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Monday, March 19, 2007
Made to Stick: Book Excerpt

I've been enjoying a new book the last few weeks. It's called "Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die," by Chip and Dan Heath. Their research indicates that successful or "sticky" ideas have six basic features: Simple-Unexpected-Concrete-Credible-Emotional-Storied. I'm up to the chapter on Credible. I found this excerpt fascinating.

"Stephen Covey, in his book, The 8th Habit, describes a poll of 23,000 employees drawn from a number of companies and industries. He reports the poll's findings:

+Only 37 percent said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why.
+Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team's and their organization's goals.
+ONly one in five said they had a clear 'line of sight' between their tasks and their team's and organization's goals.
+Only 15 percent felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals.
+Only 20 percent fully trusted the organization they worked for.

Pretty sobering stuff. It's also pretty abstract. You probably walk away from these stats thinking something like "There's a lot of dissatisfaction and confusion in most companies."

Then Covey superimposes a very human metaphor over the statistics. He says, "If, say, a soccer team had these same scores. . .

+Only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs.
+Only 2 of the 11 would care.
+Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do.
+All but two players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent."

Makes me wonder about where I'm working. How about you?
posted by John David Walt | at 3/19/2007 09:36:00 PM



Blogger Marcus G said...

Sounds like West Ham Utd to me!

Or a couple of churches I have known...

Hmm. Am wondering if I dare ask people here some of these questions:)

3:04 AM EDT  
Anonymous John Page said...

I wonder if you could superimpose those stats upon church settings? As in 33% of your congregation knows what the church is to be about, 20% would even care, etc.

Jesus' ideas were simple, unexpected, yet concrete. They became credible because of his actions and were full of emotion and were expressed through story. Seems like his ideas "stuck." Why is it then, that so much of what the church produces in "ideas" and books doesn't stick? Are we simply manufacturing overly complex, cliched, esoteric, unauthentic, rational, boring ideas? (to use the opposite of Heath's features) There are now DOUBLE the number of lost/pre christian/unchurched people in America than there were 10 years ago...so has the mega-church, seeker, boomer oriented model really worked? Wouldn't there be more impact if it had? I really want to know.....

9:56 AM EDT  

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