The Tipping Point
In 2000 author Malcolm Gladwell, a New Yorker science writer published one of my favorite books. It’s a compilation of his articles called The Tipping Point. In it, he carefully examines the blueprint of an epidemic, both in disease epidemics and social epidemics. Ideas, concepts, and systems can all be epidemics. And they all follow the same pattern.
He explains how an idea takes off, even when ideas are formed out of limited resources. (like say….foodbanks) And at some point, the thought crosses a threshold and spreads so that unstoppable change occurs.
Gladwell concluded that three primary and critically important factors make up all tipping points, positive or negative:
The law of few is where agents of change or influencers are involved. It’s a misconception that many people create significant change. It happens with a small group typically.
The stickiness factor is how a message is delivered that supercharges the depth of meaning. The news hits the audience in a way that changes their perspective.
The context - this concludes that the environment is as important as the message. A dire space can perpetuate lousy behavior, while a hopeful space can build positive momentum.
This week….The Market model hit what seems to be the beginning of a tipping point. The stickiness factor of the ideas (dignity and health) and the context of where this message is delivered (our Market on a farm) has taken hold in ways I could have never imagined. Foodbanks across the state have reached out and want to visit us and learn about The Market culture and our ideas.
I’m humbled and excited to show how our community stewards this project for each foodbank that comes for a tour. I clear my day to ensure we have time to discuss all aspects of change-making. Some changes are easy, like fresh paint….other changes are complex, like mindsets. So many people I talk to in our industry have always wanted a beautiful and dignified foodbank, but because it didn’t exist, it felt hard to be the first. So the Market merely existing proves things are possible and pushes the system forward so we can all experience change in real time.
Here’s to many more tipping points and unstoppable change,