Posts Tagged ‘Gladwell’

Unusual Christmas speculations

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Tongue in cheek reflections on the birth of Jesus, why we unwrap Christmas presents and why Santa Claus is so adored, from Malcolm Gladwell at Vanity Fair.

Thanks to Felix Salmon


Necessary conditions for cultural change

April 19, 2009 1 comment

Did a book summary last week on the book Tipping Point–you can see the full book summary here.

Question of the book: How does a movement begin? Or an epidemic or a fad or an idea?

Key idea of the book “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” 7

Three main ideas in the book

  1. Good ideas are contagious: a small number of people can bring about a change that impacts many
  2. Little changes can bring big effects
  3. Once the critical factors are in place, epidemics happen very quickly. Change happens not gradually but in one dramatic moment or at a tipping point

Synonyms for tipping point: critical mass, threshold, boiling point 12

Tipping points start when

¨ The influence of special people (connectors, mavens and persuaders) are involved

¨ You are able to make the content of your message “sticky”

¨ You are able to discover small changes in the context that get things started

Just finished Culture Making by Andy Crouch today; a book in which he helps us understand how we can impact our culture.  In commenting on Gladwell’s book, Crouch says, Gladwell has discovered three “necessary conditions for cultural success. But they are not sufficient.” 196 In other words, when we try to introduce a “cultural good” (to use Crouch’s words) Gladwell may have discovered common factors in all cultural successes (“necessary conditions”) but we cannot guarantee success (sufficient conditions)–especially when we are talking about a large scale cultural change. Should brings humility and dependency on grace for those of us who would seek to be involved in bringing about cultural changes in our world.

In fact, Crouch says that there is no way we can guarantee the success of a cultural good on a large scale.