Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck by Dan Heath - Paperback Paperback – 1 January 2008
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What is that makes urban myths so persistent but many everyday truths so eminently forgettable? How do newspapers set about ensuring that their headlines make you want to read on? And why do we remember complicated stories but not complicated facts? In the course of over ten years of study, Chip and Dan Heath have established what it is that determines whether particular ideas or stories stick in our minds or not, and Made to Stick is the fascinating outcome of their painstaking research. Packed full of case histories and thought-provoking anecdotes, it shows, among other things, how one Australian scientist convinced the world he'd discovered the cause of stomach ulcers by drinking a glass filled with bacteria, how a gifted sports reporter got people to watch a football match by showing them the outside of the stadium, and how high-concept pitches such as 'Jaws on a spaceship' (Alien) and 'Die Hard on a bus's (Speed) convince movie executives to invest vast sums of money in a project on the basis of almost no information. Entertaining and informative by turns, this is a fascinating and multi-faceted account of a key area of human behavior. At the same time, by showing how we can all use such cleverly devised strategies as the 'Velcro Theory of Memory' and 'curiosity gaps', it offers superbly practical insights, setting out principles we all can adopt to make sure that we get our ideas across effectively.Product Features :
- Genre: General
- Author: Dan Heath and Chip Heath
- Format: Paperback
- Book Language: English
- Book Origin: United Kingdom
- Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
- Publication Year: 2008
- ISBN: 97800995056931
- Edition: First
- Number of Pages: 336
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2 cm
- Product Weight: 0.17 kg
Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Arrow Books Ltd; First edition (1 January 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 009950569X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0099505693
- Dimensions : 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.29 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I can’t read this book for more than 10 minutes at a time. It actually makes me angry how boring it is.
One chapter per letter of SUCCES (intentional).
Each chapter is drawn out like no other.
The basic premise is revealed, then come in some random stories loosely based on studies.
It’s really a terrible book.
The idea is cool, will look for a summary.
“Sticky” ideas are understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behavior. The six underlying SUCCESs principles for making things “stick” are:
• Simplicity – Simple=core+compact. Find and share your core idea; make it simple and profound. “It’s the economy, stupid” (Clinton campaign, 1992) is a great example. The inverted pyramid approach which is used in journalism is a good tool to get your headline.
• Unexpectedness - We need to violate people’s expectations to get them to pay attention. Break existing patterns to get people’s attention. Southwest flight attendants use humor (there are two doors on either side if you need to jump!) to hold attention when giving the pre-flight safety announcement. Humans adapt incredibly quickly to patterns. Consistent sensory stimulation makes us tune out.
• Concreteness – You must help people understand and remember. Don’t use abstractions. Make your core idea concrete. Use common knowledge to make your idea stick. Our greatest villain is the Curse of Knowledge or when we assume everyone knows what we know or shares our unique perspective. We have to see it from the “others” point of view. We forget what other people do not know and slip into “abstractspeak.” Boeing’s criteria for a new plane was not “the best passenger plane in the world” but one that can seat 131 passengers and land on Runway 2-22 at LaGuardia. No ambiguity here.
• Credibility – Help people believe by making sure your idea carries its own credentials. Pass the “Sinatra Test.” Examples offered include “Where’s the Beef?” and Reagan’s “Are you better off today?” Both were credible and resonated as they were based on common shared knowledge.
• Emotional– Make people care by using the power of association, appealing to self-interest, or identity. “People donate to Rokia more than a wide swath of Africa”; “Honoring the Game” versus the use of the word ‘sportsmanship’; “I’m in charge of morale” as stated by a US military cook in Iraq. We must make people feel something to get them to care. We are wired to feel things, not abstractions.
• Stories – Stories get people to act on our ideas. Stories act as a kind of mental flight simulator, preparing us to respond more quickly and effectively. Stories are told and retold because they contain wisdom. The Healths provide what they view are the three basic story plots – the Challenge Plot, The Connection Plot, and the Creativity Plot. Stories can almost single-handedly defeat “The Curse of Knowledge.” I have been involved in a ministry for people in career-transition for over fifteen years. We consistently advise those in-transitions to create stories to highlight their skills and experience when interviewing. It is well understood that interviewers will mostly remember your comportment and more importantly, your stories.
A chapter is devoted to each principle with the authors providing context for clarity and understanding, examples, and tools to guide the development of a “sticky” idea.
The Curse of Knowledge is what escapes most when trying to pitch an idea. It is the natural psychological tendency that consistently gets in the way of our ability to successfully create “sticky ideas” using these principles. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know. This knowledge has “cursed” us and makes it difficult to share our knowledge with others. It is because we cannot readily re-create our listeners state of mind. When a CEO discusses “unlocking shareholder value,” there is a tune playing in his head that the employees can’t hear. On the other hand, President John F. Kennedy knew that opaque, abstract missions don’t captivate and inspire people so he concretely challenged the country with “landing on the moon by the end of the decade.”
Throughout the book, the authors present “Idea Clinics” which illustrate how an idea can be made stickier. Example: ”Do smokers really need to understand the workings of the lungs in order to appreciate the dangers of smoking?”
The book itself is “sticky’ filled with stories of normal people facing normal problems who did an amazing thing simply by applying these principles, even if they were not aware that they were doing this. They distinguish themselves by crafting ideas that made a difference.
Do your ideas gain traction and “Stick” or are they cast aside for less important ideas? “Made to Stick” was written for you.
However, I enjoyed the short stories, and it made me feel motivated. I'm pretty sure that in a few hours I'll just feel ripped off, and will feel the time spent reading this could have had better uses.
Read this only if you are not looking for anything more than to binge on motivational stuff, and you really have no other problem to solve.
Oh, and I learned that in general, people seem to require stories, if you plan to have them remember anything. And if you want to have them act, you need to make them care, so you need to give them emotional stuff.
Not a waste of time, but pretty close.
Essentially, sticky ideas are never a matter of happenstance, but all share six common traits. With a keen understanding of all six traits, you will be able to produce stickier ideas and subsequently revitalize the way you express yourself and transform those whom you lead with positive results.
Made to Stick empowers anyone with the right insights and the right message to make any idea “stick.”
The book proceeds linearly through the sticky blueprint: the acronym S.U.C.C.E.S. Hence, in order to make an idea sticky it has to be simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and tell a story. The peculiars of each trait are explored in comprehensive detail within each chapter. Generally speaking even though this book is 250+ pages, it is a very quick read.
Made to Stick is one of three books written on transformative change by the Heath brothers. The other two books are Switch: How to change things when change is hard and Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work. There are many areas of cross-over between the three selections, and I have derived the most value from each book after considering it in context of all three. Hence, Made to Stick helps you to start your journey with a bold idea that anyone can latch onto. Switch reveals how to materialize that idea into tough environments. Finally, Decisive equips you with the tools to navigate fuzzy terrain in the midst of your path to something revolutionary.