The Habits of Successful Organizations Chapter 4: More than one audience member questioned his sanity. Paul was immensely successful in his stated safety goals; by his retirement eleven years later, Alcoa went from having about an accident a week at each plant to boasting a worker injury rate that was one-twentieth the national average. His predecessor tried to mandate quality improvements, and the result was a 15,employee strike.
Introduction At various points in modern history, ideas, products, messages, and other behaviors have suddenly and unexpectedly become very popular. Certain clothes become fashionable, crime rates go down at an unprecedented rate, and religions find millions of new worshippers.
This phenomenon is called a social epidemic. Intuitively, most people would like to think that social epidemics happen slowly and gradually. But in fact, many changes in society are so sudden that The tipping point book summary almost seem to happen overnight. There are three ways to understand social epidemics: Each way of understanding a social epidemic corresponds to a different rule or law of epidemics.
The first law of social epidemics is the Law of the Few.
In all social epidemics, a small handful of people wield a disproportionate amount of power. All people are connected to other people through family, friendship, work, hobbies, etc.
If the Maven tells a Connector about his discovery, then news of the product will reach many people, helping the product to become a major trend. Salesmen are adept at persuading people to change their behavior.
So when news of a trend passes from Mavens to Connectors to Salesmen, the trend will influence the behavior of many people, allowing the trend to reach its Tipping Point. One of the best examples of stickiness is the TV show Sesame Street.
The producers tried to teach children about reading and math by first interesting them. The final rule for understanding epidemics is the principle of context.
Intuitively, people believe that human beings behave a certain way because of their innate talents, personalities, or inclinations. But in reality, real-world human behavior is more often dictated by context—in other words, the physical environment in which humans live and move.
A good example of the importance of context and environment in shaping human behavior is the Broken Window Hypothesis—the idea that cities can cut down in serious crime by preventing minor crimes like graffiti and public urination.
Another important example of the importance of context is group size. Scientists have determined that groups of more than people tend to be less cooperative and close than groups of people or less—even an increase from people to people has big implications for the cooperativeness of the group.
Businesses like Gore Associates have been successful in part because they keep their office sizes capped at people. As a result, Gore employees know one another well, cooperate, and feel comfortable specializing in specific areas of the company.
There are many potential applications of the three laws of social epidemics. One potential application is marketing and advertising. Airwalk was successful in large part because it was able to stay informed about new trends and popular ideas, and then incorporate these ideas into its commercials and ads.
Another potential application of the discussion of social epidemics is the trend of teen smoking in the United States, which bears a lot of resemblance to the teen suicide epidemic in Micronesia. In other words, the teenage smoking epidemic is partly the result of powerful Salesmen who persuade teenagers to smoke.
The question becomes, then, if the government wants to reduce teen smoking, should it try to reduce the stickiness of smoking or try to change Salesmen to persuade teenagers not to smoke? Gladwell suggests that instead, officials should try to make smoking itself less addictive, either by mandating that tobacco companies reduce the amount of nicotine in their cigarettes or perhaps by trying to treat depression, which often acts as a chemical trigger for teenagers to become addicted to nicotine.
The book concludes that the world is not immoveable. Cite This Page Choose citation style: Retrieved September 13, Malcolm Gladwell is the author of three other books, The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw, all of which are New York Times bestsellers. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since , prior to which he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business and science and also served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference is the debut book by Malcolm Gladwell, first published by Little, Brown in Gladwell defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point". The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological changes that mark everyday life.
Free Relapse Prevention Worksheets Online - 14 part relapse prevention plan from US Drug Rehab Centers. The Tipping Point study guide contains a biography of Malcolm Gladwell, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About The Tipping Point The Tipping Point Summary. The Tipping Point has , ratings and 11, reviews. Nick said: This book is fascinating and I was disappointed to read that many other readers didn /5.
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Nature is fragile, environmentalists often tell us. But the lesson of this book is that it is not so. The truth is far more worrying. Nature is strong and packs a serious counterpunch Global warming will very probably unleash unstoppable.