Switch – How to Change Things when Change is Hard

Should you buy this book?  Petey says YES!  Go – run – get it – implement it – and you will have done yourself a major favor.  Start or end by logging on to their website, www.heathbrothers.com to learn even more.

So why am I so excited about this book?  Because it make the “light bulb” come on in your head – it teaches you how to throw the switch on and off between the rational mind wanting to change while the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine.  “For things to change, somebody somewhere has to start acting differently.  Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s your team,” say the Heath Brothers.  And, most of us respond with, “Yeah, yeah, yeah – easier said than done!”

Dan and Chip give everyday examples of how to use these methods to help you diet, win over a team, get expense reports in, create MAGIC within your organization. The analogy used throughout Switch is to imagine a Rider (person in charge) perched on an Elephant (one expected to follow directions) happily staying on an uncertain path.   There’s a 99% chance of failure UNLESS… you Direct the rider; Motivatethe elephant; and Shape the path.

HOW?  The answer is best described by the authors as follows:

To Direct the Rider:

  • Follow the Bright Spots.  Investigate what’s working and clone it.
  • Script the Critical Moves.  Don’t think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviors
  • Point to the Destination. Change is easier when you know where you’re going and why it’s worth it.

To Motivate the Elephant:

  • Find the Feeling. Knowing something isn’t 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 instill the growth mind-set.

To Shape the Path:

  • Tweak the environment. When the situation changes, the behavior changes.  So change the situation.
  • Build Habits. When behavior is habitual, it’s “free” – it doesn’t tax the Rider.  Look for ways to encourage habits.
  • Rally the Herd. Behavior is contagious.  Help it spread!

Too many books out there are TBU –  the Heath Brothers initials for ‘True, But Useless’.  Not Switch!  It’s almost too good to be true, but it is all that and more – it’s easy to implement.

Disclosure: Read this book only if you want to improve the quality of your business and your life.

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