Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Your highlights:

Implementing change is like riding an elephant: choose a direction, give your elephant some peanuts and stick to an easy path.

An excellent analogy for examining behavioral change is that of an elephant and its rider trying to follow a certain path. The elephant, being a powerful, stubborn creature, represents the emotional side of people, looking for a quick payoff rather than long-term benefits. The rider in turn represents the rational side that knows what should be done, and can tug at the elephant’s reins to exert some small degree of control over it. Finally, the path represents the situation in which the change is to take place.

9 October, 2017 19:39 Share

Find the bright spots, learn from them and spread them around.

find and focus on the so-called bright spots: specific situations or areas where change has already succeeded. Then figure out how change was achieved and leverage these lessons to make the change more widespread.

9 October, 2017 19:43 Share

Find the bright spots, learn from them and spread them around.

9 October, 2017 19:45 Share

Make the path look well-trodden: show people they are following the herd.

humans are herd animals: in situations where we’re not sure how to behave, we look to others for cues.

9 October, 2017 20:02 Share

When trying to change people’s behavior, you can take advantage of this tendency if you demonstrate that the majority of the herd is rallying around the change.

9 October, 2017 20:02 Share

find the minority who support your change and help them strengthen their case by giving them their own space within which to discuss the benefits of the change.

9 October, 2017 20:03 Share

Eventually, there will be an inevitable conflict between the “conservatives" and the “reformers." While this is not desirable, it is necessary.

9 October, 2017 20:03 Share

Make the path look well-trodden: show people they are following the herd.

9 October, 2017 20:03 Share

Final summary

The key message in this book is:When you want to change your behavior, three key components affect your chances of success: The rider represents your analytical side, and he needs a clear direction to move in. The elephant represents your emotional side, and it needs to be motivated to walk in the rider’s chosen direction. Finally, the path represents situational factors that are in play, which is why you must shape it to make it easy to follow.

9 October, 2017 20:03 Share

About the book:

Switch examines why it is often difficult for people to switch their behavior, and how, by understanding the mind, it is possible to find shortcuts that make change easier. Through scientific studies and anecdotes, Switch provides simple yet effective tools for implementing changes.

About the author:

Chip Heath is a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University, and his brother Dan Heath is a senior fellow at Duke University. They have co-authored two other bestsellers: Made to Stick and Decisive.