It’s Up To Us Now – Part 11

The final three books give us inputs on the “how” – how to make ideas sticky, how to bring about change, and how to leverage the power of social networks.

  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath: In the coming battle of ideas, how do we ensure our ideas win? The book’s SUCCES formula shows us the way. From the book’s description:  “Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures)-the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of “the Mother Teresa Effect”; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas-and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.”
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath: The second book by the Heath brothers is about how to bring about change – which is what we will have to do going ahead.  From the review in Publisher’s Weekly: “Change is not inherently frightening, but our ability to alter our habits can be complicated by the disjunction between our rational and irrational minds: the self that wants to be swimsuit-season ready and the self that acquiesces to another slice of cake anyway. The trick is to find the balance between our powerful drives and our reason. The authors’ lessons are backed up by anecdotes that deal with such things as new methods used to reform abusive parents, the revitalization of a dying South Dakota town, and the rebranding of megastore Target. Through these lively examples, the Heaths speak energetically and encouragingly on how to modify our behaviors and businesses. This clever discussion is an entertaining and educational must-read for executives and for ordinary citizens looking to get out of a rut.”
  • Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler: We are connected with many others in many different ways. If we are going to bring about change in the next few years, we will have to use our social networks to diffuse ideas and drive action. This books gives many examples of how it can be done.  From the book’s description: “In CONNECTED, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, CONNECTED overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm-that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.

There are many other books. But armed with this starting library, we will have the motivation and the approach to start working towards bringing about political and policy change in India – by 2014.

Continued tomorrow.