am 18. April 2009
In their book Chip and Dan Heath explain why some ideas survive and others don't. In reality the book is not about ideas, but about their communication. Knowing that, you must compare their book to 'The Art of Woo' by Richard Shell and Mario Moussa.
Chip & Dan define 6 principles, which they found to be the Golden Rules for the successful communication of ideas, ie. to make ideas sticky.
01 - Simplicity
02 - Unexpectedness
03 - Concreteness
04 - Credibility
05 - Emotions
06 - Stories
- which they describe and explain with many good examples. Unfortunately, the most of it is way too obvious.
There is no real need to read this book - but it shows how important their message is. Chip & Dann stuck to their philosophy and made me buy the book. So the least you could take away: It works!
But I stil prefer 'Woo' which is more profound.
This is the best book about communications I've read since I discovered Stephen Denning's work on telling business stories. I highly recommend Made to Stick to all those who want to get their messages across in business more effectively.
Imagine if people remembered what you had to say and acted on it. Wouldn't that be great? What if people not only remembered and acted, but told hundreds of others who also acted and told? Now you're really getting somewhere!
Brothers Chip (an educational consultant and publisher) and Dan (a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Business School) Heath combine to develop Malcolm Gladwell's point about "stickiness" in The Tipping Point. To help you understand what they have in mind, the book opens with the hoary urban tale of the man who ends up in a bathtub packed with ice missing his kidney after accepting a drink from a beautiful woman. That story, while untrue, has virtually universal awareness. Many other untrue stories do, too, especially those about what someone found in a fast food meal.
The brothers Heath put memorable and quickly forgotten information side-by-side to make the case for six factors (in combination) making the difference between what's memorable and what isn't. The six factors are:
1. Simplicity (any idea over one is too many)
2. Unexpectedness (a surprise grabs our attention)
3. Concreteness (the more dimensions of details the more hooks our minds use to create a memory)
4. Credibility (even untrue stories don't stick unless there's a hint of truth, such as beware of what's too good to be true in the urban legend that opens the book)
5. Incite Emotions in Listeners (we remember emotional experiences much more than anything else; we care more about individuals than groups; and we care about things that reflect our identities)
6. Combine Messages in Stories (information is more memorable and meaningful in a story form . . . like the urban legend that opens the book)
Before commenting on the book further, I have a confession to make. This book has special meaning for me. I was one of the first people to employ and popularize the term "Maximize Shareholder Value" by making that the title of my consulting firm's annual report (Mitchell and Company) over 25 years ago when we began our practice in stock-price improvement. That term has become almost ubiquitous in CEO and CFO suites, but hasn't gone very far beyond the discussions of corporate leaders, investment bankers and institutional investors and analysts.
The authors use that term in the book as an example of a communication that hasn't stuck broadly. And they are right. Having watched that term over the years go into all kinds of unexpected places and be quoted by people who had no idea how to do it long ago convinced me of the wisdom of telling people what to do . . . not just what the objective is.
The authors make this point beautifully in citing Southwest Airline's goal of being "THE low-fare airline." If something conflicts with being a good low-fare airline at Southwest, it's obvious to everybody not to do it.
You'll probably find that some of the examples and lessons strike you right in the middle of the forehead, too. That's good. That's how we learn. I went back to a new manuscript I'm writing now and wrote a whole new beginning to better reflect the lessons in Made to Stick. I've also recommended the book already to about a dozen of my graduate business students. So clearly Made to Stick is sticking with me.
If you find yourself skipping rapidly through the book, be sure to slow down and pay attention on pages 247-249 where the authors take common communications problems and recommend what to do about them (such as how to get people to pay attention to your message). That's the most valuable part of the book. It integrates the individual points very effectively and succinctly.
I also liked the reference guide on pages 252-257 that outlines the book's contents. You won't need to take notes with this reference guide in place.
So why should you pay attention? The authors demonstrate with an exercise that people who know and use these principles are more successful in communicating through advertisements than those who are talented in making advertisements but don't know these principles. Without more such experiments, it's hard to know how broad the principle is . . . but I'm willing to assume that they have a point here.
No book is perfect: How could this one have been even better? Unlike Stephen Denning's wonderful books on storytelling, this book is more about the principles than how to apply the principles. I hope the authors will come back with many how-to books and workbooks.
I would also like to commend the book's cover designer for doing such a good job of simulating a piece of duct tape on the dust jacket. That feature adds to the stickiness of this book.
am 21. November 2011
I teach English and German and a question I ask myself more often than I'd like to admit to, is: Why don't my students remember that?
Why do some trivial things I say more as an afterthought or some funny but ultimately useless vocabulary stick better than the things they actually have to remember?
This is not to say that this book eliminated my problems - they still all know what to swirl means after I told them about swirlies but keep forgetting the 3rd person 's' in the present simple - but the book gives clear and understandable guidelines about what makes ideas stickier.
With many books I have encountered you get bad examples, the glaring "Thou shalt not!", and then you get a good, yet completely different example.
