Chip and Dan Heath’s ‘Made to Stick’ Uncovers What Makes Ideas Matter
Choosing the Right Charity
How Your Business Can Give Back the Right Way
Have you ever wondered why certain stories that have no basis in fact get passed around like wildfire? Whether they’re rumors, urban legends, or conspiracy theories, these tales can often gain more traction than important ideas and facts. In their book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip and Dan Heath explore the qualities that give ideas relevance and pass-around value.
We believe that small businesses can have a positive impact on local communities and the wider world. A successful charity campaign can make a world of difference for people in need, especially over the holidays. But not all charitable organizations are created equal, and supporting the wrong organization can do more harm than good. Here are some tips on finding the best fit for your business. Align Missions When narrowing down the thousands of local and national charities you have to choose from, comparing the mission statements of these organizations to your own is a great place to start. Charities that align with or complement your own goals as a business are natural partners. Still, while matching big-picture goals is a great start, you also need to make sure your chosen organization aligns with the heart and soul of your business: your employees and customers. Find Human Connections The most powerful charity work your business can support is a cause that stems from the needs and passions of people connected to your work. Maybe a member of your team lives with a disability or a significant number of your customers face social, cultural, or economic challenges. Putting time, money, and effort into supporting a reputable organization that helps the people and communities connected to your business is one of the best ways to show you care. Check Credentials Good intentions only go so far. To really make your charity efforts count and ensure your donations are used appropriately, you need to do some research. Thankfully, organizations like the Better Business Bureau, Charity Watch, and GuideStar.org keep data on IRS-registered charities, making it easy to see which groups are reputable. In general, you should look for organizations that have a great track record of transparency and make all of their financial If you’re just looking for a tax write-off or good publicity, charity efforts are going to feel hollow and frustrating. More than anything, philanthropy should involve a cause your business is passionate about — no matter how big or small. Taking the time to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to support a particular cause will keep you from losing sight of what giving back is all about. information readily available. Remember the ‘Why’
“An accurate but useless idea is still useless,” they write. This point is key to understanding why people get excited about certain ideas and ignore others. The Heaths argue that the presentation of ideas can have just as much of an impact on their “stickiness” as the content of the ideas. After analyzing hundreds of examples, they note, “We began to see the same themes, the same attributes, reflected in a wide range of successful ideas.” world. Early in the book, the Heaths share six key principles, demonstrating how good ideas are made valuable and exciting by their simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, and credibility; are capable of rousing emotions; and are often presented in the form of stories. While these principles are relatively straightforward, they are often subverted in an effort to use business jargon and other neutered forms of language. The Heaths deploy John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about putting a man on the moon as an example of a compellingly relayed idea. “Had John F. Kennedy been a CEO, he would have said, ‘Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives,’” they explain. Nobody would have been excited about that. If you’ve ever thought that you had a great idea but couldn’t get your employees to buy into it, a lack of stickiness may be the cause. Understanding how to present your ideas in an inspiring way could unlock the key to increased productivity and growth like you've never achieved before. The next time you present an idea to your team, a group of conference attendees, or any other audience, ask yourself if that idea will stick. If it won’t, you’re just wasting your time. If you need a little guidance on how to make your ideas punch a little harder, “Made to Stick” should be on your holiday book list. “Made to Stick” explains those attributes using myriad examples to illustrate how stickiness works in the real
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