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Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is…

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (2010)

by Chip Heath, Dan Heath (Author)

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Most books on leadership are based on relatively simple ideas. The main points of the book could be written on the palm of your hand with a thick marker. [b:Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard|6570502|Switch How to Change Things When Change Is Hard|Chip Heath|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327696568s/6570502.jpg|6763564], by [a:Chip and Dan Heath|39021|Chip Heath|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1374634334p2/39021.jpg], is no exception--in fact, the summary of main points is even included in the book (p. 259; which, yes, is just slightly bigger than most people's palms). So what makes a really good book on leadership? For me, it's the stories that it tells along the way: sort of a reader's digest of interesting research published in other places. The skillful author of a book on leadership has reached out far and wide in looking at other sources, and then pulls together disparate excerpts to fit into a coherent, unified structure. Switch is a very pleasant example of the "good" type of leadership book. Its message is simple and it's illustrated with absolutely fascinating research examples from other places. The Heath brothers are giving guidance for leaders who must implement some kind of organizational change (and that's almost all leaders, almost all of the time, after all). They suggest that within individuals and organizations is a person riding an elephant. The rider represents reason, logic, thinking. The elephant is feeling, emotion. And the path they are traveling will automatically guide the elephant and rider in particular directions. So to introduce change with effectiveness requires three considerations: 1. Direct the Rider 2. Motivate the Elephant 3. Shape the Path Too often leaders assume that if people can be convinced that a change is logically the right thing to do, then they will follow; then the leaders are puzzled that the change doesn't stick. Instead, the Heaths present research vignettes that illustrate small steps toward large results, when all three elements of the elephant-and-rider picture are engaged and addressed. The content of Switch doesn't answer all questions, since every instance of organizational change is its own unique situation. Also, I would like to hear stories of leaders who have deliberately implemented change according to this 3-part model; the stories the Heaths present here are fine, but to what extent were the leaders actually thinking of any of these steps--or do the stories in hindsight fit in well with the Switch model? Either way is all right, but I'm curious to know. Overall, I found the book very encouraging and an easy read. ( )
  | Aug 8, 2014 | edit |
A tricky little book. I really appreciated how they tried to incorporate social, business, and personal change throughout the book and the examples/case studies were very interesting. ( )
  janeycanuck | Jul 27, 2014 |
The Heath brothers first best-seller mixed solid science with great storytelling to help readers develop ideas that were 'Made to Stick.' In their second book 'Switch,' Chip and Dan use a similar approach to show us how to effectively drive innovation and change through barriers and resistance. They offer case study clinics, practical tools and a step by step approach broken into three main parts: 1) Direct the rider, 2) Motivate the elephant and 3) Shape the path.
  newtonco | Jun 23, 2014 |
Terrific book about making changes both in yourself and for a group. One of my favorite nonfiction titles. ( )
  INorris | Jun 22, 2014 |
So far I'm really enjoying this book, it's fascinating... ( )
  librarymary09 | May 24, 2014 |
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Heath, DanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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From Publishers Weekly: 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.
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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.… (more)

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