What I need is a toolkit to help me make concepts that are, in and of themselves, not all that breathtaking, more interesting. I can't change the curriculum but I can work on the ways I present what has to be taught.
In this respect this book is great because it shows you how to improve existing, unsticky ideas.
It's witty without compromising content and insightful without being dull or over-written. If only every useful book were this great a read, too...
My biggest question before buying was: Will that be even helpful for teaching?
Answer: Yes, definitely.
The excerpt from the Washington Post review quoted on the book's front page pretty much sums it up: "Anyone interested in influencing others - to buy, to vote, to learn, to diet, to give to charity or to start a revolution - can learn from this book."
am 3. Januar 2009
"Made to Stick" von Chip & Dan Heath setzt für mich da ein, wo "The Tipping Point" aufhört: bei der Frage, wie man die "Klebrigkeit" einer Idee bemessen und verbessern kann. Und dabei landen sie interessanterweise bei einer Anleitung, wie man die Prinzipien von "Influence" auf Texte und Nachrichten anwendet.
Durch das ganze Buch ziehen sich Beispiele und Anekdoten, die genau auseinander genommen und untersucht werden: von alten Sagen und Erzählungen über Urban Legends hin zu aktuellen Beispielen aus der Wirtschaft und Werbung. Daraus werden die eigenltichen Erkenntnisse abgeleitet, formuliert und in kleinen Übungen noch einmal deutlich gemacht. Heraus kommt ein Set von Regeln, wie man seine Ideen und Aussagen möglichst gut in Textform weitervermitteln kann.
Durch die eigenen Ableitungen der Regeln aus der Praxis fehlt jedoch leider etwas der wissenschaftliche Hintergrund. Studien und Referenzen finden sich im Buch wenige, aber hier kommt das oben erwähnte Buch "Influence" ins Spiel. Viele der Erkenntnisse, bei denen die Brüder letztendlich landen basieren auf genau den Prinzipien, die Robert Cialdini als Grundlage für erfolgreiches Überzeugen beschrieben hat. Es mag zwar wenig vertrauenserweckend wirken die eigentliche Grundlage für ein Buch aus einam anderen abzuleiten, aber mir reicht es, um den Inhalt für voll zu nehmen. Im Gegenteil: Ich war sehr überrascht, wie gut die beiden Bücher zusammenspielen.
Unter dem Strich fand ich das Buch sehr gut. Auch wenn es mir nicht so den Kick gegeben hat wie "The Back of the Napkin", so steckt viel anwendbares Wissen in dem Buch. Gute Strukturierung des Inhalts und gut zu lesen. Daumen hoch.
am 15. Januar 2012
Die Grundüberlegungen in diesem Buch sind durchaus als gut zu bezeichnen. Aber nach den ersten interessanten Seiten entsteht der Eindruck, dass sich die Autoren abmühen, die Kapitel zu füllen, indem sie eine Ansammlung von Offensichtlichem und darüber hinaus vergleichsweise anekdotischen Erkenntnissen zusammentragen. Das Resultat erweist sich als langatmig, sodass es letztlich ein Paradoxon darstellt, dass gerade die Ideen in diesem Buch sich schwer tun, 'haften' zu bleiben.
am 23. November 2013
Amerikaner schreiben einfach gut lesbare Sachbücher.
Ich habe das Buch auf Empfehlung eines Freundes gekauft, da ich mich als Existenzgründer gerade damit rumschlage, wie ich meine Geschäftsidee am Besten vermarkte und er meinte, dass ich da vielleicht erste Anregungen finden könnte.
Made To Stick beschäftigt sich aus wissenschaftlicher und pädagogischer Sicht mit der Frage, warum sich manche Ideen bzw. Geschichten (wie z.B. Urbane Mythen oder manche Firmenslogans) so erfolgreich in unseren Gehirnen festsetzen und was ihnen gemeinsam ist. Die Brüder Heath (beide hauptberufliche Pädagogen) erläutern angereichert mit vielen Fallbeispielen die 6 gemeinsamen Kriterien, die Ideen "sticky" machen und zeigen auch plastisch die größten Gefahren bzw. Fehler auf, die dagegen arbeiten,
Wer sich wie ich noch gar nicht mit dem Thema beschäftigt hat, findet hier eine leicht eingänglichen und teilweise sehr komischen Zugang zu Thema "Ideen ausformulieren". Das Englisch ist, wie ich finde, gut verständlich, die wichtigsten Punkte werden am Ende nochmal zusammengefasst. Zusätzlich bieten die Heaths weitere Ressourcen (z.B.eine Übersicht über die 6 Kriterien) zum kostenlosen Download auf ihrer Website an.
Man ist nach der Lektüre natürlich kein Marketing-Crack (das behaupten die auch gar nicht), aber um ein paar gute Denkanstöße weiter.
am 8. September 2012
Persuasiveness has always been a very important aspect of advertising, politics, and a myriad other professions that rely heavily on the opinions and attitudes of others in order to exist and make an impact on the world. For the better or worse, in modern world an increasing number of professions fall into this category. Weather we are trying to teach someone a new skill, persuade a boss or a colleague, or ace a job interview, we need to be able to present our ideas effectively. We need to make them stick.
