Manage By Walking Around http://jonathanbecher.com Aligning Execution With Strategy Mon, 17 Dec 2018 01:52:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 https://i2.wp.com/jonathanbecher.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-jb-logo.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Manage By Walking Around http://jonathanbecher.com 32 32 56894116 What’s the most difficult thing to do in sports? http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/16/most-difficult-thing-to-do-in-sports/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/16/most-difficult-thing-to-do-in-sports/#respond Sun, 16 Dec 2018 21:13:02 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7216 Years ago, ESPN assembled a panel of experts to determine which sport demanded the most from the athletes who compete in it. The experts ranked 60 sports on 10 different skills, including endurance, speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination. Their verdict: boxing is the most difficult sport while hockey is a close second. These are the...

The post What’s the most difficult thing to do in sports? appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Years ago, ESPN assembled a panel of experts to determine which sport demanded the most from the athletes who compete in it. The experts ranked 60 sports on 10 different skills, including endurance, speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination. Their verdict: boxing is the most difficult sport while hockey is a close second.

These are the most difficult sports but what’s the most difficult thing to do in any sport?

Before you reply, I’m referring to something that’s a normal part of the sport. Maybe it only happens infrequently but it can and does happen. An 80-yard field goal in football doesn’t count because it won’t ever get attempted (I know, I know – never say never).  Similarly, a full court basket has happened but you wouldn’t consider it a normal part of basketball.

Popular wisdom seems to claim that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. There’s plenty of science that backs up how difficult it is to see a fastball, react to its trajectory, and make contact – all in less than ½ of a second. Even from a surface area perspective, the baseball only takes up less than 2% of the strike zone. Hitting a baseball is clearly very difficult.

It’s difficult but not impossible. Over the years, the league-wide batting average has generally ranged between .250 and .275. Since batting average doesn’t include walks and hit-by-pitch, it essentially means batters are successful 25% of the time.

I non-scientifically checked the success percentage for several other feats in sports and noticed that stopping a penalty kick might be even harder than hitting a baseball – at least from a percentage standpoint. A study of 138 penalty shots in World Cup Finals games between 1982 and 1994 showed that goalies stopped only 14.5% of the shots. In fact, goalies correctly guessed the direction of the kick only 41% of the time; that’s worse than random. Other studies show the success rate as a little higher (perhaps 18%) but still lower than hitting a baseball.

Does this mean stopping a penalty kick is harder than hitting a baseball? Not conclusively. It’s hard to compare the two events since a hitter comes up to the plate multiple times a game whereas a soccer player might go many months without attempting a penalty shot. Practice might not make perfect but it does improve the odds of success.

If forced to give an answer, I would say blocking a penalty kick in soccer is the most difficult thing to do in sports. What would YOU pick?

The post What’s the most difficult thing to do in sports? appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/16/most-difficult-thing-to-do-in-sports/feed/ 0 7216
The Confirmation Bias Is No Joke http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/09/confirmation-bias-is-no-joke/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/09/confirmation-bias-is-no-joke/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2018 04:11:06 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7204 Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for or interpret information in a way that confirms preexisting beliefs or assumptions. A classic joke supporting the confirmation bias goes like this: A stranger visits a small town and notices that everyone is wearing garlic around their necks. He asks the town sheriff about the strange custom...

The post The Confirmation Bias Is No Joke appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for or interpret information in a way that confirms preexisting beliefs or assumptions. A classic joke supporting the confirmation bias goes like this:

A stranger visits a small town and notices that everyone is wearing garlic around their necks. He asks the town sheriff about the strange custom and learns it’s to keep the elephants away. “Does it work?” he asks. The response: “You don’t see any elephants around here, do you?”

The confirmation bias not only means we don’t look for information which might disprove our bias but we also ignore any evidence that might contradict it.

The term confirmation bias was coined by English psychologist Peter Cathcart Wason. His 2-4-6 experiment demonstrates “our natural tendency to confirm rather than disprove our own ideas.” In the experiment, subjects were told they would be given a sequence of three numbers and asked to figure out what the rule was that governed their sequence. To help the process, subjects were allowed to ask the experimenter whether two other sequences met the rule. Try it yourself:

The initial series is 2-4-6. You might guess that the rule is increasing numbers by two. If so, you would ask the experimenter if 8-10-12 also fits the rule. It does. This confirms your initial guess so you ask whether 20-22-24 fits the rule. It also does. Twice confirmed, you announce that the rule is even numbers, increasing by twos.

