Books: Extraordinary Impact

Create moments to achieve business goals, authors Chip and Dan Heath argue in their new book.

The Power of Moments

By Chip and Dan Heath; Simon & Schuster; 320 pages; $29

Think about a strong positive memory. Was it a spontaneous occurrence—that car drive where your family laughed the whole way—or a planned event, such as graduation? What if you could purposely create those brief periods for members and others?

In their new book, The Power of Moments, brothers Chip and Dan Heath, bestselling authors of Made to Stick and Decisive, use their trademark humor, research, and compelling examples to reveal what traits define “moments of extraordinary impact”—elevation, insight, pride, and connection. Then they tackle why and how you might use those to achieve business goals, such as building your brand.

You’ll learn the art of “building peaks” (for example, studying hard for the CAE and then walking across a stage as your name is called in front of peers), “breaking the script” (using what-the-heck ways to strategically surprise people), raising the stakes (adding competition, urgency, or stress elements), identifying or upgrading milestones, and deepening emotional ties.

Associations are in prime position to take the tenets of this book and blow up some stuff. In particular, you’ll find opportunities in the bonding-related chapter, “Create Shared Meaning,” and in “Practicing Courage,” which advocates for physical and mental training in this concept.

The Heaths also walk you through “practice clinics,” such as “Refreshing a Meeting That’s Gone Rote,” to break down processes.

An ideal resource for a brown-bag series with staff, committees, or the board. Even better, it’s really fun.

The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World

By Nilofer Merchant; Penguin Random House; 304 pages; $27

Everyone’s ideas are important, and the world needs to hear and respect them if we are all to benefit, urges Nilofer Merchant. Noting that 60 percent of U.S. workers and 80 percent of workers globally “do work that amounts to following orders,” the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition keynoter urges deconstruction of social and business infrastructures that block people’s ability to “add value and be valued” via their ideas.

While demand for democratization of ideas isn’t new, Merchant digs deeper into what she terms “onlyness,” recognition of the intrinsic status each person earns by virtue of “that spot in the world in which only you stand” as a result of your personal history. By unlocking the unrealized capacity of onlyness, organizations and individuals can activate phenomenal assets.

A moving call to action by a wonderful storyteller.

The Innovation Code: The Creative Power of Constructive Conflict

By Jeff and Staney DeGraff; Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 192 pages; $24.95

Artist. Engineer. Sage. Athlete. Each serves as a persona representing one of four approaches to innovation, and each offers strengths and weaknesses in the process of transformation and creative thinking. Because of their diverse “dominant worldviews”—their unique understanding and perspectives of the environment around them—these personas clash, creating the tension and conflict often associated with effective innovation. Success depends on organizations’ ability to mindfully identify and blend teams of individuals representing all four personas.

For example, while empathetic, “Sages slowly and patiently build a community and connect with others, Athletes [use their innate courage to] produce, profit, and speed.” Imaginative, visionary Artists can both conflict with and complement disciplined, process-focused Engineers.

A succinct, though sometimes too-tidy, framework for productive disruption.

Kristin Clarke, CAE

By Kristin Clarke, CAE

Kristin Clarke, CAE, is books editor for Associations Now and president of Clarke Association Content. MORE

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