It’s CX Day in New Zealand, so that’s reason enough to kick off Temkin Group’s CX Day celebration. I can’t think of a better way to start CX Day in The Year of Emotion, then to share my Q&A with Barry Schwartz.

During this one hour video focused on Infusing Humanity into CX, we discuss some of Barry’s key findings about people and happiness, and explore what it means for customers, employees, and leaders. Sit back and enjoy the discussion, and then follow the links below for more information.



In case you don’t know Barry (and you should!), he’s the Emeritus professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, and has spent forty years thinking and writing about the interaction between economics and morality.

This Q&A was a real pleasure for me because Barry has heavily influenced my thinking over the years. He’s one of the key thought leaders of our time, and I believe that all CX professionals (and all leaders) can learn from him.

Here’s some of Barry’s work that we discuss:

  • Paradox of Choice. More choice can create decision anxiety and buyer’s remorse. This key concept helps frame customer experience from an emotional (not logical) point of view. See his excellent Ted Talk and the book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.
  • Practical Wisdom. I love this quote from Barry’s fantastic Ted TalkWise practitioners are like jazz musicians, able to improvise when the situation demands it. They are able to take the perspective of the people they service, and to balance the empathy of care and concern with a detachment that permits clear thinking.” It moved me so much that I wrote a post about the talk, and even researched how many U.S. workers have practical wisdom (30%). Here’s a link to the book Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing.
  • Why We Work. This is Barry’s latest book, which I think is captured well in this quote “Work is structured on the assumption that we do it only because we have to… I think that this cynical and pessimistic approach to work is entirely backward. It is making us dissatisfied with our jobs — and it is also making us worse at them.” And, of course, there’s a great Ted Talk.
  • …And here’s a link to Barry’s appearance on the Colbert Report that I mention.

The bottom line: Thank you Barry Schwartz!

This blog post was originally published by Temkin Group prior to its acquisition by Qualtrics in October 2018.