Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?
The primary obstacle is a conflict that's built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems - the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort - but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.
In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people - employees and managers, parents and nurses - have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results:
• The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients
• The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping
• The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Change is scary. Even worse, change is slow. Chip and Dan Heath’s excellent self-help guide uses a single, easy-to-understand metaphor—that of a person riding an elephant down a path—to illustrate the two halves of our mind and demonstrate how to make them work together. Our rational mind (the rider) wants positive change and action, while our emotional mind (the elephant) fears disruption and is easily discouraged. The authors use fascinating case studies to explore the triumphs and pitfalls of attempting major life changes and show how the elements of their metaphor—the rider, the elephant, and the path—positively and negatively influence each other. Like Malcolm Gladwell or the Freakonomics team, the Heaths have a talent for finding real-life stories that are especially interesting, making Switch an entertaining and thought-provoking read.
The Heath brothers (coauthors of Made to Stick) address motivating employees, family members, and ourselves in their analysis of why we too often fear change. Change is not inherently frightening, but our ability to alter our habits can be complicated by the disjunction between our rational and irrational minds: the self that wants to be swimsuit-season ready and the self that acquiesces to another slice of cake anyway. The trick is to find the balance between our powerful drives and our reason. The authors' lessons are backed up by anecdotes that deal with such things as new methods used to reform abusive parents, the revitalization of a dying South Dakota town, and the rebranding of megastore Target. Through these lively examples, the Heaths speak energetically and encouragingly on how to modify our behaviors and businesses. This clever discussion is an entertaining and educational must-read for executives and for ordinary citizens looking to get out of a rut.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I could not put this book down. Made me think I was reading a novel! This is a awesome demonstration of how to apply three core tactics making change possible. The style of writing is tremendously engaging. A must read!