Made to Stick

Dear Engaged Bystander: If you have not read the book, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Some Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, it is well worth your time to at least take a look. You can also hear an interview on the Today Show or NPR's Morning Edition. Some say that it is going to be the next book to read after The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

This book looks at the question about why some ideas grab our imagination and change our lives while others simply flop. Having a good idea is not enough if you don't get it to stick.

The look at fables (some of our stickiest ideas) like "the boy who cried wolf" which has been around for centuries and then describe six steps to stickier ideas. They ask if the idea is:
* simple,
* unexpected,
* concrete,
* credible,
* emotional and
* conveys a story.

They back it all up with great examples. One I like was the way President John F Kennedy convinced a nation to enter the race into space with his famous 1962 speech to "put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade." It is simple, concrete, unexpected and a great short story. They contrast this with the way we usually speak about missions and guess that if JFK was a CEO or ran a nonprofit, he would have said something like: "Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives."

As I post stories to this blog I will look for ones that can stick and can help push people to ACT. If you have a story to share, please let me know. If you see an article about a story, please post it as a comment or just forward it to me. Thank you!


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