The word ‘hype’ is defined as extravagant or intensive publicity and often associated with something considered trivial, faddish, and inconsequential. Hype is used to cloak artifice, create a psychological sleight of hand, and to distract us from normal, rational thought. At worst, hype is sinister and malign and used to sew division, discord, and resentment.
Hype is a key tool in the playbook used by certain political figures on the extremities of the political spectrum, but can hype be positive? Can hype be turned from the malignant to the benign and actually be used as a force for good? Can leaders, organisations, and movements use hype to reinforce their positive purpose and agenda?
The latest Oven-Ready HR guest Michael F Schein made it his mission to deconstruct ‘hype’ and distilled the approach into 12 specific strategies employed by the world’s greatest propagandists, self-promoters, cult leaders, mischief-makers, and boundary breakers. His brilliant book “The Hype Handbook’ has been described as the Rosetta Stone for spreading the word about an idea, a product, or a service.
Looking at HR and management thinkers in particular, Michael F Schein questions our slavish devotion to individuals such as Simon Sinek. As Michael says: “… he’s not a social scientist. He’s not a scientist of any sort. He worked in ad agencies before he became a professional guru. So, his best talent is selling stuff. ”