The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

The New York Times bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick explore why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.While human lives are endlessly variable, our most memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride, and connectio...

Title:The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact
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The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact Reviews

  • Anne Bogel

    Loved this. More to come on Modern Mrs Darcy.

  • Melissa

    Three reasons to read this book:

    1. The writing is stellar: jaunty diction, varied syntax, engaging organization.

    2. The content is fascinating: delving into the mystery of what makes certain moments extraordinary.

    3. The examples are applicable: to education, business, and life.

  • Elaine -

    The Power of Moments is a guide to having more stand-out moments in your life and how those can change you. We all experience moments that catapult us in a direction, but do they have as much of an effect if we aren't paying attention to them? 

    "This book features captivating stories of people who have created standout moments: The owners who transformed an utterly mediocre hotel into one of the best-loved properties in Los Angeles by conjuring moments of magic for guests. Relief workers who beat

    The Power of Moments is a guide to having more stand-out moments in your life and how those can change you. We all experience moments that catapult us in a direction, but do they have as much of an effect if we aren't paying attention to them? 

    "This book features captivating stories of people who have created standout moments: The owners who transformed an utterly mediocre hotel into one of the best-loved properties in Los Angeles by conjuring moments of magic for guests. Relief workers who beat a deadly health practice in one village by causing the locals to trip over the truth. The scrappy team that turned around one of the worst elementary schools in the country by embracing an intervention that lasts less than an hour."

    Chip and Dan Heath have filled this book with moving stories from people who've taken chances. Who've done big and small things to change the course of their life. Some of the stories are big stories that I would think to myself could never happen for me, but then I would read a story that resonated in me and I would wonder what moment could change the course of my life. Am I missing these moments? Am I closed off to them?

    This book made me question choices in my life. Do I take enough risks? What transformation would I need to make for risks to seem less scary? Are big opportunities really just chance? 

    "We all have defining moments in our lives -- meaningful experiences that stand out in our memory. Many of them owe a great deal to chance: A lucky encounter with someone who becomes the love of your life. A new teacher who spots a talent you didn't know you had. A sudden loss that upends the certainties of your life. A realization that you don't want to spend one more day in your job. These moments seem to be the product of fate or luck or maybe a higher power's interventions. We can't control them."

    The Power of Moments helps readers decide what defining moments are and how to create life-changing defining moments. 

    "In the book, we have two goals: First, we want to examine defining moments and identify the traits they have in common. What, specifically, makes a particular experience memorable and meaningful? Our research shows that defining moments share a set of common elements. Second, we want to show you how you can create defining moments by making use of those elements. Why would you want to create them? To enrich your experiences. To connect with others. To make memories. To launch your life or your career or your team in a new direction."

    I won't lie, this book is a little heavy and takes a while to read. I kept finding myself going back and rereading a section that resonated with me. So, if you are looking for a quick read this is not it. But, if you are looking for ways to make your life more defined and are open to new ideas, this book is for you!

  • Christopher Lawson

    CERTAIN BRIEF EXPERIENCES CAN JOLT US

    In THE POWER OF MOMENTS, Chip and Dan Heath suggest an intriguing possibility: We can actually create special moments—we don’t just have to wait for them to happen to us. Instead, “We can be the author of them.”

    To create these moments, we have to first understand what makes historical events stand out as special. Chip and Dan cite research that explains which memories really stand out. When we look back at some event, we forget about the duration, and instea

    CERTAIN BRIEF EXPERIENCES CAN JOLT US

    In THE POWER OF MOMENTS, Chip and Dan Heath suggest an intriguing possibility: We can actually create special moments—we don’t just have to wait for them to happen to us. Instead, “We can be the author of them.”

    To create these moments, we have to first understand what makes historical events stand out as special. Chip and Dan cite research that explains which memories really stand out. When we look back at some event, we forget about the duration, and instead recall just 2 main things: The best or worst moment, and the ending.

    Knowing what our mind recalls suggests a strategy—we focus on creating a few memorable highlights. Well, just how do we go about making great moments for ourselves? The authors have boiled it down to 4 key things. We can actually synthesize great experiences if we include one or more of these aspects:

    1) ELEVATION: Moments that rise above the commonplace

    2) INSIGHT: Some new understanding

    3) PRIDE: Moments of achievement

    4) CONNECTION: Social engagements.

