How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Heath, Chip (Book - 2010 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. "Switch "shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.
Authors: Heath, Chip
Statement of Responsibility: Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Title: Switch
how to change things when change is hard
Publisher: New York :, Broadway Books,, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 305 p. ;,22 cm.
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Report This Mar 10, 2011
  • lilwordworm rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Nothing new folks. Balance your logical side with your emotional side to achieve optimal happiness. I can write that on a fortune cookie slip and save myself 250 pages.

Who doesn’t want to know how to make a successful change? Chip Heath and Dan Heath have hit on a universal quest in their latest book. We all want, or need, to change from time to time. Sometimes it’s minor tweaking. For others, it requires massive transformation.

Report This Nov 26, 2010
  • kjanowski rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

excellent summary of research (by others) about behavior change and social change and organizational change. includes lots of examples and memorable metaphors and tips for how to effect change. highly recommended.

Imagine an alarm clock that goes off in the morning and it's designed to roll off your bedside table and roll around with the annoying alarm ringing. You get up and chase it. Think it's weird? Apparently it sells quite well and it got you out of bed, didn't it? Early in SWITCH, the authors, Chip and Dan Heath, describe the two parts of you that struggle endlessly. They call the parts the elephant and the rider. The struggle begins the moment your alarm goes off. One part of you wants to stay comfortable and go back sleep for a few minutes. The other wants to get up and use the extra time for some exercise or to eat a healthier breakfast. Sound familiar? The book does a superb job of teaching you all about the rider and the elephant. I'll leave these first two sections of the book to you, because I found the third part of change even more intriguing. It's intriguing and yet it's somewhat obvious when you stop and think about it. The authors call it shaping the path. The concept is that usually we have to tweak the environment to change how people behave. The Heath brothers teach the importance of "the path" through detailed examples and case studies in the form of stories. The results are inspiring. Try this: Tomorrow pay attention to how many times you see where people have tweaked the environment to shape your behaviour. Streets and traffic lights are perfect examples. Small tweaks to the environment can trigger a change in behaviour. It can be something small. It could be an email with subheadings and blocks of text that nudged you to keep reading. Your car probably has an annoying chime if you don't put on your seatbelt. You get the idea. This book is one of the best books on change I've ever read. It gracefully combines all the concepts found in books about organizational change in business and self-help books aimed at personal change. It doesn't just talk about theory. It's really a how-to book full of fascinating examples and stories that reinforce that change is possible even when it seems impossible. This is one of those worthy books that you shouldn't just read. You should take it apart. Read it a few times and see how to apply it in your life or in your business. When you're done, recommend it to a friend. Understanding the three elements that drive true change will pay big in your career, your business, and in your personal life. Remember that annoying clock that tries to lure you out of bed in the morning? Consider this your wake up call. You can either go back to sleep and do nothing or you can tweak your environment right now. Leave yourself a reminder to read this book. You still have to learn about the elephant and rider anyway. Change is hard. This book shows you how


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p.47 A particular strain of this "bad is stronger than good" bias is critical when it comes to tackling change. Let's call it a problem focus. To see it, consider the situation: Your child comes home one day with her report card. She got one A, four B's, and one F. Where will you spend your time as a parent? This hypothetical comes from author Marcus Buckingham, who says that nearly all parents will tend to fixate on the F. It's easy to empathize with them: Something seems broken - we should fix it. Let's get her a tutor. Or maybe she should be punished - she's grounded until that grade recovers. It is the rare parent who would say, instead, "Honey, you made an 'A' in this one class. You must really have a strength in this subject. How can we build on that?" (Buckingham has a fine series of books on making the most of your strengths rather than obsessing about your weaknesses.)

p.44 This is a theme you will see again and again. Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over weeks, sometimes over decades.


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