It was a beautiful evening, and time for our monthly book club excursion. It was also time to commemorate St. Patrick, and the celebrations were in full force in the tent outside the Irish pub at Hamilton Town Center. Once we finally found parking spots, I don’t think any of us minded the extra walk to Borders; the weather was especially nice.
Armed with tea, coffee and our answers to the pre-meeting Mad Lib Sarah posted, we launched into our discussion of The Tipping Point. Certain parts of the book resonated with each of us more than others, but I think we all agreed that it was fascinating and could see points that Malcolm Gladwell brought up at work in the world around us. Here are a few highlights of what came up in our discussion:
- We could identify some traits in us of connectors, mavens or salesmen, but none of us would strongly identify ourselves as one. However we all could think of people who fit these roles. A couple of us, myself included, admitted that we failed the phonebook test miserably — we’re definitely not connectors!
- Each of us had experience with Sesame Street and Blues Clues and could see the stickiness factor of their messages at work. The way stickiness can be built in somewhat creeped a few of us out.
- We were rather amazed at how powerful the power of context can really be. Cleaning up graffiti and prosecuting fare-beaters in the subway can start a reversal of crime in New York City. People will be prone to not help someone because they think someone else will. A harmful or lethal act will seem OK because the people doing it seem heroic and that can give someone else “permission.”
- Several of us were so intrigued by this book that we have or are planning to read some of Gladwell’s other works.