That’s incorrect. The rule is any increasing numbers.

The problem is that you didn’t challenge your own theory but only asked questions that would confirm it. You could have asked about 9-11-13 (which would have disproved even numbers) or about 10-11-12 (which would have disproved increasing by twos). In the experiment, only one in five people was able to guess the correct rule. The rest had confirmation bias.

The current discussion of echo chambers in social media is an example of confirmation bias in action. Because we tend to follow people who share our beliefs, we only see information that supports our point of view. If contradictory evidence appears in our feed, we discount it or ignore it completely. We believe what we see and see what we believe.

We can combat fake news through rigorous fact-checking and use of the baloney detection kit but overcoming a confirmation bias is even more difficult. When I have a strong point of view, I try to be open-minded by asking myself what would cause me to change my opinion and then diligently look for that evidence. I also intentionally add people to my social feeds with differing points of views so that I’m exposed to conflicting opinions. Being diligent helps but can’t completely overcome the natural human tendency to believe we’re right – despite the evidence to the contrary.

The confirmation bias is no joke.

The post The Confirmation Bias Is No Joke appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/12/09/confirmation-bias-is-no-joke/feed/ 1 7204
The Pygmalion Effect in Business http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/25/the-pygmalion-effect-in-business/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/25/the-pygmalion-effect-in-business/#comments Sun, 25 Nov 2018 20:47:09 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7190 In 1965 two researchers conducted a now-famous experiment in a public elementary school, dubbed Pygmalion in the classroom. The researchers told teachers that about one-fifth of their students were unusually intelligent (so-called “growth spurters”), based on results of a fictitious IQ test. Even though the gifted students were seemingly chosen at random, these students performed...

The post The Pygmalion Effect in Business appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

In 1965 two researchers conducted a now-famous experiment in a public elementary school, dubbed Pygmalion in the classroom. The researchers told teachers that about one-fifth of their students were unusually intelligent (so-called “growth spurters”), based on results of a fictitious IQ test. Even though the gifted students were seemingly chosen at random, these students performed better in the classroom and later improved their scores on standardized IQ tests. The researchers theorized the teachers paid more attention to gifted students, offering them more support and encouragement than the others.

Fascinating. If you treat people as if they are smart, they become smarter. The Pygmalion Effect.

Only it may not be true. For the last 50 years, no one has really been able to replicate the study – one of the most important principles of the scientific method. In fact, some researchers claim the impact of high expectations in the classroom are significantly exaggerated while others even claim that the Pygmalion Effect is likely an illusion and the underlying research is “bad science.”

I’ll leave others to debate the science but I’ve certainly seen this effect in the business world. When a leader thinks an employee is capable, the leader usually gives the employee more opportunities to develop, and the employee’s performance often improves – creating a positive feedback loop. In parallel, if employees believe a leader is successful, the employees are more attentive and supportive – which likely improves the leader’s performance.

We could call this the Pygmalion Effect in business.

Writing this blog made me realize that the reverse of the Pygmalion Effect can be an issue. If a leader’s expectation of an employee is low, the leader will likely treat the employee (intentionally or unintentionally) in a way that will lead to poorer performance than the employee is capable of. In psychology, this is called the Golem Effect; the self-fulfilling prophesy that people live up (or, in this case, down) to expectations.

A truly great leader doesn’t just motivate their highest-potential employees but also makes sure that other employees aren’t stigmatized with the badge of low expectations. The goal isn’t to get someone to do something they aren’t capable of but rather to ensure that everyone believes they have an opportunity to meet their own full potential.  As Henry Ford is credited for saying,

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.

The post The Pygmalion Effect in Business appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/25/the-pygmalion-effect-in-business/feed/ 1 7190
Can You Create A Dictionary of Cultural Literacy? http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/18/dictionary-of-cultural-literacy/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/18/dictionary-of-cultural-literacy/#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 02:23:35 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7182 Almost exactly 25 years ago, a close friend gave me a book called “The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.” The book contains 23 sections, representing “major categories of knowledge”, each containing hundreds of entries discussing ideas, events, and individuals that were “essential for understanding American discourse”. At first, I thought...