"Made to Stick" expands on the idea of "stickiness" popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in "The Tipping Point." Brothers Heath have spent many years working in their respective fields - organizational behavior and education - and have jointly come up with their idea of what makes ideas particularly "sticky." Their prescription, and the outline of this book, is organized around the acronym SUCCES (with last s omitted):
* Simple -- find the core of any idea
* Unexpected -- grab people's attention by surprising them
* Concrete -- make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later
* Credible -- give an idea believability
* Emotional -- help people see the importance of an idea
* Stories -- empower people to use an idea through narrative
The book provides many useful examples and anecdotes that make these concepts stand out and become relevant in your own life. In fact, it follows more or less its own prescription, which is one of the reasons why it's such a good read. After going through it I've found myself thinking about making my own writing (and hopefully my Amazon reviews in particular) stickier.
One caveat about the books and works of this kind is the same one that has been at the root of all the criticisms of persuasiveness, from Socrates to this day. Just making ideas sticky and memorable does not make them any more relevant or even true. I can think of many examples of sticky ideas in today's culture and politics, and even in this very book, that have gotten much more attention and credibility because of their stickiness. Ultimately, it is our own responsibility to be alert and vigilant for the discrepancies between flowery rhetoric and the content of the message. This has been one constant throughout the history of our culture and society.
am 4. Januar 2012
Basically, the idea that Chip and Dan Heath want to convey with their book ist good and feels right, but the way they present it is utterly flawed.
But first things first: As a writer myself, I am always looking for literature that helps me improve my writring, be it in the creation of a good story idea or in the final editing of the text. The concept that the authors present is a good one and I have already applied it for the writing of blurbs. However, I never actually read the whole book. After about 80 pages I started to feel bored since the authors did their best to avoid being "concrete". Every two or three pages the authors pose the question: "How do we accomplish that? How can we make our ideas simple/unexpected/concrete/credible/emotional/story-like?" But instead of answering the question they give you an example, followed by the words: "This was how someone else accomplished it. So how do WE accomplish that?" Followed by yet another example, and so on, ad infinitum, until you hit the end of the chapter.
So I decided to skip to the epilogue, hoping to find a precise summary to their concept there that moves away from the seemingly aimless babbling of the preceeding chapters. However, the first thing the authors presented me with in the epilogue was yet another example. So I closed the book.
Fortunately, the SUCCESs concept of the Heath brothers ist not too hard to grasp for someone with brains, so I did figure it out easily despite the authors every effort to bore me to death while reading the book. So the only thing I am willing to award some stars for is the idea concept presented in the book which is pretty good and useful.
am 26. März 2012
Why do we remember urban legend stories, chatter about celebrities but hardly can summarize the latest statement of our company's CEO?
The brothers Heath present their concept on what separates information which sticks and information that doesn't. It is no surprise that the answer is found in the way information is presented.
The book is well structured and full of examples which highlight the various points the authors want us to understand. The most important bit and the point were everything else starts is: simplicity. Boiling down the details to the core is crucial. That core information has to be presented in a way which makes it stick.
The chapters following simplicity are: Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions and Stories. It obviously is no surprise that one can spell these as SUCCES.
In each chapter examples highlight why these elements are crucial, how they can be achieved and what has to be considered to implement them successfully.
A final chapter wraps things up and briefly repeats the core elements.
I found the book very easy to follow. The examples are well chosen, the book and the chapters are well structured. The authors are writing free of jargon, in a witty and easy to understand language.
With sticking examples and clear messages why the different elements are important one can make good use of the "succes" approach. Be it presentations or reports: they certainly can be improved with some elements from the concepts presented here.
am 19. Januar 2016
Die Brüder Heath beschreiben ihre Methode „SUCESS“, die – in einfacher und sehr zugänglicher Weise – beschreibt, wie man Gedanken oder Inhalte („ideas“) aufbereiten und vorbringen muss, damit der Empfänger sie aufnehmen möchte und sie „ankommen“. Kompakt gesagt geht es darum, dass: What we simply need is a simple, unexpected, concrete, credentialed and emotional story for our ideas to make them stick at the audience.
Das Buch ist – natürlich – sehr gut aufbereitet und ist sehr zugänglich. Es „stickt“, macht Spaß und man kann es in einem durchlesen. Man wird persönlich erreicht und die zahlreichen Beispiele aus der Praxis belegen eindrucksvoll die Richtigkeit des Beschriebenen. Ich hatte gehofft, endlich mal eine solche Aufbereitung zu finden, denn das Thema ist von allergrößter Relevanz für das tägliche Arbeiten und Kommunizieren.
Chip und Dan Heath sind natürlich Experten im Fach der Vermittlung und das beweisen sie in der Aufbereitung ihres Buches.
Der Preis ist sehr moderat und absolut angemessen für Umfang und Qualität.
Ich kann dieses Buch sehr empfehlen für Freunde von lebendig geschriebenen Sachbüchern