Tuesday, January 25, 2005


I'm only about halfway through BLINK: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell's new book, but I can already see that it is has profound implications for those of us who teach self-defense of any variety. I'm going to withhold comment until I finish the book; then I plan to do a series of posts on those implications. I also plan to write an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY, probably for airing 3rd quarter this year, to highlight some of these implications.

In the meantime, if you teach armed or unarmed self-defense, or if you carry a gun or a knife for self-defense, you need to read this book and think about the implications for yourself!

Gladwell's previous book, THE TIPPING POINT: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, became an instant management phenomenon. The idea of non-common sense analysis of how trends spread caused some people to scream, "It's another friggin' 'paradigm shift' nonsense phrase!" And, yes, I did help drive that "friggin' 'paradigm shift'" stuff back in the late 1990s...mea culpa.

However, the National Shooting Sports Foundation team of me, Bill Brassard and Paul Erhardt used tipping point theory to create the Media Education Program — the single most successful media initiative ever launched by the firearms industry and by any criteria a huge, if expensive, success. The firearms industry is still reaping the benefits of that program even as they busily disassemble it because:
1) Wow, it cost a lot of money!
2) It just goes against common sense, doesn't it?
3) How can we measure the R-O-I (return on investment) of a program like this?
More to come...

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