A few years ago a magnificent and transformative book was published: “The Dragonfly Effect.” Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith are simply incredible. Their journey and combined efforts tap into the integration and alignment between human psychology, marketing, and the surging reach of social media. This dragonfly effect, which they outline beautifully and comprehensively, is a model that taps concepts from social media, marketing strategy, and consumer psychology to help people achieve a single, concrete goal. They ingeniously named it after the only insect that can move swiftly in any direction – and even hover – when its four wings are moving in harmony. The four “wings” of their model are to: Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action. They suggest that these wings work together to help us produce the change we seek, and that our desired change may take many forms…whether this be social good, employee morale, or customer loyalty, among many others. The book is well worth a read – if you have not already found it!
The metaphor of the dragonfly is genius. The name is a tribute to the “Butterfly Effect,” which is itself built on chaos theory. It describes how the flapping of a butterfly’s wings might have an impact on the weather halfway around the world. The dragonfly, however, moves with tremendous speed and force, and compared to a butterfly, it has about 20 times more power in each flap of its wings. Imagine the potential when this is harnessed and coordinated on a mass scale.
Small acts can create big change, and working in concert maximizes our ability to go farther, faster—and in any direction we choose. As beautifully written in one of my favorite Beatle’s song, ‘Come Together’, we have the potential to come together and make a difference in our organizations, schools, and our world. Amazing what we can learn from a dragonfly.