The post Can You Create A Dictionary of Cultural Literacy? appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Almost exactly 25 years ago, a close friend gave me a book called “The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.” The book contains 23 sections, representing “major categories of knowledge”, each containing hundreds of entries discussing ideas, events, and individuals that were “essential for understanding American discourse”.

At first, I thought my friend chose the book because its lead author, E. D. Hirsch, was a professor at the University of Virginia, my alma mater. But, after reading the book, I found a deeper reason: Hirsch argued for the importance of teaching facts. “Facts are what you need to read properly, and to learn more, and to communicate.” Said another way, you won’t be able to solve problems unless you have the relevant knowledge to do so. My friend knew that my own education followed a similar pattern; in high school, I had several classes focused on memorizing facts.

After Cultural Literacy was published, it was criticized by some who believed Hirsch’s ideas were “elitist, Eurocentric and focused too heavily on rote memorization”. While this may have been true in the initial list published in 1987, subsequent editions of the book expanded and updated the list. The most recent edition, from 2002, is decidedly multi-cultural.

Three decades later, Hirsch’s ideas have become popular, largely due the Common Core State Standards initiative. Common Core determines what U.S. K-12 students are expected to know in math, language, and arts at the conclusion of each school grade. While the standards don’t dictate exactly which facts kids must learn, they do “establish a base of knowledge across a wide range of subject matter by engaging with works of quality and substance.”

According to Dan Willingham, a fellow University of Virginia professor, Hirsch’s concepts are consistent with current research on how the human brain learns. “There’s an enormous amount of data showing that background knowledge is absolutely vital to reading comprehension. Your understanding of text is dependent on what you already know about it.”

Personally, I’m torn. My then-unusual education means I know a little about a lot of things and can sometimes recall facts which amaze even me. But I’m unsure that’s still a critical skill – the Internet has become our source of facts. As I wrote a few years ago,

The research shows that we forget things we are confident we can find on the Internet but we are more likely to remember things we think are not available online. Furthermore, we are better at remembering where to find something on the Internet than we are at remembering the information itself.

So, what if we wanted to create a modern version of the cultural literacy list? We would definitely use wisdom of the crowds. It would be an online list that never stopped changing, whose entries were added or removed, increased or decreased in importance, according to popular belief. It would be a ranked version of Wikipedia.

Maybe it’s not surprising that the last edition of Cultural Literacy was published in 2002.

The post Can You Create A Dictionary of Cultural Literacy? appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/18/dictionary-of-cultural-literacy/feed/ 0 7182
The Streisand Effect Explains Why Nothing Stays Hidden http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/04/the-streisand-effect-nothing-stays-hidden/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/04/the-streisand-effect-nothing-stays-hidden/#comments Sun, 04 Nov 2018 23:35:30 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7176 A few weeks ago, I wrote about an example of unintended consequences called the cobra effect in which an attempt to reduce the snake population actually increased it. A reader emailed me asking me if I had heard of a similar phenomenon called the Streisand effect. Since I hadn’t, I thought I would share the...

The post The Streisand Effect Explains Why Nothing Stays Hidden appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an example of unintended consequences called the cobra effect in which an attempt to reduce the snake population actually increased it. A reader emailed me asking me if I had heard of a similar phenomenon called the Streisand effect. Since I hadn’t, I thought I would share the concept with you:

The Streisand effect refers to an attempt to censor a piece of information which has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after a 2003 incident in which Barbra Streisand sued photographer Kenneth Adelman for including an aerial photograph of her Malibu home among the 12,000 photos he took of the California coastline for researchers to use to study erosion. According to the court documents, only 6 people (including Streisand’s attorneys) had downloaded the image before the lawsuit was filed. As a result of the publicity surrounding the lawsuit, an estimated more than one million people viewed the photograph. Streisand’s attempt to keep the photo hidden from people resulted in more people seeing it. And one more thing: Streisand lost the lawsuit and had to pay Adelman’s legal fees.

The Streisand effect underscores much of our celebrity worship culture and the dramatic rise of citizen paparazzi. If people find out that someone is trying to keep information from them, they have increased motivation to uncover it. We are seemingly obsessed about knowing things that others don’t want us to know.

The marketer in me realizes this provides a reverse psychology opportunity: if I want to spread something far and wide, I should pretend it’s a secret.