    Chip and Dan spend a lot of time explaining each of the 4 keys, and tell lots of funny stories about how companies did something to create a special moment.

    I found the chapter on creating elevating moments especially interesting. The authors provide a recipe on creating such a moment:

    (1) Boost the sensory appeal;

    (2) Raise the stakes; or

    (3) Break the script—do something radically difference.

    I found THE POWER OF MOMENTS to be a fun read, with lots of practical ideas. I enjoyed the anecdotes that illustrate the principles. Don’t miss the story of how the Ritz Carlton took photos of the forgotten toy “vacationing” around the hotel. Each chapter concludes with a summary called the “Whirlwind review.” I found this summary to be a good recap of the points in each chapter.

    Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.

  • Gary Moreau

    It is self-evident to say that not all books are created equal. That is the intuitive thesis behind the value of peer reviews, which I strongly support. The counter-intuitive conclusion, however, is that not all books are written with the same objectives in mind. I also believe, therefore, that reviews should be read and evaluated in context.

    This is a book written by two brilliant brothers (Both are affiliated with prestigious business schools.) who have already demonstrated great success by any

    It is self-evident to say that not all books are created equal. That is the intuitive thesis behind the value of peer reviews, which I strongly support. The counter-intuitive conclusion, however, is that not all books are written with the same objectives in mind. I also believe, therefore, that reviews should be read and evaluated in context.

    This is a book written by two brilliant brothers (Both are affiliated with prestigious business schools.) who have already demonstrated great success by any measure in the fields of teaching, consulting, and writing. It is no surprise, therefore, that this book is good.

    Based on the price and the pre-launch publicity, however, this book is clearly seeking transformative status. It is competing among the best business books of the year. And that is the standard by which I have chosen my overall rating. If you are just looking for a good book by a reputable and successful author(s), this book will surely fit the bill.

    Here’s my reasoning:

    The book applies a formula that has become universal in the world of modern business management and the consulting that drives it: Every problem/opportunity can be solved/leveraged by analyzing the data, discerning the patterns, and applying them to future or potential data sets. It’s not a bad framework, per se, but I don’t personally feel it applies equally in all situations. Some problems/opportunities just don’t lend themselves to such a conscious and rational process. Defining moments, I believe, are one of them.

    Secondly, the authors note early on, “Our lives are measured in moments, and defining moments are the ones that endure in our memories.” If you accept that premise then this is the book for you.

    Personally, I do not. At least not the first part. I believe our lives are measured in the quality of our relationships, including the connection we establish to the world around us. (To be fair, connection is part of their formula, but its purpose is to create more defining moments, which is not how I use the term here.)

    Which raises two questions that are foundational to the book: 1. Can you create defining moments? and 2. Do they really matter? The premise of the book is a resounding “yes” to both.

    While I believe, after reading the book, that you can create an enhanced opportunity for defining moments, I’m not convinced it’s the best or safest investment of time and resources. After all, both time and resources are limited in every organization (and in every life). If you spend the same amount of time and effort building trust in your organization, would the ROI be better? I think so, and that is not to say that you can’t build trust through defining moments. It’s a matter of emphasis and line of approach.

    I also question whether the WOW factor of defining moments is truly transformative. The moment is memorable, but is it the moment or the thing it represents—recognition, connection, trust—that is transformative? And, again, the process the author’s define, which I won’t articulate here here because they deserve the opportunity to lay it out in their own context, is built around some of these fundamentals. My point, again, is one of emphasis and the hierarchy of relative importance.

    Some of the advice will sound familiar. On recognition, for example, the authors note, “One survey found that the top reason people leave their jobs is a lack of praise and recognition.” It’s a valid point, although in my own experience people typically leave because of other people (i.e. managers or leaders). It is true, however, that, “While recognition is a universal expectation, it’s not a universal practice.” And it’s certainly true that creative and spontaneous recognition is more valuable than most corporate recognition programs.

    I also agree that, “Purpose trumps passion,” and that, “…purpose isn’t discovered, it’s cultivated.” And, “You can’t deliver a great patient experiences without first delivering a great employee experience.” All sound advice.

    In the end, therefore, I’m glad I read the book. I personally found the value (the ROI of time and money spent) of the book to be so-so. (Admittedly, prices are set by the publisher, not the authors.) It doesn’t, in my mind, hit the mark of transformative.

    But you should decide for yourself. This, after all, is a personal review.

