Why do engineers (like me) often sound like Charlie Brown’s parents? “Wa Waa Wa Waa Wa Waa”
It’s because we employ very few of the 6 “sticky” devices covered in “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die“. This book was both eureka and sledgehammer over the head for me. I’m very glad that I’ve found a book that can help me commmunicate better and whimpering from the clear evidence of how painfully “bad” I often am.
I highly recommend this book for engineers. If you read one book this coming year – pick this one. It will help you in your work. More importantly — It will help you in “Real Life” In fact with the holiday season coming quick. I’d recommend power reading it before you venture out into the “real world” of christmas socials.
The six sticky devices ( or characteristics ) can be remembered using the mnenoic SUCCES
- Simplicity—finding the core of any idea
- Unexpectedness—grabbing people’s attention by surprising them
- Concreteness—making sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later
- Credibility—giving an idea believability
- Emotion—helping people see the importance of an idea
- Stories—empowering people to use an idea through narrative
The devices that detract from stickiness are (unfortunately employed a lot by engineers & other professionals) :
- Abstraction — ie not concrete. The authors hammer home that the use of abstraction is proportional to ones level of eductation. ( hence the next point )
- The curse of knowledge — the more you know about a topic the harder it is to apply the 6 devices.
I listened to the book (audible link). The narrator, Charles Kahelenberg, is good and the result is an entertaining listen. It is “sticky”.
- Made To Stick Website
- Amazon Reviews — mostly glowing.
- iInnovate Interview with Chip Heath — this is a great introduction to the key concepts of the book.
A big thank you to Eric for pointing me towards this book. I really enjoyed it.