Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Book Review: By Chip and Dan Heath

Review source: http://www.amazon.com/Switch-Change-Things-When-Hard/product-reviews

This book addresses three elements that can be worked on to address change. “Switch” addresses each of these elements; Directing the Rider, Motivating the Elephant, and Shaping the Path.

The rider represents the idea of change, the elephant is the motivation and the emotional side of the change, and the path is our environment regarding the change. For a change to occur, you have to visualize the rider and the elephant happily strolling down the desired path to the goal. Change will not occur when the elephant won’t move, when the rider can’t control and direct him, and if the path is not clear, or is undefined. I thought this was an interesting metaphor. You, as the rider, may want to make a change but if you are not motivated or you can’t get other people motivated, the elephant won’t move and change will not happen. If you do have the motivation, you need to make sure that your environment is conducive to this change or else the idea will not go anywhere or worse, someplace undesired.

Casting a vision that stirs our emotions and feelings seem to be the best way the Rider can direct the Elephant’s behavior.

If you are trying to change things, there will be bright spots. Understanding the bright spots will help in knowing what needs to be done differently. Ask “What’s working and how we can do more of it?”. In the real word this obvious question is rarely asked. Instead the question we ask is, “what’s broken , and how do we fix it ?”.

A good change leader never thinks, “Why are these people acting badly?”. A change Leader thinks, ” How can I setup a situation that brings about good in people “.

If you are interested in how change happens and how it sometimes derails, read this book.

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