“Everybody is a genius. but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – – Albert Einstein

All the notes were taken directly from the source mentioned.

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Create something remarkable and put it infant of people predispose to care

Create ideas with an eye to maximizing their stickiness


Simplicity: One sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it

Unexpectedness: Generate interest

Concreteness: Naturally sticky ideas are full of concrete images

Credibility: Carry credentials

Emotions: Make them feel something


Curse of Knowledge: Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. It becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others because we can’t readily re-create the other person position. You can’t unlearn what you already know.

Invent new ideas, not new rules.


Find Core Idea

As a commander, I could spend a lot of time enumerating every specific task, but as soon as people know what the intent is they begin generating their own solutions.

If we do nothing else during tomorrow’s mission, we must

The sing, most important thing that we must do tomorrow is

The hard part is weeding out ideas that may be really important but just aren’t the most important.

“A designer knows he as achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” Saint-Exupery

Southwest Longest-serving CEO: Herb Kelleher

IDEAO Tom Kelly

For journalist “Inverted Pyramid”: The most important info at the top. Common mistake is to get so steeped in the details that you fail to see the message’s core.

Irrelevant uncertainty can paralyze us.

Know the priorities is not enough, you need to effectively share and achieve those priorities

Simple = Core + Compact

To make a profound idea compact you need to tap into the existing memory terrain of your audience, use what is already there.

Schemas help us to create complex messages from simple materials

People are tempted to tell you everything, with perfect accuracy, right up front, when they should be giving you just enough info to be useful, then a little more, then a little more.

Analogies make it possible to understand a compact message because they invoke concepts that you already know. Some are so useful that they don’t merely shed light on a concept, they actually become platforms for novel thinking… Generative analogies/metaphors create new perceptions, explanations and inventions   

Cast  members  don’t  interview  for  a  job,  they  audition for a role.

When they are walking around the park, they are onstage.

People visiting Disney are guests, not customers.

Jobs are performances; uniforms are costumes.


Surprise jolts us to attention. It must be postdictable,  the twist make sense after you think about it “Break the guessing machine and then fix it”

Identify the core

Figure out what is counterintuitive about the message

Communicate by breaking the guessing machine

Mysteries are powerful because they need to create closure.

Each turning point creates curiosity. Curiosity happens when we feel a gap in our knowledge.

One implication of the gap theory is that we need to open gaps before we close them. Our tendency is to tell people the facts. First they need to realize they need the facts: Highlight the message they are missing.

To prove their is a gap, it may be necessary to highlight some knowledge firs.

When we feel that we’re close to the solution of a puzzle, curiosity takes over and propels us to finish.

There is value in sequencing information – not dumpling a stack of information on someone at once but dropping clue after clue

The Gap Theory by Lowenstein

Unexpected ideas set up big knowledge gaps, but not so big that they seemed insurmountable (Audacious and provocative but not paralyzing)


Abstraction makes it harder to understand an idea and to remember it.

If you can examine something with your sense, it’s concrete.

Trying to teach an abstract principle without concrete foundation is like trying to start a house by building a roof in the air.



Stephen Covey – The 8th Habit

It can be the honesty and trustworthiness of our sources, not their status, that allow them to act as authorities

External credibility: Celebrity/expert or antiauthority.

The message needs to have “internal credibility” by using a strong example.
Testable credential: “See it for yourself” “Try before you buy”

A person’s knowledge of details is often a good proxy for her expertise

Truthful, core and vivid details boost credibility

Statistics should always be used to illustrate a relationship (makes it more tangible). Use them as input, not output

The right scale changes everything, it allows to bring our intuition to bear in assessing whether the content of a message is credible


The mere act of calculation reduces people’s charity, once we put on our analytical hat, we react to emotional appeals differently. We hinder our ability to feel.

Make people care by appealing to the things that matter to them.

Feelings inspire people to act.

Spell the benefit of the benefit:
“People don’t buy quarter-inch holes so they can hang their children’s picture”

Use 2nd person rather than 3rd person: You will enjoy… rather than people will enjoy..

It’s enough to promise reasonable benefits that people can easily imagine themselves enjoying

Abraham Maslow Psychologist – List of human needs

Transcendence: help others realize their potential

Self-actualization: realize our own potential, self-fulfillment, peak experiences

Aesthetic: symmetry, order, beauty, balance

Learning: know, understand, and mentally connect.

Esteem: achieve, be competent, gain approval, independence, status

Belonging: love, family, friends, affection

Security: protection, safety, stability

Physical: hunger, thirst, bodily comfort

Self-interest isn’t the whole story. Principles – equality, individualism, ideals about government, human rights etc might matter to us even when it violates our immediate self-interest.

Asking why helps remind us of the core values, the core principles, that underlie our ideas.

How to make people care

Use associations to other things people care.

Appeal to self-interest and identity (not only to who they are but also to who they want to be).

Take off their analytical hats, creating empathy for a specific individual.



Gary Klein “The Power of Stories”

Denning “The Springboard”

Credible ideas, make people believe. Emotional Ideas make people care, right stories make people act.

Humanity 101 – We want to talk to other people about the things we have in common.

A story is a simulation

Mental simulations help us manage emotions, and help us anticipate appropriate response to future situations.

Mental practice alone produces about 2/3 of the benefits of actual physical practice.

“Don’t just imagine being rich, also replay the steps that led to our being poor”.

