the impact they have on companies. And she's really interesting about bringing in the most amazing people into one room and building these incredible conversations with them and thinking about how that applies to advertising, how it applies to marketing. If you have a chance to talk to any of these people I would absolutely take it because they all think about community in such interesting and new ways.

Susan: Well she sounds like somebody that I'd really like to know; that all of us would like to know. You mentioned that she was from the Gathering? What is that?

Ori: So the Gathering is an event that she does where she invites people from all different walks of life. So artists, entrepreneurs, performers musicians. And she takes them to a three day retreat where they just get to know each other and build community. And some interesting products have come out of that. People get to really be themselves. It's one of those things, you know. How rarely do you go to a conference where you're not handing out business cards; where you're not really meeting people and meeting them as kind of who they really are as opposed to the networking event which, for me, it's difficult to stomach honestly.

Susan: And I asked you what your favorite conference was. It sounds like you love some of these more obscure conferences. You said Burning Man, if it counts, Burning Man is your favorite conference. Are you going this year?

Ori: I don't know if I'm going this year. It's still up in the air. I might have a speaking engagement. So we're still figuring out if I'm going to Burning Man. But I've gone for the last five years. There's a camp that I go with. They are mostly MBA's and Lawyers.

Susan: What's your camp called?

Ori: It was called Unga Bunga. We have an art car. It's a Ford Escort that we converted to a 20 foot tall dinosaur. And you sit on the roof and you drive it from the roof of the car.

Susan: Oh, I've seen that dinosaur. There's some wonderful creatures driving around on the Playa.

Ori: Do you go there?

SUsan: Oh yes. I'm a Burner. Love, love, love Burning Man. As a matter of fact, we're finally making the commitment to buy an RV or a travel trailer or a fifth wheel or something. So my husband and I are like, "Ok. It's redneck rampage at the Bratton household. We're out looking at trucks and RV's!" And I'm starting to like send Flickr pictures to my friends about their RV's. Like Tom Hesbo [sp] has bought an RV. And I'm like, "Whoa! That's a nice RV!"


Susan: Because you know renting it is crazy. And mommy don't camp.

Ori: Ok. So you're buying an RV.

Susan: Yeah.

Ori: I came back early last year and it was weird to walk in the streets of San Francisco and like half of San Francisco is gone because of Burning Man.

Susan: Empty. Absolutely empty. I love it. Well, it's been so fun to talk to you Ori. Thank you so much for giving us all your time, giving us books to give away, and making your story very applicable to our listeners. You make your living selling books and speaking, and we have a lot of people who hire speakers all the time. Why don't you tell us, if you would like us to hire you, what you could speak about in our corporations.

Ori: So I really focus on the organizational unit and everything from human resources to strategy to marketing, and how you can understand the psychology of decision making and apply it in those fields.

Susan: OK. That sounds good. That's like all we need. We love that stuff. I'm eating that psychology of decision making up. That sounds good.

Alright. Well there you go. Ori is available and you can connect to him through Personal Life Media or I am absolutely sure he's googleable. So it's been really fun. Thank you Ori.

Ori: Thank you Susan. It was really fun talking to you.

Susan: You too. Alright. Well, I am your host Susan Bratton. And it's been my pleasure to have you listen to the show today. I hope I'll "see" you next week. Take care.

Narrator: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com.