One of the best books that I’ve started reading¹ this year is Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The thrust of the book is that ideas that are memorable share certain common features. By learning those features, you can make your own ideas more “sticky.” The six principles that the Heath brothers identified are:
Read more about these principles and see illustrations (ranging from urban legends to important consumer health warnings) in an excerpt from the book here.
Made to Stick should certainly be required reading for litigators, but all of us need to make ideas memorable. And what’s delightful about the concept of stickiness is that it’s an easy and enjoyable read that will pay quick dividends largely because the concepts (once identified) are rather intuitive.
Footnote 1: You might wonder why I’m recommending a book that I’ve started to read but haven’t yet finished. That’s because I was reading it while on a business trip. When I was packing for my flight home, I knew I needed to review some papers and so I packed Made to Stick in my checked luggage. Big mistake. My luggage was somehow mistagged when I left Richmond (even though I watched the Delta agent tag the bag) and I got the runaround when I tried to track it down in Atlanta. Very long story short, it’s now been 15 days and there’s no sign of my luggage. I’d be delighted to bellyache about this further (there’s plenty of grist for that particular mill!) but suffice it to say that I’ll have to pick up another copy before I can finish reading the book.