The group that visualize how this problem arose, the beginning of it in detail, Step by step, visualizing the actions you took, the words you said, what you did, the environment the people and the place you were. That gives better preparation to cope with current problems than just positive visualization.

Visualize exposure to the thing you fear (the event itself, the process not the outcome)

That’s why in a book we should not be tempted to skip directly to the tips and leave the story out!

Stories provide inspiration, inspiration drives action.

3 Basic Plots

Challenge plot: A protagonist overcomes a formidable challenge and succeeds. It make us want to work harder, take on new challenges and overcome obstacles. (Ex: David and Goliath)

Connection plot: Inspiration in social ways, help to see ourselves reflected in others.

Creativity Plot: Involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle, or attacking a problem in an innovative way.

Learn to spot satires that have potential.

The problem is that when you hit listeners between the eyes they respond by fighting back in a debate (judging it, debating it, criticizing it, and argue back) With a story, you involve people with the idea, asking them to participate with you.

Villains of Stickness

Natural Tendency to bury the lead and get lost in a sea of information 
One of the worst things of knowing a lot is that you are tempted to share it all

Focusing on the presentation rather than on the message

Decision paralysis: Excessive choice or ambiguous situations

Getting a message across: You use your expertise to get to what you want, but when you want to tell others the same factors that worked for your advantage to understand it will backfire when telling others because of the curse of knowledge.

Making an idea stick by making the audience:

Pay Attention: Unexpected

Understand and remember it: Concrete

Agree/Believe: Credible

Care: Emotional

Be able to act on it: Story

Simply goes in the answer stage were you are formulating what you want to communicate.

Problems getting people to

pay attention to a message?

“No one is listening to me” or “They seem bored—they hear this stuff all the time.”

Solution: Surprise them by breaking their guessing machines—tell

them something that is uncommon sense.

“I lost them halfway through” or “Their attention was wavering toward the end.”

Solution: Create curiosity gaps—tell people just enough for them to realize the piece that’s missing from their knowledge. Or create mysteries or Puzzles that are slowly solved over the course of the communication.

Problems getting people to understand and remember

“They always nod their heads when | explain to them, but it never seems to translate into action.”

Solution: Make the message simpler and use concrete language. Use concrete, real world examples.

“We have these meetings where it seems like everyone is talking past each other” or “Everyone has such different levels of knowledge that it’s hard to teach them.”

Solution: Create a highly concrete turf where people can apply their knowledge. Have people grapple with specific examples of cases rather than concepts.

Problems getting people to

believe you or agree

“They’re not buying it.”

Solution: Find the telling details for your message. Use fewer authorities and more anti-authorities.

“They quibble with everything I say” or “I spend all my time arguing with them about this.”

Solution: Quiet the audience’s mental skeptics by using a spring-board story, switching them into creative mode. Move away from statistics and facts toward meaningful examples. Use an anecdote that passes the Sinatra Test.

Problems getting people to care

“They are so apathetic” or “No one seems fired up about this.”

Solution: Remember the Mother Teresa effect—people care more about individuals than they do about abstractions. Tell them an inspiring Challenge plot or Creativity plot story. Tap into their sense of their own identities, like the “Don’t Mess with Texas” ads, which suggested that not littering was the Texan thing to do.

“The things that used to get people excited just aren’t doing it anymore.”

Solution: Get out of Maslow’s basement and try appealing to more profound types of self-interest.

Problems getting people to act

“Everyone nods their heads, and then nothing happens.”

Solution: Inspire them with a Challenge plot story (Jared, David and Goliath) or engage them by using a springboard story (the World Bank). Make sure your message is simple and concrete enough to be useful—turn it into a proverb (“Names, names, and names”).

A strategy is a guide to behavior, good strategy drives action


The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

Every organization must make choices among attractive options: Customer service versus cost minimization. Revenue growth versus maximizing profitability. Quality versus speed to market. People development versus the needs of the quarter. Mix together lots of these tensions—an atmosphere full of potential opportunities and risks and uncertainties and incomplete information —and you’ve got a recipe for paralysis.

The hardest decision are the ones where we must decide between two good options

In any entrepreneurial organization, there’s a natural tension between efficiency and experimentation

Executives need to use incentives to reward people who are improvers, not inventors

Same understanding of a strategy, people can disagree constructively

Common strategic language allows everyone to contribute

Barriers to talking strategy:

Curse of Knowledge, Decision paralysis and lack of common strategic vocabulary.

Making your strategy stick

Be Concrete: (specific and sensory so that everyone understands the message in a similar way)

Say something unexpected: What’s new about it? What’s different?

Tell stories: You can reconstruct the moral from the story, but you can’t reconstruct the story from the moral.

Rather than just using repetition to communicate your strategy:

Determine the right strategy

Communicate in a way that allows it to become part of the organizational vocabulary

Wove into day-to-day conversations and decisions

How to unstick ideas? Ricky sticky with stickier ideas



Determine the most important thing

Beat decision paralysis through relentless prioritization


Simple= core + compact

Tap into existing schemas

Create a high-concept pitch

Use a generative analogy


Break a pattern

Break people’s guessing machines


Create a mystery

The Gap Theory of Curiosity


Concreteness of a fable

Make abstraction concrete


Find common ground

Make it real


Authority and antiauthority

Use convincing details









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