The post The Streisand Effect Explains Why Nothing Stays Hidden appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/11/04/the-streisand-effect-nothing-stays-hidden/feed/ 3 7176
The Unintended Consequence Of The Cobra Effect http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/10/14/the-cobra-effect/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/10/14/the-cobra-effect/#comments Sun, 14 Oct 2018 19:54:31 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7139 Whenever plans don’t work out the way someone expects them to, I’m reminded of the cobra effect. Coined in a book written by the late German economist Horst Siebert, the cobra effect is a cautionary tale of unintended consequences during British rule in India. The British government was concerned that venomous cobra snakes were common...

The post The Unintended Consequence Of The Cobra Effect appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Whenever plans don’t work out the way someone expects them to, I’m reminded of the cobra effect.

Coined in a book written by the late German economist Horst Siebert, the cobra effect is a cautionary tale of unintended consequences during British rule in India. The British government was concerned that venomous cobra snakes were common in Delhi and, as a result, offered a bounty for every dead cobra. As you would expect, the incentive worked – large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward.

Indian entrepreneurs eventually realized that they could make additional income by breeding cobras for the sole purpose of turning them in for the reward. The new snake-breeding industry flourished! When the British government discovered what was going on, they stopped the reward program. This, in turn, caused the snake breeders to release their now-worthless cobras which increased the number of snakes in the wild. The program to reduce the number of snakes in Delhi actually increased them.

The cobra effect is a specific example of the so-called law of unintended consequences – outcomes that are not the ones foreseen or intended by an action. Unintended consequences can result in an unexpected benefit or drawback but sometimes they simply backfire. As was the case in the cobra effect, the outcome is the exact opposite to what was originally intended.

The cobra effect – and more generally the law of unintended consequences – reminds us that we cannot fully control the world around us. No matter how much we plan, something unexpected can happen. Sometimes the exact opposite of what we planned for.

This doesn’t mean you should give up planning but it does mean that you’ll occasionally get snake-bitten.

The post The Unintended Consequence Of The Cobra Effect appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/10/14/the-cobra-effect/feed/ 3 7139
The Power Play of Sports Jargon http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/10/07/the-power-play-of-sports-jargon/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/10/07/the-power-play-of-sports-jargon/#comments Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:57:04 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7132 Ever since I became an executive in sports & entertainment, people started sending me examples of over-the-top uses of sports jargon. From every unnecessary quip like “Please quarterback this project for me”, there’s also the poetic usage such as “The candidate won by a nose.” My slam-dunk favorite sports jargon gone too far came from...

The post The Power Play of Sports Jargon appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Ever since I became an executive in sports & entertainment, people started sending me examples of over-the-top uses of sports jargon. From every unnecessary quip like “Please quarterback this project for me”, there’s also the poetic usage such as “The candidate won by a nose.” My slam-dunk favorite sports jargon gone too far came from The Onion in this 2014 open letter from a father to his son:

Son, I think it’s high time you and I sat down and touched base. As your father, it’s been difficult watching you drop the ball these past few months […] Your head just hasn’t been in the game, and sadly for me, I’ve had a ringside seat as you’ve repeatedly struck out. I’m in your corner, son, and I truly want to help you come out swinging and rally.

If you’re trying to beat that one, you might as well throw in the towel.

Amusing as that may be, the passage reminds me that sports jargon is often over-used – in business and in life. As I’ve always been a proponent of simple and clear communication, it occurred to me that sports jargon might be getting in the way. After all, not everyone has a sports background and many of the phrases are confusing enough that not everyone understands what they mean.

Josh Chetwynd’s fun book “The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors: A Compendium of Competitive Words and Idioms” is the perfect solution to the problem. Chetwynd provides definitions and origins for many of the most commonly-used sports terms in English. Even for someone like me who prides himself in knowing a fair amount about sports, some of the entries were surprising.

Let’s look at the term “power play.” Many people recognize power play as coming from hockey. Here’s a representative example:

a situation in which a team has a numerical advantage over its opponents while one or more players is serving a penalty, characterized by an emphasis on offensive play.
“moments later Pavelski scored on a rebound during the power play”

However, that’s not what the term always meant and likely didn’t even originate in hockey. In the 1920’s football, power play referred to “a ball carrier barreling down the field under the heavy protection of his teammates.” As football became a more pass-centric sport, power plays became less and less common. The term entered hockey in the early 1930’s to refer to the (at that time) rare situation when a defenseman would abandon their normal position close to their own goal and take part in the offensive game plan. If one team had less players than the other due to a penalty, it was simply referred to as being short-handed. It wasn’t until the late 1930’s that this penalty situation became known as a power play and didn’t enter common use until the 1940’s.

