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"Making It Stick"
Author: Ewers, Justin,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: July/August 2009

It seems to happen every day. A meeting is called to outline a new strategy or sales plan. Down go the lights and up goes the PowerPoint. Strange phrases appear--"unlocking shareholder value," "technology-focused innovation," "maximizing utility." Lists of numbers come and go. Bullet point by bullet point, the company's goals float across the screen. Eyes glaze over. Some ideas have longer shelf lives than others. Nike said "Just do it," and people did. John F. Kennedy announced that the U.S. would put a man on the moon in under 10 years--and it happened. Most managers can't get their employees to remember the salient points of their last presentation. In "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die," brothers Chip and Dan Heath aim to change that. Chip, a professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Dan, a consultant at Duke Corporate Education, argue that great ideas are made, not born--and that businesses can drastically improve their messages. Drawing on the work of psychologists, education researchers, and political scientists, the Heaths identify six traits they think all great ideas--from urban legends to public policy to product design--have in common. Call it the tipping point for the How to Win Friends and Influence People set. The Heaths' own big idea is already generating business school buzz. The author spoke with the Heaths about the six things managers can do to tap into their inner JFK and keep employees awake: (1) simplicity; (2) unexpectedness; (3) concreteness; (4) credibility; (5) emotion; and (6) stories.

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