Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard

The main suggestion with this text is that we often misunderstand and make faulty assumptions about the reasons people resist change and the authors make great suggestions about how to influence and shape change. Change is, they argue, heavily reliant on three main components:

1. The Rider - this our analytical side. The rider likes to make calculated, measured long term decisions. The rider in all of will spin its wheels with decision-making
and, as a result, will often fail to take action. The ways in which we can "direct the rider" are:
- follow the bright spots
- script the critical moves
- point to the destination

2. The Elephant - this is our emotional side. Unlike the rider, the elephant is unimpressed with data and analysis. Instead, the elephant needs an emotional appeal to buy into and prefers instant gratification over calculated long-term planning. To appeal to the elephant, we must:
- find the feeling
- shrink the change
- grow our people

3. The Path - the path refers to the environmental factors that foster change. Many times, small changes to the environment will help direct people towards the destination. To do that, we must:
- tweak the environment
- build habits
- rally the herd

Notable Quotes
"In tough times, the rider sees problems everywhere and "analysis paralysis" often kicks in." (pg. 33)

"But when the road is uncertain, the Elephant will always insist on taking the default path, the most familiar path...the most familiar path is always the status quo." (pg. 53)

"There is a clear asymmetry between the scale of the problem and the scale of the solution. Big problem, small solution." (pg. 44)

"Clarity dissolves resistance." (pg. 72)

"We know there's a difference between knowing how to act and being motivated to act. But when it comes time to change the behavior of other people, our first instinct is to teach them something." (pg. 113)

"A long journey starts with a single step but a single step doesn't guarantee the long journey." (pg. 250)

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