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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Paperback – January 7, 2002
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About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is also the author of the #1 bestselling Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. He was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1987 to 1996, working first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker.
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The Broken Windows correlation to lower New York City crime rates was a breakthrough analysis. Unfortunately, many short-sighted people who didn't like some of the consequences of Broken Windows policing dismissed its relevance, making the theory a victim of "truth is consensus." They should keep in mind that Malcolm Gladwell appears to be his own harshest critic, and his exhausting, almost monastic approach to research and analysis filters out half-baked ideas. Because of this, I think the critics sometimes expect too much; he's not going to give us The Gospel (even though the name "Malcolm" does mean "Disciple"...).
It is possible to debate some of the research. It is possible to say that we have heard this before. But, it is not possible to say that the core concept is incorrect. The Tipping Point helps make sense of the confusion we feel when some large efforts at change seemed to go nowhere, and some small efforts at change are right on target and make a transformational difference.
Many organizational leaders are overwhelmed with the effort it takes to engage in transformational change and transition. They do not understand that it is more important to work with the people who have key relationships, knowledge, and influence than it is to work through the committees, councils and board.
True change and transition happens at the grassroots when key leverage points are successfully engaged. True change and transition spreads like epidemics, only they are social epidemics. Relationship and community building are crucial to change and transition efforts. The best products and processes do not work without the best relationships.
We all know this, but Malcolm Gladwell provides us with more than principles. He provides us with stories with which many of us are familiar that cause us to rethink actions we are taking in other arenas. It causes us to apply the principles to our life and work.
Buy the book! Do not buy it because the author and publisher needs to sell more books, because at this writing it is rated in the top 100 books being sold by Amazon.com. Buy the book because it is well worth the read, and it will contribute to your life and work.
I would recommend this book to anyone that has ever wondered how a trend can reach its tipping point and how different personalities could be responsible. Malcolm Gladwell has the ability to use statistics and information that fascinate you and keep you glued to the pages. Once you put this book down it will "stick" with you and make you think.