Switch: How to change things when change is hard Paperback – 3 Mar 2011
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"A fantastic book" (Wired)
"Witty and instructive" (Wall Street Journal)
"Switch is likely to prove invaluable to anyone wanting to make long-lasting change a reality" (BBC Focus)
"Whether you're a manager, a parent or a civic leader, getting people to change can be tricky business. In Switch, brothers Chip and Dan Heath - authors of the best-selling Made to Stick - survey efforts to shape human behaviour in search of what works. Even when change isn't easy, it's often worth making" (Time)
"A must-read" (Forbes)
Change doesn't need to be hard. Just Switch.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
I understand much clearer why 'head office' had declared dramatic changes and nothings happened and how inspirational Area Managers say one sentence and its motivated the whole team. Now I can do the same for my own little posse and hope to gain their full backing for changes I want to make.
Personally, I feel there is a clearer path towards gaining a happy and more fulfilled life; how I can inspire a teenager to tidy their room or do the washing up, how I can achieve chores without it being a chore, or even how I can exercise more without the excuses - now that is worth the book price in its own right!
You shouldn't just read this book, you should digest and think and revisit. You should give yourself time to make notes, set a plan and try a new way of living/working.
The writing style is understandable, humorous and thought provoking.
It is written in an easily accessible style, and strikes a good balance between the formal and informal approach. Personally, I felt it was possibly a little long, and it wasn't a book that 'grabbed' me as some others have. However, the information contained in its pages is worth the investment, and touches onto areas of social and behavioural psychology outside of its core remit of bringing about change. It is a highly practical book, clearly written for an audience who are movers and shakers themselves.
One thing to note is that the book takes the professional and ethical approach to manipulating others, so don't expect clever NLP routines to bamboozle your friends into doing what you want: this is a book about changing workplaces, businesses, groups and governments, and doing so for the long-term. It is not a book of quick-fixes by any means. But this is good, as it shows that the authors are treating their subject seriously, and regard change as something that needs buy-in from all involved, not be force-fed to a reluctant or unaware audience. Derren Brown this is not.
I would recommend this book to anyone who works in or with an establishment which seems reluctant to "understand" or "appreciate" why change is necessary. You will learn that usually it is not the people who are at fault, but the collective situation they find themselves in. Then the book will teach you how to address that.
There are hard and easy changes. They argue that successful changes share a common pattern. They require the leader of change to do 3 things at once.
Firstly to change someone's behaviour you've got to change that person's situation - their hearts and minds. Unfortunately their hearts and minds often disagree. Conventional wisdom identifies the emotional side of the brain and the rational part. The Heaths prefer to think of it as the Elephant (the emotion) and the Rider (the rational). Perched atop a six tonne elephant is a rider holding the reins. The rider's control is precarious because the Rider is so small compared to the elephant. The elephant has enormous strengths - love, compassion, loyalty and sympathy. And even more important the Elephant is the one that gets things done. If you want to change you have to appeal to both. The Rider provides the planning and direction and the elephant provides the energy.
The second surprise about change is that change is not hard because people are lazy or resistant. Change is hard because people wear themselves out. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. Like the Power of Habit, Switch looks at self control and holds that it is an exhaustible resource. So make change easier. Focus on a small change. But make sure you reach the Elephant (the emotion) as well as the Rider.
The Rider provides direction. But the danger is analysis paralysis. What looks like resistance is often lack of clarity. The third key to change is clarity.
So the keys are :
Direct the rider
Follow the bright spots, Investigate what is working and clone it. Solutions based therapists believe there are exceptions to every problem and that those exceptions, once identified can be carefully analysed.
Script the Critical moves . Don't just think big picture. Think in terms of specific behaviours.
Point to the Destination. Change is easier when you know where you are going and why it is worth it.
Motivate the elephant
Find the feeling Knowing something is not enough to cause change. Make people feel something.
Shrink the change. Break down the change until it no longer spooks the elephant
Grow your people. Cultivate a sense of identity and instil the growth mindset.
Shape the Path
Tweak the environment. When the situation changes, the behaviour changes , so change the situation.
(simplifying time sheets, throw out automatic phone answering)
Build habits. When behaviour is habitual it does not tax the rider. Look for ways to encourage habits. Set action
Rally the herd. Behaviour is contagious. Help it spread.
Now I mus
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