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Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard | [Dan Heath, Chip Heath]

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1537 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Katy Crumpton 03-23-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very good content, narrator doesn't match content"

    This books is filled with information about why people do or don't change behavior. I started taking notes during the second chapter so that I could remember to apply some of the ideas to my children. My only issue with the book is the narrator has a voice more suited for narrating a drama, mystery, or war documentary. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from the book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 08-24-12
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 08-24-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent Practical Book on Change"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Saint Louis, MO, United States 04-21-12
    Amanda Saint Louis, MO, United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2012

    Amanda Spacaj-Gorham

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another WIN from the Heath Brothers"
    Where does Switch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a top-shelf book. I read more okay books than really good ones, more really good than great. This book is great.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Switch?

    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.


    What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    feeding Vietnamese children a healthier diet with the same resources.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a great pick for anyone who wants to be current with a modern approach to management, teaching, parenting and just living.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 07-27-13
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 07-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Delivers on its title; compelling listening."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Phoenix, AZ, United States 09-09-12
    Jeff Phoenix, AZ, United States 09-09-12 Member Since 2011
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    "One of my favorites"

    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.")

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marty East Thetford, VT, United States 05-26-11
    Marty East Thetford, VT, United States 05-26-11 Member Since 2008

    Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.

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    "Simplicity in the Face of Complexity"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelli Plymouth Meeting, PA, United States 11-23-10
    Kelli Plymouth Meeting, PA, United States 11-23-10
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    "Voice and overlay distracting, good book"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Overland, KS, USA 04-05-10
    John Overland, KS, USA 04-05-10
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    "Good Listen"

    Good listen. The reading was a little monotone for this title but the material was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David SUNNYSIDE, NY, United States 04-25-10
    David SUNNYSIDE, NY, United States 04-25-10
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    "A good listen"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 12-26-10
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 12-26-10 Member Since 2008
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    "One of the best books I read this year"

    Switch was one of the best books I have read this year and it delivers on its title. Easy to read, entertaining and packed with useful information. One idea I found very interesting was that action triggers can have the same effect as a habits but take very little time to develop. If you loved their previous book Made to Stick you will love this one too.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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