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P L AT E A U
E F F E C T
t h e
G e t t i n g f r o m
S T U C K t o S U C C E S S
B O B S U L L I VA N
a n d
H U G H T H O M P S O N
Why People Get Stuck...and How to Break Through
What do you do when formerly effective measure ceases to cause further change?
When doing more doesn’t get you more?
First Month Next Month
Definition of Plateau Effect
The Plateau Effect is a law of nature, as real
and as impactful as gravity or friction. It’s
built directly into the genetic code of our
bodies, and into the planet we inhabit.
A real plateau means you have stopped
growing. It means your mind and senses
are being dulled by sameness, by a routine
which sucks the life and soul out of you, by
getting less and less out of life while doing
more and more.
Understanding this force, and tapping into
it, will let you get more from less effort, and
feel more in tune with the reasons you were
put on this planet.
? ? ?
Common Elements of the Plateau Effect
What is causing
your plateau ?
Immunity
Bad Timing
Distorted Data
Failing Slowly
Greedy Algorithm
Flow Issues
Distraction
Perfectionism
PLATEAU
Element 1 Immunity
People, relationships, businesses and even physical processes
become immune to the same techniques, the same approaches, the
same solutions.
Immunity can be frustrating – what worked so well yesterday just
won’t work today.
Solvent: Diversity
Immunity’s Kryptonite is diversity. You’ve got to shake things up and
be radical. Trying different approaches, techniques or procedures
can shake you out of an immunity plateau.
Element 2 The Greedy Algorithm
The greedy algorithm is a concept borrowed from the field of
mathematics. Here’s how it works: you always pick the best
short-term solution and ignore the long-term outcome.
Solvent: Extend your gratification horizon
To get beyond the greedy algorithm, you need to think about
solutions on a bigger timescale.
As it is in mathematics, and in life
the best short-term solution hardly ever leads to the best long-term outcome
If you’re working hard but you’re stuck in a plateau, maybe it’s as
simple as taking a break.
Solvent: Wait
If bad timing has you stuck in a plateau, remember, the periods of
rest and inactivity are just as important as the periods of great effort,
just as silence between the notes is part of the music. If you use time
as a tool, you can literally wait your way out of a plateau.
Element 3 Bad Timing
Solvent: Find a counterbalance, something that replaces the
resource you consume. If you can’t find a counterbalance, you might
not be in a plateau at all. You may have reached a terminal point.
Element 4 Flow Issues
Erosion: Sometimes we deplete the resources that we need to be
successful. Maybe we run out of capital, or time, or skilled workers.
When you hit an erosion plateau, progress tends to degrade slowly
as some critical resource is gobbled up over time.
Solvent: Try to smooth out your step function. Sometimes this can be
done by identifying some other person or business that has
complementary peaks to your own. If you can pool your resources,
you can share the cost of the step and make it look more like a
comfortable ramp.
Step Function: Sometimes you want to add just a little more of
something, but that thing is only available in bundles. The result is a
jump in cost, effort, or benefit. We call these things “step functions.”
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Solvent: The trick is to find out where the choke point is and
creatively route your way around it.
Choke Points: A choke point is the part of the system that breaks first
and slows everything else down. Failing to identify a chokepoint can
bring a gushing flow to an unexpected trickle.
We often react based on distorted data. Sometimes we
measure the wrong things or inappropriately assess risk.
Solvent: Ignore the noise, recognize the signal
The key is to boil out the impurities of data and recognize that
you are looking through a lens that might be deceptive.
Element 5 Distorted Data
Distraction is the enemy of adaptation and can lead you straight
towards a plateau. How do we know when and what we need to
change to live in a world of unrelenting distraction?
Solvent: Peak Listening
If you take a page from improv comedy – where you look for the truth
in what others are saying and build on it through the “yes….and”
strategy – you get to a skill we call radical listening. It’s a mode of
active engagement, where you are attuned to your surroundings,
listening, and adapting.
Element 6 Distraction
Failing slow is natural because it’s difficult to tell that a situation is
incrementally getting worse. Often the incremental worsening of a
situation happens slower than what psychophysicists call the just
noticeable difference.
Solvent: Fail Fast
By setting clear markers, you can objectively see how you’re
progressing, figure out what’s working and what’s failing, correct it
and move on.
Element 7 Failing Slow
10 yrs later
Perfect is the enemy of good. The desire for perfection kills
beginnings – it’s never the right time to start, and even if you do, a
task is never complete because it is held up to an impossible
standard.
Solvent: First Steps, etc.
Accept that perfection isn’t achievable. Focus on taking the first step,
and then the next step. There are some tricks that can help, such as
structured procrastination and setting hard (but liberating) deadlines.
Element 8 Perfectionism
DAILY
NEWS
DAILY
NEWS
OFFICE
The Plateau Effect shows how athletes, scientists, relationship thera-
pists, companies, and musicians around the world are learning to
turn off the forces that cause people to “peak out” or “get used to”
things -- and turn on human potential and happiness in ways you
probably think impossible.
The Plateau Effect shows you why the world is full of one-hit-
wonders, why all good things come to an end, why all trends eventu-
ally fall, why most people get less for more, and how you can break
through, again and again.
