Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Front Cover
Random House of Canada, Limited, Feb 16, 2010 - Change (Psychology) - 320 pages
32 Reviews
Why is change so difficult and frightening? How do you create change when you have few resources and no title or authority to back you up? Chip and Dan Heath, the best-selling authors ofMade to Stick, are back with a ground-breaking book that addresses one of the greatest challenges of our personal and professional lives—how to change things when change is hard. In their follow-up book to the critically acclaimed international bestsellerMade to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath talk about how difficult change is in our companies, our careers, and our lives, why change is so hard, and how we can overcome our resistance and make change happen. The Heaths liken the human mind to two distinct entities — the animal mind, or what psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls the elephant, and the logical brain, which Haidt describes as the rider. The elephant is instinctive; it acts on emotion. It likes gorging on Oreos and sleeping in. And it loves routines — doing things the same old way, every day. The rider is the planner and thinker. The rider obsesses about the future. He or she wants to stop eating junk food and stop hitting the snooze button. But it’s hard, because when the rider and elephant disagree on where to go, the rider usually loses. And that describes the essential tension between our primitive emotional brain and our high intellect, and helps to explain why changing how we behave is so difficult. The secret to making a switch is understanding this odd couple relationship. Direct the Rider. Motivate the Elephant. Shape the Path. ThroughoutSwitch, Chip and Dan Heath illustrate and explain situations in which sweeping change was adopted, from a university researcher who ended the cycle of child abuse in a group of families, to an entrepreneur who turned his skeptical employees into customer service zealots and saved his company. In the tradition ofMade to Stick,Blink, andOutliers,Switchis filled with engaging and entertaining stories of how companies and individuals have brought about and sustained significant change. An indispensable guide to making change happen, it is certain to become a classic.

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User Review  - ssimon2000 - LibraryThing

I read this book for two reasons. First, it was a selection on the 2014 Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List, and second, a coworker recommended it. As a management engineer, change is my job, or I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wishanem - LibraryThing

I think this book oversimplifies the often painfully complex decision-making process. The authors' method of providing stories to illustrate their concepts didn't always win me over to their way of thinking. I'm not sure how helpful it will be to me, but I enjoyed reading it anyway. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

CHIP HEATH is a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He lives in Los Gatos, California. DAN HEATH is a senior fellow at Duke University's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE). Previously, he was a researcher and case writer at Harvard Business School, as well as the cofounder of a college textbook publishing firm called Thinkwell. Dan lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Heath brothers write a monthly column for Fast Company magazine.

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