The Tipping Point: Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point is an excellent book that captures the imagination and presents a new view of why large scale events occur. It contains an analysis of the strategies people apply to influence and create significant change. Well worth reading and considering, perhaps with a view to applying the idea to your busines.

The key concepts from the book include:

  • Little things, changes and events can make a big difference.
  • A tipping point is the moment when an idea, social behaviour or trend crosses a point of no return and spreads in a viral fashion.
  • Epidemics start with a person, evolution begins with a single mutation and products and ideas can explode following minor changes.
  • Big results don’t always require big effort, a lever can make all the difference

The main reasons that something crosses the tipping point are:

  • The Law of the Few – A core number of people can drive a significant change when they are perceived as the correct messenger with the correct message using the most appropriate channel.
  • Stickiness – The message has to be worth taking action on
  • The Power of Context – Tipping points are subtle, highly dependent on time, place and circumstances.

Here are a few questions you may want to ask when considering how to apply this idea:

  • What message can you create that is sticky?
  • Who can spread this message for you?
  • How should they spread it?
  • Why is it worthy of being spread?
  • What is the best time, place and circumstance to start?

These questions clearly have a marketing flavour but the concept is transferrable to many areas including ideas, politics and even social events.

Flash mobs serve no obvious purpose but typify the idea of a tipping point.

A Mexican wave is another example.

How can you reach a tipping point?

Dare to Aspire


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