This Idea Is Sticky

It delights me every time I discover a way that the world of knowledge available to human kind is applicable across disciplines.

Granted, the book Made to Stick is intended to apply as a guideline without any particular discipline in mind, only communication and retention of ideas in general.

I’m working right now to make a particular set of ideas sticky in my organization.

Aside from crafting an appealing presentation of the message itself, who you convince is just as important.

I’m only going to succeed if all the key stakeholders and influencers in that decision are on board.

When they talk with each other about this, they should find they already agree on the approach.

The approach I’m trying to make stick.

Sticky Status Meetings

While driving to work one day, I realized how the ideas can and should apply to project status meetings.

There are usually specific points that you want to highlight with those in the room, be they the sponsor, project team, customer, etc.

Let’s say you have a particular risk on your project that is looking like it may be a big issue, and you are asking for your sponsor’s help in mitigating or preparing for it.

If that is the biggest issue for your sponsor to help with, you want the risk and what they can do to help to stick with them, and make it a dominant thought when they leave the meeting.

Whenever they think of your project, they should associate it with that risk they need to help with.

Sticky Team Meetings

OK, so now you are holding a status meeting with your team.

You want to review progress over the last period, talk about what is happening now and coming up, and make sure everyone is away of risks that could impact their work.

This is an opportunity to recognize people for their accomplishments, and it would be very helpful if the idea that “this project manager appreciates our effort, and recognizes us for it” sticks with them.

You also may want to pick out a few key milestones that everyone is working towards, and major risks they should look out for so you can be notified as early as possible if something comes up.

With every example you care to come up with, it is important how you craft and present the message.

What are your sticky ideas, and how do you make them stick?

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Josh Nankivel

Right now there is a group of ideas I’m trying to make stick in my organization.

I want to re-align teams and system architecture to enable lean/agile for future missions.

There is a lot of momentum in the culture for doing things the way they’ve always been done, but so far it looks promising.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Love this book! It really “stuck” with me long after I read it. Incidentally, at our team meeting this week I summarized some of the comments that were made in three pithy phrases of roughly 3-4 words. I was really just having fun with it to end the meeting on a positive note, but I suppose it could work as a quick summary of the important take-aways of the meeting, like “Say ‘No’ to Creep” and “Ryan Rocks”.

Josh Nankivel

I like that Andy. It’s like “Got Milk?” and other catch phrases that aren’t easy to forget and stick with you.

Jay Johnson

Since we live in a world where ideas and information are a form of currency, knowing how to better share them with others and be remembered is extremely important to any activity.