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Turning Moments to Movements

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

Every person on this planet has things that they love. They count down the minutes until the newest Gucci shoes appear on the market or they are the first ones in the store waiting on long lines for the newest version of the iPhone. Have you ever thought about why that is? What makes those items so special that millions of people spend thousands of dollars year after year? Let me confess that I had never thought about this until I read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. This book is where I learned how moments like those became movements. My obsession with all things salted caramel may just be a moment, but farm-to-table became a movement. I hope you are wondering why and how that happened. It is because of the word of mouth and the importance that connectors, mavens, and “salesmen” play in starting something big.

Connectors know a lot of people in different social groups which spreads the message wide and far. “Mavens,” which is Yiddish and means “one who accumulates knowledge,” know all the details and facts.The salesmen are your persuaders who get you to buy the product or support the idea. The farm-to-table movement was not created by one person alone. It started when Rachel Carlson published “Silent Spring,” which spoke of the harmful qualities of pesticides. From there it moved to Alice Waters and the opening of Chez Panisse. After that, the process of organic farming started. Eventually, the movement even spread globally when Carlos Perini founded the Organization Slow Foods in Italy. Can you see the influence of the Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen?

Another factor in creating a movement is stickiness. It is what is going to get your audience to remember the information presented. With the farm-to-table movement, Rachel Carson's book was what people needed to read to stop buying so much packaged food. The next important lesson is the size of the group. When you have a smaller sized group, it is easier for people to understand the information being presented because they are less likely to become distracted. They are able to retain the information. Starting a movement does not happen overnight and it takes time. You are going to need all these things to be successful, but sometimes it is just about being in the right place at the right time. This is how many moments are tipped into movements.

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