The Plateau Effect is a powerful law of nature that affects everyone
Anything you want to do better
Get this book
to break through
your plateau
Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson
Authors :
Available on :
In Store :
May, 1st 2013
All publicity inquiries can be sent to :
Liza Cassity, liza.cassity@us.penguingroup.com
Cassie Mandel, cassandre.mandel@us.penguingroup.com
For more info please visit :
http://plateaueffect.com/

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The plateau effect

  • 1. P L AT E A U E F F E C T t h e G e t t i n g f r o m S T U C K t o S U C C E S S B O B S U L L I VA N a n d H U G H T H O M P S O N
  • 2. Why People Get Stuck...and How to Break Through What do you do when formerly effective measure ceases to cause further change? When doing more doesn’t get you more? First Month Next Month
  • 3. Definition of Plateau Effect The Plateau Effect is a law of nature, as real and as impactful as gravity or friction. It’s built directly into the genetic code of our bodies, and into the planet we inhabit. A real plateau means you have stopped growing. It means your mind and senses are being dulled by sameness, by a routine which sucks the life and soul out of you, by getting less and less out of life while doing more and more. Understanding this force, and tapping into it, will let you get more from less effort, and feel more in tune with the reasons you were put on this planet. ? ? ?
  • 4. Common Elements of the Plateau Effect What is causing your plateau ? Immunity Bad Timing Distorted Data Failing Slowly Greedy Algorithm Flow Issues Distraction Perfectionism PLATEAU
  • 5. Element 1 Immunity People, relationships, businesses and even physical processes become immune to the same techniques, the same approaches, the same solutions. Immunity can be frustrating – what worked so well yesterday just won’t work today. Solvent: Diversity Immunity’s Kryptonite is diversity. You’ve got to shake things up and be radical. Trying different approaches, techniques or procedures can shake you out of an immunity plateau.
  • 6. Element 2 The Greedy Algorithm The greedy algorithm is a concept borrowed from the field of mathematics. Here’s how it works: you always pick the best short-term solution and ignore the long-term outcome. Solvent: Extend your gratification horizon To get beyond the greedy algorithm, you need to think about solutions on a bigger timescale. As it is in mathematics, and in life the best short-term solution hardly ever leads to the best long-term outcome
  • 7. If you’re working hard but you’re stuck in a plateau, maybe it’s as simple as taking a break. Solvent: Wait If bad timing has you stuck in a plateau, remember, the periods of rest and inactivity are just as important as the periods of great effort, just as silence between the notes is part of the music. If you use time as a tool, you can literally wait your way out of a plateau. Element 3 Bad Timing
  • 8. Solvent: Find a counterbalance, something that replaces the resource you consume. If you can’t find a counterbalance, you might not be in a plateau at all. You may have reached a terminal point. Element 4 Flow Issues Erosion: Sometimes we deplete the resources that we need to be successful. Maybe we run out of capital, or time, or skilled workers. When you hit an erosion plateau, progress tends to degrade slowly as some critical resource is gobbled up over time.
  • 9. Solvent: Try to smooth out your step function. Sometimes this can be done by identifying some other person or business that has complementary peaks to your own. If you can pool your resources, you can share the cost of the step and make it look more like a comfortable ramp. Step Function: Sometimes you want to add just a little more of something, but that thing is only available in bundles. The result is a jump in cost, effort, or benefit. We call these things “step functions.” 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • 10. Solvent: The trick is to find out where the choke point is and creatively route your way around it. Choke Points: A choke point is the part of the system that breaks first and slows everything else down. Failing to identify a chokepoint can bring a gushing flow to an unexpected trickle.
  • 11. We often react based on distorted data. Sometimes we measure the wrong things or inappropriately assess risk. Solvent: Ignore the noise, recognize the signal The key is to boil out the impurities of data and recognize that you are looking through a lens that might be deceptive. Element 5 Distorted Data
  • 12. Distraction is the enemy of adaptation and can lead you straight towards a plateau. How do we know when and what we need to change to live in a world of unrelenting distraction? Solvent: Peak Listening If you take a page from improv comedy – where you look for the truth in what others are saying and build on it through the “yes….and” strategy – you get to a skill we call radical listening. It’s a mode of active engagement, where you are attuned to your surroundings, listening, and adapting. Element 6 Distraction
  • 13. Failing slow is natural because it’s difficult to tell that a situation is incrementally getting worse. Often the incremental worsening of a situation happens slower than what psychophysicists call the just noticeable difference. Solvent: Fail Fast By setting clear markers, you can objectively see how you’re progressing, figure out what’s working and what’s failing, correct it and move on. Element 7 Failing Slow 10 yrs later
  • 14. Perfect is the enemy of good. The desire for perfection kills beginnings – it’s never the right time to start, and even if you do, a task is never complete because it is held up to an impossible standard. Solvent: First Steps, etc. Accept that perfection isn’t achievable. Focus on taking the first step, and then the next step. There are some tricks that can help, such as structured procrastination and setting hard (but liberating) deadlines. Element 8 Perfectionism DAILY NEWS DAILY NEWS OFFICE
  • 15. The Plateau Effect shows how athletes, scientists, relationship thera- pists, companies, and musicians around the world are learning to turn off the forces that cause people to “peak out” or “get used to” things -- and turn on human potential and happiness in ways you probably think impossible. The Plateau Effect shows you why the world is full of one-hit- wonders, why all good things come to an end, why all trends eventu- ally fall, why most people get less for more, and how you can break through, again and again. The Plateau Effect is a powerful law of nature that affects everyone Anything you want to do better
  • 16. Get this book to break through your plateau Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson Authors : Available on : In Store : May, 1st 2013 All publicity inquiries can be sent to : Liza Cassity, liza.cassity@us.penguingroup.com Cassie Mandel, cassandre.mandel@us.penguingroup.com For more info please visit : http://plateaueffect.com/