Monday, July 16, 2007

Book Report - Made to Stick

NCBC’s association Pastor Kim Pagel has done it again & recommend another great book (here is the other great book he recommended). “Made to Stick” had me sticking so many underlines in it that I underlined nine different ideas that I thought were blog worthy. But I have a filter with my book reviews to try & only have 2 to 3 key ideas and I stayed with that filter. I took away two ideas for me to implement and one idea to watch out for from this list of nine.

The first idea comes from the chapter on concrete thought. I work with 11-14 year old youth and most are still very much concrete thinkers. Black is black and white is white and there is no grey and yet they are starting to see the grey. I think every person who is the parent of, soon to be the parent of, or work with a middle school student should read this chapter. “Abstraction (grey) makes it harder to understand an idea and to remember it.” For these youth who are just starting to see the grey of life sharing concrete ideas (instead of abstract ideas) will really stick to them and be the building blocks for the rest of their lives. “If you’ve got to teach to a room of people, and you aren’t certain what they know, concreteness is the only safe language.” Since middle school youth often have problems understanding and knowing adstrace thoughts- concrete thoughts are huge.

I am a “scavenger” by nature. I often use other people’s ideas as the starting point for a message or an activity I put together. At the end of this book the Heath brothers say, “If you’re a great spotter, you’ll always trump a great creator. Why? Because the world will always produce more great ideas than any single individual, even the most creative one.” This is my other idea to keep implementing. Once in a while I can come up with a creative idea but most of the time I see other’s creative ideas, modify them, and they work. I use those ideas to impact middle school youth’s lives and it works.

My one “watch out” thought is the “Curse of Knowledge” that is peppered throughout the book. Chip and Dan talk about how this curse can keep things from sticking. “We start to forget what it’s like not to know what we know” is how they define this curse. I have been in full time ministry for almost 10 years and I have learned a lot. This knowledge can help me to get better at what I do or it can cause me to forget what it is like not to know something. To help combat the “Curse of Knowledge” they suggested one should ask the “Three Whys.” This is just the idea of asking your group or yourself three times why we/I are doing something. “Asking ‘Why?’ helps to remind us of the core values, the core principles, that underline our ideas.”

“Made to Stick” is a great book and one I hope to read again as it is packed full of useful ides to help make things stick in my life and in others.

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