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.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

3 thoughts on “It’s Up To Us Now – Part 11”

  1. I guess the challenge here is to get people to agree on how to start with the change. One thing on my mind – how do you focus on, say infrastructure as an issue, when education has to be of higher priority? how many of these can you tackle in parallel (eg. infrastructure and employment)

  2. Wasn’t always up to us? When was it up to someone else? unless of course we were the slave, servants or needed someone’s pity or greed taking us out of the “rut” we were in?

    Rut, did you say. How many do realise they are in a rut? Rut is mostly something others see. If you see you are in a rut, you will probably get out of it.

    However, we can help people when they are growing up.( Less so when they have grown up). by helping them find ways to find ways.

    I support one laptop per child program because I see what it has done. I have been part of the idea for a decade, since the founding of Baramati Conference where Nicholas Negroponte spent a couple days and shared his ideas about what was doable at the time.

    In a dynamic world we will often find nicer ways to get out of the rut than any “how to” books can probably offer. Incidentally I have not read any “how to” book yet. May be that is what I may not measure up to any criteria of “success” that these little known authors may have.

    Thanks for sharing as religiously as you do.

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