Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Birth of Shock Communication

Innovative thought develops into action, allowing for enhanced learning, generating cognitive memory storage and the immediate retrieval of that memory over time. Continue to shift mind-sets away from traditional learning. People are anxiously awaiting entertainment, so what are you waiting for, entertain. Creativity enhances knowledge transfer and retention.

Professors Corinne Shefner-Rogers and her late husband, Ev Rogers (The Father of Diffusion of Innovations), always come to the forefront of my mind, when I think of Shock Communication. The “Sexy” (stealing one of Ev’s favorite words) couple co-taught a graduate level health communication class at the University of New Mexico (UNM). What a great class. Ev and Corinne had traveled to Paris, France during the course and brought back some fine French pate to share with us. Ev graciously opened and prepared crackers and pate. Ev and Corinne loved to share food and engage in communication. The students often prepared food to bring to class. Serving everyone a cracker or rather those that would partake of the tasty morsel, we savored the moment. Our taste buds tantalized and mesmerized by the flavor, we desired more.

Ev finally asked if anyone would like more, the answer was definitely yes. We were hooked. Ev reached into his bag and pulled out a second can. Without saying a word, Ev opened the can in full view of the class. A can of cat food! As Ev spread the pate-like spread onto the crackers, the class gasped! Did Ev eat one? I can’t remember. I like to believe that he did eat one. My stomach was not a happy camper and my mind raced thinking did he, could he, would he, and finally, they didn’t? Filling the plate with crackers and cat food spread, Ev proceeds to walk the class asking everyone to try the delicious snack – for obvious reasons everyone refused. Laughing heartily, Ev and Corinne showed the class the two cans, one pate and one cat food. The cans were similar enough to allow for shock and awe. Afterwards, the sexy couple began the lesson.

What did I learn? Ev and Corinne invited transformation for change and new thinking. Shock-a-Comm in good taste is an advocate for memory retention! Vindictive Shock Communication; however, is good for spiteful, angry retaliation. Appropriate use of shock and/or humor is sometimes necessary to allow for successful knowledge transfer and retention.

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