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top tips

What makes ideas sticky? Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die was written by Chip Heath and Dan Heath It is a thought-provoking book, filled with business illustrations we can all learn from. Forbes Low Forbes Design Associates In this editorial of Top Tips, I have taken very limited highlights from the book to demonstrate how to make our ideas stick. The book is a great read. 1. FIND THE CORE Finding the core of an idea is far harder than it may seem without turning it into a silly sound bite. The hard part isn’t weeding out unimportant aspects. It is in pruning the most important, but not truly essential aspects distilling the idea to its core. The military uses a “Commander Intent” (CI) instead of a plan. For example, rather than details on how to take a bridge, the CI might be “take the bridge.” As in journalism, tell most important aspect first, edit, then add details. 2. EMOTIONAL BUTTONS Emotion is a key component of stickiness, but it’s not about pushing people’s emotional buttons. The goal of making message “emotional” is to make people care. For people to take action, they have to care.

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To illustrate this, a group studied the effect of soliciting funds for starving children in Africa with two appeals: one appeal based on statistics, the other focusing on a single named child. The latter appeal won. The study showed that any time reason was used, the amount of giving decreased. Once we put on our analytical hat, we react to emotional appeals differently. 3. TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED The first requirement of effective communication is getting attention. The second is keeping it. To do this, you use the unexpected. We all tend to think in patterns, the key is to break them. So, a good process for making ideas stick is: (1) Identify the central message you need to communicate – find the core;

4. DETAILS AND STATISTICS What makes people believe ideas? We base it on authorities - our parents, tradition or experts. There are several ways to do this but here are two: Details: A study revealed that jurors were more likely to grant custody in a case where they had lots of details - even though irrelevant like the type of toothbrush a child used - than when they had scanty, but essential details. Statistics: These are rarely meaningful by themselves but statistics will, and should, almost always be used to illustrate a relationship. A manager once tried to give the dry statistics. However, he got more impact when he mapped this figure onto a soccer team: “If a soccer team had this same make up only 4 out of 11 would know where their goal was!” 5. STORIES

Here are three examples: 1. The Challenge Plot: This is the classic underdog, rags to riches, or willpower triumphing over adversity. 2. The Connection Plot: This story is about people who develop a relationship that bridges a social gap. All connection plots inspire us in community ways. 3. The Creativity Plot:

(2) Figure out what are the unexpected implications of your core message and why isn’t it already happening naturally?

A key to making an idea sticky is to tell it as a great story. The hard part though creating it. Always be on the lookout for them.

(3) Communicate your message in a way that breaks your audience’s pre-set expectations.

To grow your business, you need to share your ideas. Get in touch and we guarantee our ideas will help bring out the best in your business. www.forbesdesign.co.uk

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Kingston upon Thames Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management,...

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