If you’re confused about sports or just curious where the terms come from, The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors covers all the bases and is hands-down the best book on the subject that I’ve read. It’s worth your time – don’t worry, I wouldn’t send you on a wild goose chase.

The post The Power Play of Sports Jargon appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/10/07/the-power-play-of-sports-jargon/feed/ 1 7132
Inspiration and Integrity from the 2018 CHURCHILLS http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/09/23/inspiration-and-integrity-2018-churchills/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/09/23/inspiration-and-integrity-2018-churchills/#respond Sun, 23 Sep 2018 18:50:17 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7126 Every year, Churchill Club presents the CHURCHILLS — an extraordinary event which is designed to inspire us to advance innovation, leadership, collaboration, and social benefit. The Churchill Club Academy, a group of more than 700 innovation community members, name honorees for their contributions in four areas of excellence: Legendary Leader, Game-changing Company, Global Benefactor, and...

The post Inspiration and Integrity from the 2018 CHURCHILLS appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Every year, Churchill Club presents the CHURCHILLS — an extraordinary event which is designed to inspire us to advance innovation, leadership, collaboration, and social benefit. The Churchill Club Academy, a group of more than 700 innovation community members, name honorees for their contributions in four areas of excellence: Legendary Leader, Game-changing Company, Global Benefactor, and Magical Team. The honorees appear at the CHURCHILLS in the spirit of “giving back” —sharing their perspectives about what is needed to lead, collaborate, and contribute to the greater good.

I was honored to be Master of Ceremonies for this year’s event, held on September 20, 2018. I opened the evening by asking the audience to consider what inspires them, anchored by this quote from Prussian philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder:

Without inspiration, the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.

One of my favorite questions to ask when I meet someone new is “What inspires you?” Over the years, I’ve heard many wonderful answers:

  1. learning something new every day
  2. solving complex problems in simple ways
  3. educating the future generation to avoid the mistakes of the current generation.

But my favorite answer was “making others better.” Perhaps surprisingly, this answer came from a professional hockey player. His answer wasn’t winning a championship or getting an award, but improving the team. That’s truly inspiring.

Here are the four award-winners and what I took away from their remarks:

Legendary Leader – Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn
The spirit of this honor is, “Couldn’t have done it without you.” Jeff showed us compassionate leadership and phenomenal growth are not mutually exclusive.

Game Changer – NVIDIA
The spirit of this honor is, “You changed how things are done or viewed, and there’s no going back.” Colette Kress and Mark Stevens shared the philosophy that, no matter how successful you are, you should always think like you’re 30 days from going out of business.

Global Benefactor – Jennifer Pahlka of Code For America
The spirit of this honor is, “Thanks for thinking big.” Jennifer inspired us to help others, reminding us that we get the government we deserve.

Magical Team – Khan Academy
The spirit of this award is, “Your team nailed it.” Sal Khan, Ginny Lee, and Shantanu Sinha showed us that a one-size fits all learning approach doesn’t fit anyone at all.

I closed the evening by observing that all four honorees share something in common; a deep understanding that pursuit of their vision cannot and will not compromise their values. I urged the audience to focus on integrity, sharing with them a sign that I keep in my office:

Always do the Right Thing, even when no one is watching.

My parting thought was to take inspiration from each of the honorees. To follow their passion, overcome setbacks, and stay true to their values. We humans can and will continue to make the world a better place.

It starts with each of us.

 

The post Inspiration and Integrity from the 2018 CHURCHILLS appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/09/23/inspiration-and-integrity-2018-churchills/feed/ 0 7126
Why Your Cat Video Didn’t Go Viral http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/09/09/why-your-cat-video-didnt-go-viral/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/09/09/why-your-cat-video-didnt-go-viral/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 02:55:06 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7119 Years ago, I got a chance to listen to a keynote by Jonah Berger, Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. During his talk, Berger asked the audience the following question: Which of these three products gets the most word of mouth buzz? Walt Disney World Honey Nut Cheerios Scrubbing...

