Made to Stick (Heath and Heath 2007)

Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die (Heath & Heath, 2007)

To make the book stick in our minds, Jim Shoff and Miranda Ervin turn back to an interview with the authors on NPR. “The curse of knowledge is the arch-villain in our book,” they say. “If you know something, it’s hard to not know it.”

To illustrate, we played the tapper and listener game. Jakita Jones tapped a her pen on the table. She knew what she was tapping  but we didn’t. She tapped and tapped a rhythm until Chanee Vijay noted that it was the rhythm of a song (“Happy Birthday to You”).  Once we recognized, we couldn’t think the rhythm was anything else. Don’t think it applies to you? Try it with a friend. You’ll know the rhythm, but it will take them a moment to realize what’s happening. And, once they know, they know.

The authors offer six core principles to make ideas stick:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credible
  5. Emotional
  6. Shared in Stories

Ervin has already applied this book to her own coaching. After deciding on the slogan “No Matter What,” she worked on her team’s unity with a clear vision for success. Each teammate created her own commitment – My ‘no matter what’ is…” – and shared her commitment to success with the team.

  • Overall Response: Excellent book of communication strategies to help get your messages across.

About Digital Media Book Club: In the growing field of strategic communication, social media rockstars, academics, and digital thinkers are investing time and energy to share their learning with others. In my Strategic Communication classes, students in the Master of Arts in Organizational and Strategic Communication program in the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte are sifting through a variety of texts to discover the embedded wisdom. These are their thoughts and reactions.

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