Ideas that are made to stick

We are probably aware that when it comes to communicating concepts some attempts are successful and others are not.  Yet, have we stopped to think why.  Chip and Dan Heath in their book, Made to Stick, asked the question, ‘Why do some ideas survive and others die?’  Rather than just guessing they studied lots of ‘sticky ideas’ and began to see a pattern emerging.  They saw the following key attributes:

  • Simplicity – ideas boiled down to the key concept
  • Unexpectedness – something surprising
  • Concreteness – avoiding being too abstract
  • Credibility – people need to why they can believe the idea
  • Emotions – if people are to care about the idea, they need to feel something
  • Story – stories have communicated ideas for thousands of year

If we consider each of these elements when we come to communicate an idea then there is every chance that it will stick.

The Heath’s book really is worth a read, and not surprisingly is a great bit of communication!

Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck

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