Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

December 31, 2012

Switch | How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

on July 26, 2010

I'm refering to Switch by the Heath brothers, who don't need any introduction. It's a fabulous book that I heartily recommend to anyone.

The authors believe that change involves three aspects: your conscious rational mind(the rider in their terminology), your non-rational emotional makeup(the elephant in their terms), and the environment(what they call the Path). I am going to summarize only the first 2 sections below.

Direct the Rider

Reason: Without such direction, the rider will lose focus, over-analyze, spin the wheel and deplete its small reserves soon. Thus, we need to

  1. Give the Rider a destination postcard.
  2. Remind it of what is already working, of those signs that herald the miracle you are expecting.
  3. Pre-load it with Critical Success Factors in a situation and the processess

Arouse the Elephant

Reason: Without such motivation, the elephant will remain inert and lazy or it gets spooked and demoralized soon. Thus, we need to

  1.  Show the elephant a graphic stuff/scenario to incite fear (for short-term specific actoion) or joy (for longer- term not so clearly defined actions)
  2. Shrink the task to reassure the elephant
  3. Grow the identity of the persons involved.

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