In Made to Stick, Dan and Chip Heath talk about making a message stick with your audience. They say it should be a story that is crafted to have an unexpected ending, with a concrete message that is credible, emotional and simple (S.U.C.C.E.S.).
Ed Baker, who is a terrific help to any business owner when they find themselves is a tight spot relative to human resources, recently had a S.U.C.C.E.S. home-run with an interesting twist. Ed sent a newsletter to his network which contained a questionnaire on one side, and the answers on the other. The questionnaire was about regulatory requirements around aspects of Human Resources.
The ‘story’ is one that came back to Ed when a business owner called him up. The owner told Ed that he tested himself with the questions and when he turned the paper over, was very surprised when he failed to get half the questions right.
Wondering how his own experts would do, he made several copies of the front of the questionnaire. He called in his HR team and gave it to them as a test. You’ve probable guess that they had an unexpected result. The HR team also failed the test.
You can imagine how the owner felt. He’d turned Ed’s newsletter into a concrete example of his company’s need -- and he realized that Ed offered a credible opportunity to add value to the company. Ed had conveyed his value in a very simple way that turned into a S.U.C.C.E.S. story.
If you’d like a copy of his questionnaire, send an email to Ed at HRMLTD@ameritech.net