The post Why Your Cat Video Didn’t Go Viral appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Six-STEPPS-of-viral-content.pngYears ago, I got a chance to listen to a keynote by Jonah Berger, Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. During his talk, Berger asked the audience the following question:

Which of these three products gets the most word of mouth buzz?
  • Walt Disney World
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Scrubbing Bubbles

Which one would you choose?

The audience was almost evenly split among the three answers, with more people raising their hands for Walt Disney World than the other two answers. For the record, I chose Scrubbing Bubbles – I still remember the classic animated commercial from my childhood.

According to Berger, the correct answer is Honey Nut Cheerios.

Berger should know. He has spent the last 10 years looking into what makes things popular. Berger and his colleagues researched 7,000 articles that appeared in The New York Times over a six-month period to determine why some content was shared more often and therefore generated more buzz. The result is the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

‘Contagious’ cites research from McKinsey that found “word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile.” In addition, the customers that were referred by word of mouth had a lifetime value which was 13% higher. As Berger explained,

Word of mouth has a big causal impact on behavior. A big part of that is because it’s targeted. Nobody tells a friend who doesn’t have a baby about a new baby product. Instead, we talk about things we know will help each other.

According to Berger, there are six STEPPS which lead to something going viral:

  1. Social currency: People talk about things that make themselves look good.
  2. Triggers: People talk about things they can easily remember.
  3. Emotion: People are more likely to pass on information they care about.
  4. Public: When we see other people doing something, we’re more likely to imitate it.
  5. Practical value: People share information they believe they will help others.
  6. Stories: People are more likely to share information when it’s told as a story. It’s why I use animal stories to introduce new initiatives.

It’s not hard to recognize these principles at work in the so-called clickbait headlines which entice us to click through to the content. Ironically, the better we get at creating clickbait, the less effective the headlines are. More from Berger,

If everyone is perfectly implementing the best headline to pass on, it’s not as effective anymore. What used to be emotionally arousing simply isn’t any longer.

‘Contagious’ is a fascinating read – especially the chapters on triggers and emotions – but it has its limitations. While the book does a better job of explaining why things generate buzz than anything else I’ve ever read, it doesn’t provide specific steps to cause something to go viral.

Good marketing is still one part art and one part science.

The post Why Your Cat Video Didn’t Go Viral appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/09/09/why-your-cat-video-didnt-go-viral/feed/ 0 7119
Napping is Good For You http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/08/27/napping-is-good-for-you/ http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/08/27/napping-is-good-for-you/#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2018 02:21:35 +0000 http://jonathanbecher.com/?p=7106 I’m tired. The reason is pretty simple: I haven’t been sleeping 8 hours a night. I know better too – I wrote an article which quoted research showing that only 2.5% of people really need less than 7 hours of sleep every night. Everyone else needs 8 or more hours. Unfortunately, I haven’t been following...

The post Napping is Good For You appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>

Napping on a benchI’m tired.

The reason is pretty simple: I haven’t been sleeping 8 hours a night. I know better too – I wrote an article which quoted research showing that only 2.5% of people really need less than 7 hours of sleep every night. Everyone else needs 8 or more hours. Unfortunately, I haven’t been following my own advice.

Once I return to a normal sleep pattern, studies show I will be rested again after about a week. It’s tempting to try to speed up this process by napping. But would taking a nap actually make me feel rested or interfere with my ability to sleep at night?

There’s plenty of evidence that the occasional, short nap can be really good for you.

The National Sleep Foundation found that a 20 to 30-minute nap can boost short-term alertness. A NASA study on pilots showed a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34%. According to researchers from Saarland University in Germany, people who napped for 45 minutes improved their memory five-fold. Georgetown University researchers have linked power naps to increased creativity. There’s even a small study which suggests that napping can help your immune system.

All naps don’t have the same benefits. It’s important to limit the length of your nap – 30 minutes is recommended. You also want to make sure you don’t nap too early or late in the day or you will throw off your sleep cycle – nap about 8 hours after you wake up. While you could take a nap every day, it’s not a substitute for a full night’s sleep and isn’t a cure for a sleep deficit.

In summary, it’s ok to nap when you’re tired: just make sure you address the underlying reason you were tired in the first place.

With that, I’m going to take a nap.

The post Napping is Good For You appeared first on Manage By Walking Around.

]]>
http://jonathanbecher.com/2018/08/27/napping-is-good-for-you/feed/ 1 7106