Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?
The primary obstacle is a conflict thats built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed best seller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems, the rational mind and the emotional mind, that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.
In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people - employees and managers, parents and nurses - have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results:
The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients.
The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping.
The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service
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.
©2010 Chip Heath (P)2010 Random House
I really enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it both on a personal level and on a professional level. All the things in the book seem to make sense to me and I know look at ways I can adopt their suggestions to help manage change. I nearly didn't buy the book because of all the comments about the poor narration but although he wasn't the best narrator I didn't find it detracted at all from the book. I would definitely recommend reading this book.
It's a top-shelf book. I read more okay books than really good ones, more really good than great. This book is great.
The story about reducing accidental deaths in hospitals and the first grade teacher who inspired ill-prepared students to achieve 3rd grade performance. Well done.
I think it was the same narrator who read the last few books by the Heath brothers. I read all three within about a month or two of each other, so the consistency was nice.
feeding Vietnamese children a healthier diet with the same resources.
This book is a great pick for anyone who wants to be current with a modern approach to management, teaching, parenting and just living.
Some people have expressed disappointment with the narrator. I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, because I really enjoyed him. To me, his clipped and steady movement forward was a good match for the book itself.
Self-help books are one of my guilty pleasures. This one is more helpful than most: it's based on research and bulging with real-life examples. Many of the examples are drawn from business and economics, many are quite serious - serious, as in life-or-death - and all clearly illustrate the point being made. I found many of the ideas immediately applicable at work and in my personal life as well. This is one I plan to listen to again and again.
As a federal employee leading a major change within an agency, the framework described in Switch will be a valuable tool to help establishing a solid foundation for change and deal with impediments encountered during the process of change.
The case studies that illustrate the book's major principles will help you understand and remember its core principles. They also make for compelling listening. Another strength of the book is that the examples cut across so many fields from personal improvement, to business, to health care.
I found particularly helpful the idea that scheduling greatly helps new habit formation. E.g., if you want to start running, at the beginning of the week, sit down with your calendar and block off realistic times for the week when you will go running (in the books words, "script the critical moves"). Protect that calendar entry like you would any other important meeting. It's funny how much that little bit of planning helps -- and the book explains why and why you're much more likely to fail to install a new habit without it.
Some people complained about the narrator. I thought he was just fine. I generally prefer to listen at 1.5x or 2x and found the narration comfortable at those speeds.
For Jonathan Haidt fans (Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion), Switch makes good use of the "elephant/rider" bucket of concepts.
Tremendous insight into creating habits that can transform your life. Build systems to do anything you want to do, and learn how to make them "stick" (unlike many of our "New Year's Resolutions.")
Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.
The latest statistic on organizational change efforts states that 80% of all change efforts fail. In this book, the authors offer a framework for approaching change that is both comprehensive and simple at the same time. That’s not to say that it’s easy – just simple – and its simplicity is what gives hope that organizations (and individuals, for that matter) might just be able to start improving that statistic. The authors describe three aspects of change – emotional, rational, and environmental – using the metaphor of the elephant (emotion), the rider (reason), and the path (the environment). The main thesis throughout the book is that all three must be addressed and integrated in order for change to be successful. The authors weave in elements of Appreciative Inquiry (bright spots), visioning (destination postcards), and systems thinking (tweak the environment), to name a few, and offer many ideas for how to improve your chances that the change you seek will be sustainable.
I'm about 1/2 way through this listen right now, and although the material is quite interesting, as others have said, it's really hard to get past the voice. The narrator's voice is so low and monotonous that you find it hard to stay focused on listening. It is also annoying that it doesn't flow and you can tell where edits were made. This one should be re-recorded. Giving 4 stars for the book, -1 for the narrator.
I listened to this over a one week period on the subway to and from work. A good basic work. Made me think about motivation of myself and others from a diff angle. I agree with other posters comments about the poor sound quality.
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