  • Michelle

    The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have An Extraordinary Impact written by acclaimed NYT bestselling author’s Chip Heath and his brother Dan Heath, is an engaging and exceptional book that combines the latest research from education, teaching, business, to technology with four basic principal concepts. These concepts shape and define our world, and can be applied to every aspect of our personal and professional lives.

    The author’s note that our lives are measured in moments—“We all hav

    The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have An Extraordinary Impact written by acclaimed NYT bestselling author’s Chip Heath and his brother Dan Heath, is an engaging and exceptional book that combines the latest research from education, teaching, business, to technology with four basic principal concepts. These concepts shape and define our world, and can be applied to every aspect of our personal and professional lives.

    The author’s note that our lives are measured in moments—“We all have defining moments in our lives.” Many believe these are the result of fate, luck, or intervention of a higher power. It was surprising to learn that we can increase these important moments, and do not have to wait around or be on stand-by wondering what will happen next. We can create experiences and situations that foster these breakthrough memorable moments that enrich our connections with others that can move us in an entirely new direction or career path.

    The four noted elements defined in the book: Moments of Elevation, Moments of Insight, Moments of Pride, Moments of Connection-- were fully explained and how these were applied in this breakthrough ideology. It was interesting to note the ways people remember certain life experiences and forget others. The defining moments of our lives influence us in a multitude of ways and impact our understanding of the people, culture and natural world around us. Every culture has their own special and higher moments: celebrations and parties of all kinds, religious customs/rituals, and political civic events, etc. Research supported that with the combination of negative and positive information “Bad was stronger than Good” People tend to remember and obsess over negative experience/outcomes over more positive and happier times. One example was sport fans remembering losses over wins.

    There were many interesting stories. The first was about improvement that led to insight and better education, relief workers that helped primitive isolated villagers with sanitation measures, a leadership conference that stressed that innovation started outside the office, workers were treated respectfully and encouraged to participate in a retreat. A new marketing strategy encouraged the vital importance of going beyond understanding and actually “feel” the customer’s needs. This is a brief review, there was much more to this remarkable book that truly has the power to change and influence a person’s life and work.

    Chip Heath is a professor in Business Education at Stanford University, and has helped launch over 450 businesses. He lives in Los Gatos, CA. Dan Heath is a senior fellow at Duke University, he lives in Durham, N.C. **With thanks and appreciation to Simon & Schuster via NetGalley for the DDC for the purpose of review.

  • د.أمجد الجنباز

    نمر كثيرا بلحظات مؤثرة. لحظات قليلة قد تنسينا جميع الألم الذي مررنا به، أو تنسينا جميع المتعة التي عايشناها.

    لحظات قد تغير حياتنا. قد تظهر لنا الحياة بشكل مختلف، قد تكون منعطفا هاما يؤثر في كل ما بعده.

    يتحدث الكتاب عن تلك اللحظات، والسر خلفها

    وكيف بالإمكان خلقها (قدر الإمكان) لنغير من حياتنا وحياة الآخرين، ونزيد من سعادتهم والتأثير عليهم

    أنا معجب جدا بالمؤلفين، وقرأت الكتب الثلاثة السابقة لهم

    جميع كتبهم كانت رائعة، وجميعها ركزت على موضوع معين، وعرضته بطريقة مبدعة

  • Simon Eskildsen

    Do you have one of those moments in your life that had a disproportionate impact on your life? This book about how to create those moments for yourself and others. The Heath brothers, authors of Decisive, have done it again—what an absolute pleasure. Especially the first two chapters on elevating experiences and creating moments of insight were absolutely excellent.

    As the other Heath books, the structure is straight-forward. It dissects these moments into three broad categories: (1) Elevation of

    Do you have one of those moments in your life that had a disproportionate impact on your life? This book about how to create those moments for yourself and others. The Heath brothers, authors of Decisive, have done it again—what an absolute pleasure. Especially the first two chapters on elevating experiences and creating moments of insight were absolutely excellent.

    As the other Heath books, the structure is straight-forward. It dissects these moments into three broad categories: (1) Elevation of an experience where you build peaks, or break the script, (2) Insight, where you allow people to trip over the truth or help them stretch to gain knowledge, (3) Pride, by recognizing others and setting up work through small milestones that can be celebrated, (4) Connection by deepening ties through experience and developing a shared meaning with a group.

