Friday, November 25, 2011
Michael Bungay Stanier and "End Malaria"
Sixty-two business leaders and authors came together with one common purpose – to continue the struggle, the fight, to wipe out malaria. As writers read by the business community around the world, these individuals united their literary voices into the book "End Malaria: Bold Innovation, Limitless Generosity, and the Opportunity to Save a Life."
Spearheaded by Michael Bungay Stanier, Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work, and published by Seth Godin and the Domino Project (a new outlook in publishing powered by Amazon.com), "End Malaria" isn’t a book about malaria or the tragedies this deadly disease inflicts. The authors are business people, not doctors or scientists. They write and talk about methods to improve our daily lives. So, that's what they did. Only this time, their singular profit is seeing the proceeds from this book go toward helping children live.
End Malaria Day Link
An anthology on self-improvement, the articles in "End Malaria" range from "Dream Backward to Move Forward" to "The Importance of Failure" to "How Can We Do More, Feel Better, Live Longer?" to "Permission to be Funny." They wrote about us, every one of us, and what we can do for ourselves. And by gleaning from their professional insight, we save children's lives.
The Domino Project
Box of Crayons
Q) Mr. Bungay Stanier, considering all the causes and organizations in the world, why was malaria efforts selected as the group's focus?
A) I did quite a bit of research across various global issues - hunger, water, disease. What I found was $10 - the price of a mosquito net - is the cheapest unit of global change. Part of what's wonderful about the 'End Malaria' book is that when you buy a book, $20 - enough for a net and further support for life saving work - goes to the organization Malaria No More.
Q) How difficult, or easy, was it for sixty-two well-respected writers to come together for "End Malaria"?
A) It was remarkably easy to get people to agree to participate - more than 90% of those I asked said yes, and once we had a core of great writers the project had credibility and momentum. Tracking down all the contributions once they'd said yes? That was a little trickier. However, it turns out that I'm an excellent nagger and everyone came through in the end.
Q) The Domino Project utilizes the concept of passing ideas from one person to the next. How effective and/or efficient has the Domino Project been in marketing "End Malaria"?
A) As you say, The Domino Project relies on good ideas spreading, and one of the main channels for that is through social media. We had hundreds of bloggers writing about the book and an amazing twitter stream on the launch day. The book climbed to #2 on Amazon.com with no "traditional media" support.
Q) Any organized effort has an initial goal or benchmark. Have the expectations for "End Malaria" been reached, and, if so, what is the next goal?
A) We raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for Malaria No More in the first two weeks after the book's launch. We're now encouraging people to buy the book for their colleagues, clients, customers and friends - it makes a fabulous holiday gift.
A) Many of the articles have a relevance beyond just life in business. Some favourites of mine are Derek Sivers' "In a perfect world", Brene Brown's "The Strength of Vulnerability" , Jonah Lehrer's "Don't pay attention" and Gwen Bell's "Unplug". They're all about helping figure out how to live a life that's more meaningful and happier - and then actually living it.
Q) Any parting thoughts for your readers?
A) It's not often you get to buy a book and save a life. You do with 'End Malaria'