Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

This is a really really good book – I’ve been using ideas from Made to Stick during my work day while I was reading it!

It should come as no surprise that some ideas are sticky, but it might be surprising that you can create messages that stick, and that you can apply some subsets of stickiness to make your efforts to direct results succeed. The authors are two brothers, a professor of organizational behavior and a business consultant, that found that they both were approaching successful messaging from different directions, so they decided to write this book.

They’ve found six qualities of sticky messages:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotional
  6. Stories

Put these together correctly and you can create a message people remember.

In addition, you should lead with your best shot, not build to a climax. This is how newspaper stories are written – that way if someone falls asleep, at least they’ve heard the most important part, well, actually, its a way to get attention. Because, that’s what a good message does, it gets and keeps attention, and the six qualities are ways good storytellers have kept people’s attention for ages (well, at least since Homer).

This is a must-read if you want to sell an idea to your boss, your boss’s boss, etc. This book will help you think differently about what you need to say to get your ideas across.


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