Time for a New Favorite Business Book: I'll try to contain my excitement...
I've just started reading Chip & Dan Heath's Made to Stick and already I'm loving it. Wish I had read it months ago (when I first received it from Amazon). The book is all about what makes ideas "sticky" or, in other words, "why some ideas survive and others die" (taken right from the cover...). The book exemplifies exactly why I ever got into marketing, namely, the coming together of psychology and language to explain how the very way you communicate something can have a dramatic effect on how a given idea or statement is received. But beyond that, I'm also really learning from this book. You may think, as a marketing professional with a degree in the humanities, I certainly must be able to communicate effectively already. Well, I am not so bold as to say that I could not use some improvement.
The first key quality of a "sticky" idea is Simplicity. Time and again I've been told to get to the point. Boil down whatever I'm trying to say. In my papers, in my presentations, I've been known to be wordy and I'm still constantly working on simplifying my communications. What I think I've learned - now that I've read a whole chapter simply on Simplicity - is that I just get too excited. I get so excited about something that I want to talk and talk and talk. Explain this and chat about that because my mind is racing from this to that and I just can't contain my excitement. Well, now I'm going to try. Try to contain my excitement. Because, as my new favorite business book points out, an idea communicated ineffectively is useless.
Along the way (reading through the book), I'll try to relay some tidbits here on my blog. Not only do I like to share my excitement (*smile*) but also the process of reorganizing and repeating these ideas certainly helps make them stick.