    (1) Elevation. How do you elevate an experience? There’s a hotel somewhere in LA that has stunning reviews. It costs about the same as the Ritz Carlton and Marriott, yet it’s not a fancy building with a marble lobby or anything remotely resembling those hotels. What they do have that those hotels don’t, is a Popsicle Phone. By the pool, there’s a red telephone. If you lift the dial, you can order your popsicle to the pool—for free—from the hotel staff. People cannot stop talking about how incredible this is. It elevates an already great vacation experience with a simple, cheap gesture from the hotel found nowhere else. This hotel obsesses over creating small moments for their guests.

    Intuitively, they know about the peak-end principle: People tend to forget the duration of an event and remember the worst or best moment, as well as the ending. In this case, you remember the Popsicle Phone, and how they lead you out the door and wished you a pleasant journey home—but not the average beds.

    A highly interesting airline satisfaction study showed that, based on revenue, it’s 9x as valuable to focus on raising people’s average experience (5/10) to an amazing experience (9/10), than it is to focus on raising negative experiences (2/10) to an average experience (5/10). People develop much more loyalty to you if you can give them, even inconsistently, an elevated experience. How many restaurants do you keep coming back to because you’ve had one or two truly excellent experiences? How influenced are you by the Halo effect on subsequent visits?

    This chapter reminds me of a story from my dad I’ll never forget. He once came home from a business trip and told me how he’d stayed at the same hotel as the last time he went. When he came to the hotel after a long day of travel, they’d had cold Coca Cola waiting for him in the room. They knew, because he’s ordered it at the restaurant at the last visit, that it was his favourite drink. I don’t doubt he’d go out of his way to come back here. That’s so simple to do.

    In this chapter they described the “pit-to-peak” methodology. How can you turn a “pit” moment, into a peak? Kids hate MRI machines. In fact, they hate it so much that 80% of them have to be sedated. One engineer who built MRIs saw this on a visit to a hospital, how afraid the kids were of this machine and its rumbling, he decided he wanted to transform the experience. How could he turn this shit experience, into a peak experience? He transformed them into canoes and pirate ships and told the kids a story about how they had to lay perfectly still and explained the sounds with stories. The kids loved it so much that some asked: “When can we do this again?” Sedation rates went down to 27%. Whenever you lose trust, how can you boomerang back with more trust?

    (2) Insight. In this chapter, the authors explain how people come to moments of insight. They call the first chapter ‘tripping over the truth’ which comes with a phenomenal story. In villages in Africa, an organization wanted to teach the importance of hygiene. They’d tried multiple times to introduce toilets, but it just didn’t stick. It wasn’t clear what the advantage was. An organization tried something new, to get the villagers to ‘trip over the truth’. They’d come to the village and ask: “Where do you shit?” and get them to point it out, walking around the village. Slowly, a crowd gathered, and the volunteer would keep asking questions: “Do you shit here too? How many people shit here?”. The volunteer would end up in a public square of the town with most of the village gathered there and draw a map of the village in the dirt. With yellow chalk, he asked the villagers to put it where they shit. More chalk, more shit. After he’d ask: “What about when it rains, where do you shit? If you’re feeling ill, where do you shit?”, soon, the entire village drawn in the sand was covered with chalk. The villagers were flustered. The volunteer would ask for a glass of water. “Would you drink this?”, they’d nod. He’d take a hair and dip it in some shit nearby, and put it in the glass. “Would you drink this?”, no of course not. “How many legs does a fly have?” Six, “Do you think it carries more shit than a hair?”, crowd nods, terrified. “Do you eat the food a fly lands on?” At this point, the villagers start asking: “How do we fix this? It’s disgusting? What’s going on?” At this point, the villagers are so primed for the problem that they would adopt a solution in an instant. What shit-walk can you do, to motivate the importance of a problem? It’s much more effective to highlight the importance of the problem to motivate, than offer the solution to a problem that someone may not see as clearly as you.

    Another chapter under Insight is “stretch for insight”. This especially applies to mentors, where you should set high standards + provide assurance + direction + support to help them stretch, to acquire insight. This may put them in difficult situations, but with the above, you not only put them in situations just at their capability—you also assure them that they can get through it.

