No one cares about your message if they can't act on it. Simple, concrete stories prevail.
Plans are useful because they force you to think through the right issues. Not becauase they will actually predict what will happen.
When people know the desired destination, they’re free to improvise, as needed, in arriving there.
Sharing intent allows others to use their own creativity. Micromanagement squashes that.
Find the most important. Eliminate the kinda important. This is difficult.
Commander’s Intent. It’s about elegance and prioritization, not dumbing down.
Suppose you’re a wartime reporter and you can telegraph only one thing before the line gets cut, what would it be?
If you say three things, you don’t say anything.
Uncertainty paralyzes Even if it's irrelevant.
Giving students two good alternatives to studying, rather than one, makes them less likely to choose either. Movie vs ice skating.
Curse of knowledge. Knowing something and being able to share something are different skills.
Speak in clear, tangible language.
“Names, names, and names.” Concrete, but also succinct.
Simple = Core + Compact
Compact enough to be sticky and meaningful enough to make a difference.
Each idea should do a few things and do them well.
"Like a grapefuit, but different" is more useful than "a type of citrus fruit".
A message is useless is it can't be used to make predictions or decisions. Regardless of how accurate or comprehensive it is.
An accurate but useless idea is still useless.
Good metaphors are “generative.” They generate “new perceptions, explanations, and inventions.”
Grab attention: Break a pattern.
When we're angry we become more certain of our judgments. This gives context to why fights happen in relationships.
Use surprise to reinforce the core message.
Surprise isn’t enough. We also need insight.
Surprise must be “postdictable.” The twist makes sense after you think about it, Fridge brilliance.
The facts aren't enough. Understand what it meant. And why it mattered.
First, highlight some specific knowledge that they’re missing.
The way to get people to care is to provide context.
Language is often abstract, but life is not abstract
Messages could not be allowed to grow more ambiguous.
Focus on specific people doing specific things.
Concrete, easily visualized nouns are easier to remember.
We trust the recommendations of people whom we want to be like.
The company wants to sell you shampoo. Your friend doesn’t, so she gets more trust points.
Legends “acquire a good deal of their credibility and effect from their localized details.”
Stories can claim credibility from details, rather than an external source.
Statistics illuminate a relationship. The relationship matters more than the numbers.
Concrete examples (distance from the sun to the earth) that humans don't have proportion of are less useful.
The Sinatra Test. If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.
“If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” -Mother Teresa
Feelings inspire people to act.
What happened with contributions when donors were asked to think analytically before donating? (They went down).
Find common ground between something they care about and the idea you're sharing.
Emphasize benefits over features. "Here is something you want."
The hierarchical aspect of Maslow’s theory is probably bogus.
Lee realizes that serving food is a job, but improving morale is a mission. Improving morale involves creativity and experimentation and mastery. Serving food involves a ladle.
Always structuring our ideas around self-interest is like always painting with one color. It’s stifling for us and uninspiring for others.
What would someone like me do?
Syrek knew that this type of messaging wouldn’t solve Texas’s problem. In his view, those kinds of ads are just “preaching to the choir.” What Texas needed to do was reach people who weren’t inclined to shed tears over roadside trash.
Syrek knew that the best way to change Bubba’s behavior was to convince him that people like him did not litter.
The idea was that Bubba would respond to an identity appeal better than he would to a rational self-interest appeal.
Asking “Why?” helps to remind us of the core values, the core principles, that underlie our ideas.
"Oh, I never realized." It wasn't real. Hospital staff video from perspective of patient.
Empathy emerges from the particular rather than the pattern.
We appeal to their self-interest, but we also appeal to their identities—not only to the people they are right now but also to the people they would like to be.
The story’s power, then, is twofold: It provides simulation (knowledge about how to act) and inspiration (motivation to act). Note that both benefits, simulation and inspiration, are geared to generating action.
Shop talk conveys important clues about how to respond to the world.
When we hear a story, we simulate it.
This may not happen when we watch something. Connections to the Feynman inner-clock story. Maybe simulation works because we're not otherwise using the visual centers of our brain while listening.
The people who simulated how the events unfolded, did better.
Maybe financial gurus shouldn’t be telling us to imagine that we’re filthy rich; instead, they should be telling us to replay the steps that led to our being poor.
A story is powerful because it provides the context missing from abstract prose.
Velcro theory of memory, the idea that the more hooks we put into our ideas, the better they’ll stick.
Jared reminds us that we don’t always have to create sticky ideas. Spotting them is often easier and more useful.
the Challenge plot, the Connection plot, and the Creativity plot.
Challenge plot: David and Goliath.
A protagonist overcomes a formidable challenge and succeeds.
Connection plot: Good Samaritan.
This is what a Connection plot is all about. It’s a story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap—racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic, or otherwise.
Creativity plot: Newton's Apple. MacGyver.
The Creativity plot involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle, or attacking a problem in an innovative way.
Shackleton came up with a creative solution for dealing with the whiny, complaining types. He assigned them to sleep in his own tent. When people separated into groups to work on chores, he grouped the complainers with him. Through his constant presence, he minimized their negative influence.
“How wonderful! They’ve stolen my idea. It’s become their idea!”
“Don’t ignore the little voice…. Instead, work in harmony with it. Engage it by giving it something to do. Tell a story in a way that elicits a second story from the little voice.”
The problem, of course, is that it’s impossible to transfer an edifice in a ninety-minute presentation. The best you can do is convey some building blocks. But you can’t pluck building blocks from the roof, which is exactly what you’re doing with a recommendation like “Keep the lines of communication open.”
Pluck stories instead.
In making ideas stick, the audience gets a vote.
Ultimately, the test of our success as idea creators isn’t whether people mimic our exact words, it’s whether we achieve our goals.
Does the public message maintain a deeply ingrained sense of the core message that we want to communicate?
It’s crucial to realize that creation, period, is unnecessary.
The world will always produce more great ideas than any single individual, even the most creative one.
Grab attention: UNEXPECTED
Understand and remember it: CONCRETE
Be able to act on it: STORY