January 27, 2005

News & Opinion: Please No More Gladwell

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:46 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

I have a confession to make.

I am not a fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I didn't like Tipping Point and don't really like Blink.

Now, I understand many are singing his praises. Seth was the first. Then Halley. Now Robert and Johnnie. And could anyone have missed the Lovefest at Brand Autopsy. What sent me over the edge was his getting the front cover of Fast Company. PLEASE!? STOP THE MADNESS!!!

Gladwell is a storyteller and he is really good at it. He gathers great stories and weave a tale. That is why everyone likes him. I like good writing too.

I would prefer to read the source material. If you are going to read Blink, might I also recommend the work of Gary Klein? His stuff on intuition is outstanding. And its OK, Gladwell references his work. I liked Intuition at Work and others have said Sources of Power was just as good. Might I also recommend Dan Hill's book Body of Truth? It talks extensively about facial coding, a subject that Galdwell leads his book with.

I am ready for the comments that tell me I am insane.

Let me also say that the Wall Street Journal (So what is the moral of "Blink's" many stories? It's hard to say. First impressions are valuable except when they're wrong. Then they are useless or dangerous. This conclusion is surely true, but it is also frustratingly ambivalent.) and BusinessWeek (The book is concise and provocative, although you may find it tough to glean lessons on how to improve your own hasty judgments.) were lukewarm on Blink too.