    (3) Pride. What moments of pride do you create for those around you? Do you (1) recognize when they’ve done something fantastic, do you (2) set up milestones to celebrate, and do you (3) practise courage to do something amazing to make it part of the routine, and celebrate the act of courage? 80% of supervisors say they express plenty of appreciation, but only 20% of employees agree with them. These small acts can have a massive impact.

    (4) Connection. A fascinating study introduced in this chapter looked at what’s more important, passion or purpose. Passion is individual, purpose is shared by a team. People with high passion, high purpose, perform in the 80th percentile. People with high passion, low purpose, perform in the 20th. People with low passion, high purpose perform in the 64th percentile. If you lead a team of people, this should make you stop and think. Are you leverage the massive leverage a clear purpose has? If you ask on your team what the purpose of their work is, do they all know? Have you ever seen people with high purpose, but low passion, have output (I have)? When a story was read for life-guards about the importance of their job, they signed up for 45% more volunteer hours than when told a story about how the skills they were learning would help them in their career.

    In this chapter is also introduced the idea of “Responsiveness” and how it deepens relationships. There are three facets to this: (1) Mutual understanding, (2) Validation, and (3) Caring. A heart-breaking story in this sub-chapter tells us about a school in bad shape. For parent-teacher conferences, only 11% of parents attended. There was no investment from the parents, because they felt no investment from the school. There was little investment from the school, because they felt no investment from the parents. A vicious cycle. Under new management, the school went to each home and asked them questions that leverage these principles of responsiveness: What future do you see for your child? How do you think the school should approve? This is hardly new, but a good mental model for how to phrase the questions of importance. Parent-teacher conference attendance went up to 73%.

    When you create shared meaning through responsiveness, you develop a purpose. This is as close as you get to a panacea when it comes to productivity. It’s also important to note that this chapter focuses a lot on how ties are deepened through adversity. If you go through something with a group of people, you’ll feel closer to them. The harder it is, the deeper the ties with them will be.

    Read this book and start creating these moments for the people you care about. Set yourself up to create these moments, too. Break the script, elevate, turn pits into peaks, create shared meaning, and always think about what the Popsicle Hotline is for whatever you’re doing. This book equips you with a fantastic vocabulary for talking about these moments you’ve always known were there, but have never quite dissected.

  • عبدالرحمن عقاب

    كتب الأخوين (هيث) مميزة. وهذا أحدها وأحدثها. 

    تناقش كتبهم عادة أسئلة بسيطة وتكاد تكون بدهية، وتذهب في محاولة الإجابة إلى آفاق متعددة من المعارف والدراسات والأبحاث. وتسعى إلى الوصول إلى إجابات عملية تطبيقية تصلح للتفعيل في  الحياة الشخصية الخاصة و الحياة المؤسساتية العامة. 

    لم يخرج هذا الكتاب- عن اللحظات الخالدة والمميزة والمؤثرة في الحياة -عن هذا الوصف. حاول الكاتبان أن يصلا إلى "الخلطة" التي تصنع مثل هذه اللحظات، متجاوزين الإيمان السائد بكونها مجرد بنات الحظ أو هدايا القدر . 

    يحوي الكتاب الكثير من

    كتب الأخوين (هيث) مميزة. وهذا أحدها وأحدثها. 

    تناقش كتبهم عادة أسئلة بسيطة وتكاد تكون بدهية، وتذهب في محاولة الإجابة إلى آفاق متعددة من المعارف والدراسات والأبحاث. وتسعى إلى الوصول إلى إجابات عملية تطبيقية تصلح للتفعيل في  الحياة الشخصية الخاصة و الحياة المؤسساتية العامة. 

    لم يخرج هذا الكتاب- عن اللحظات الخالدة والمميزة والمؤثرة في الحياة -عن هذا الوصف. حاول الكاتبان أن يصلا إلى "الخلطة" التي تصنع مثل هذه اللحظات، متجاوزين الإيمان السائد بكونها مجرد بنات الحظ أو هدايا القدر . 

    يحوي الكتاب الكثير من القصص كعادة الكاتبين في كتبهما السابقة والتي أرى أن الاسهاب فيها يعمل كعامل تشتيت أكثر منه عامل إثارة وتشويق، لكنه يحوي كثيرا من الأفكار العميقة والدقيقة التي تستحق التفكر والتفعيل على المستوى الشخصي ابتداء. 

    أنصح به.

  • Andreea Sorina

    A very interesting book! I finished it in a couple of hours!!!!

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