February 14, 2009 12:28 PM Filed in: Leadership
Made to Stick
Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
In the opening example of this book the authors compare an elaborate 'kidney heist' story with a couple of sentences from a CEO's speech on his company's vision. Two years after reading the book, I still vividly remember the 'kidney heist' story even though I have not told the story or talked about it during that period. The excerpt from the speech—I could not remember it after about 60 seconds. I tried several times and after reading the paragraph again I would still forget a minute or so later. Then I tried the experiment with family, friends and colleagues and got the same result every time. What was the difference?
This book exposes the general characteristics of the sticky ideas versus non-sticky ideas. And these characteristics are not what I would intuitively think they should be (side note: some of these characteristics are such because of the way the brain has evolved over a geological timescale). There are plenty of examples to really get an in-depth understanding of each of the characteristics.
I now apply these in my communication and the results are dramatically more sticky than two years ago.
The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power
by Daniel Yergin
This is a must read for anyone interested in the energy industry, and the influence that energy and energy policies can have in the world. This book covers the history of oil from the first oil seepages in the mid-nineteenth century until the late twentieth century. Some fascinating takeaways for me were:
- The history of Standard Oil and Rockefeller, including the anti-trust laws and the eventual break up of Standard Oil.
- How oil shaped world politics in the twentieth century through its impact in the world wars, particularly WWII
- How policy making in the western world was influenced oil and how the oil producing countries adapted/reacted to that. Also how policies of the oil producing countries caused oil companies to adapt.