Resources » Book Reviews
Reader aids with applicable models from key books. Go to Store for seventy-plus non-fiction books referenced in our research into behavioral definitions. Additional books are referenced on page 17 in the seminal whitepaper Unleashing the Power of Definitions.
People think with definitions; few think about definitions and their all-but-hidden promise. Resources include original material along with supporting visuals to clarify how Members can both benefit and use definitions to open eyes!
Made To Stick
The SUCCESs checklist is one of the integrating concepts for the selection and implementation of sapient definitions. The brothers, Chip & Dan Heath have defined six powerful principles. It is both a great read and tool. Our reviewer notes from the book Made to Stick follow. Definitions: Mount Hamilton Wilderness, pamelo, Cast Member, Sandwich Artist, and Good Samaritan. — 900 words
Made To Stick - SUCCESs Model
"A sticky idea is understood." Links to the Heath brother’s SUCCESs Model summary chart. It is a framework that also illustrates how a definition, for example, "secondhand smoke", can have a huge impact. Secondhand smoke was a Simple (Principle #1), totally Unexpected (#2) message. It transformed the U.S. smoking debate. Non-smokers suddenly had rights and the leverage to do something about it. This was and still is a Concrete (#3) and a Credible (#4) definition (based on research and studies), but most of all "it allowed people to care about people, not numbers." This highly Emotional (#5) definition always had a factual basis. The Stories (#6) of asthma and respiratory problems prompted by secondhand smoke got a second wind. The U.S. as a result ostracized smoking in public places and now has the lowest smoking rate in the world. A single sapient definition helped alter the habits and change the beliefs of an entire country.
Use the best science and technology to make health care more available and
affordable. In a deeply humane way, predictive health could hold a key to living as healthy as
we can as long as possible. — 620 words
The Medici Effect
The idea of focusing within an Intersection of fields is one of several integrating concepts for identifying and implementing sapient definitions. Indeed, by definition, less built-in resistance to change is likely in a no-man’s-land. Other definitions: Field and Intersection. — 250 words
Author Remarks, Endorsements...
Author-provided quotes, thumbnail stories and perspectives relating to select research books and behavioral definitions:
hidden persuaders for rewiring behavior and simplifying change. Go to Store to buy books.
In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas have Something Missing
Matt May shares a story:
Thumbnail Narrative: "Imagine that you've just inherited $20 million free and clear, but you only have ten years to live. What would you do differently—and specifically, what would you stop doing? This 20-10 assignment was given to a younger, but now acclaimed consultant and thought leader, Jim Collins by a Stanford Business School professor he admired.
Though he wasn't her student Collins took the a... (Read more...)
Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious
Professor Gerd Gigerenzer thumbnails one featured story:
"If there is a default, do nothing about it.
How would that rule explain why people in the U.S. die because there are too few organ donors, whereas France has plenty? Since 1995, some fifty thousand U.S. citizens have died waiting in vain for a suitable organ donor. In countries such as the U.S., Great Britain, and Germany, the legal default is that nobody is a donor wi... (Read more...)
Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk
Against the Gods is a story of stories. The book describes the evolution of risk management and the large influence this has had on human behaviors including the willingness for both businesses and individuals to take and manage high-risk endeavors.
Insurance began as a form of gambling since there was little theoretical foundation for assessing risk. As Peter describes in his linked website, “this book tells the story of a... (Read more...)
Freedom, Inc.: Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business
Isaac Getz provides two blubs which our referenced thumbnail story helps bring to life.
"Carney and Getz book's central point: If you give your workers maximum freedom, they will lead your business to higher productivity, profits, and growth." —New York Times
"Messrs. Carney and Getz offer portraits of chief executives who guided their businesses to prosperity by freeing up talent." —Wall Street Journal... (Read more...)
Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things
Laurence Gonzales writes:
"Much of my work revolves around two concepts, mental models and behavioral scripts. Mental models are simplified representations of things in the world that allow you to instantly call up the whole thing. For example, a sign for parking for the handicapped shows a symbol that we immediately identify as a person in a wheelchair. But the image doesn't really look like a person or a wheelchair. In order to work, the system of men... (Read more...)
The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World
From Tim Harford's author website: The paperback of The Logic of Life is published in the US by Random House in February 2009 and in the UK by Little Brown in March 2009.
"Life often seems to defy logic. When a prostitute agrees to unprotected sex, or a teenage criminal embarks on a burglary, or a smoker lights another cigarette, we seem to be a million miles from what we would call rational be... (Read more...)
The Nothing That Is
Bob Kaplan corresponds:
"If you look at zero you see nothing; but look through it and you will see the world. For zero brings into focus the great, organic sprawl of mathematics, and mathematics in turn the complex nature of things. From counting to calculating, from estimating the odds to knowing exactly when the tides in our affairs will crest, the shining tools of mathematics let us follow the tacking course everything takes through everything e... (Read more...)
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
A featured story, PatientsLikeMe describes an experimental web service begun in 2004 that is both a behavioral definition and a service burning its brand into the minds of suffering patients. They enable patients with a similar life altering disease like MS (Multiple Sclerosis) or an even rarer one like PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) to get unfiltered answers and insights. This includes details relating to outcomes and medica... (Read more...)
Ellen Langer shares an insight:
"We can influence our lives if not our deaths.
While death may be inevitable and life after death unknowable, we certainly can influence life before death. If we put together all that we have learned thus far, we come up with a new way to understand health. When we recognize that doctors can only know so much, that medical data are not absolute truths, that language hides decisions that rob us of choic... (Read more...)
Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
Keith Sawyer, a psychologist at Washington University, shares his insights.
"Creativity has long been thought to be an individual gift, best pursued alone; schools, organizations, and whole industries are built on this idea. But what if the most common beliefs about creativity are wrong?
My book tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity and erects new principles in their place.
Creativity is always collaborative—even when ... (Read more...)
The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
On a cold evening at six o’clock in a still colder basement of an old building in Plough Court, London, England an unknown amateur meteorologist rose to speak. He untied a stack of handwritten papers and set a roll of watercolor drawings on a nearby chair. This was December, 1802 and this 30-year-old Quaker and chemist named Luke Howard was to address a room of people drawn to science and philosophy. He never imagined that this dreary evening his talk about clas... (Read more...)
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
John Ratey shares his insight.
"Fitness-not-sportsis a redefinition designed to guide behaviors over a lifetime. Rigorous PE was an evolving concept and definition for changing instructional and student learning behaviors first applied in the Naperville, Illinois School District.
It now travels elsewhere under various nom plumes including PE4life. It has proven effective wherever it has been adopted. Getting it a... (Read more...)
The Change Function
In Duncan J. Watts’ 2011 book—Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer, Chapter 5 (History, the Fickle Teacher)—sampling bias suggests we should pay attention to the failures as well as the successes when developing an under-recognized pattern like behavioral definitions.
Pip Coburn’s Total Perceived Pain of Adoption (TPPA) is a long-winded way of saying the cost of switching—... (Read more...)