Yet it didn’t change anybody’s behavior. Whatwe have to avoid when we’re working withgovernment agencies or business organizationsis the change equivalent o the ood pyramid.BE:You might wonder why this hap-pens so oen. With IDEO, a private designrm, it’s usually the case that between theirrst prototype and what they actually take tomarket, the design has changed 180 degrees.Failed prototypes help them hone in on a good,workable design. For every iteration, they test aprototype out in the real world to see how realpeople use it. IDEO’s approach to design is toail small, ast, and early.In most government programs, however,people spend years writing up some com-plicated bill without any clear idea o how itwill work in practice. Tey haven’t conductedthe necessary testing, prototyping, and ocusgroups to see what’s going to change behavior.Te result is a bill that is big, complicated, and,too oen, not achieving its intended goal.I like the idea o “shrinking the change”because you can do a lot o smaller thingsthat build up to something bigger. Oentimesthe best way to get something big done is by breaking it into smaller chunks over a periodo time.CH:Te prospect o change is paralyz-ing when we think it’s too big and pervasive.No one goes straight rom the rst date tomarriage. It’s a progression o rst steps andyou gradually experiment your way into thatrelationship. Yet when we try to do public orcorporate changes, we try to come up with thewhole plan at once. Tat’s scary to the elephant.And yet by shrinking down that change andtalking about the critical moves, you’re pro- viding direction to the analytical rider andmotivation to the elephant.BE:I’ve talked to Chip and his brother Danabout how to apply their ramework to theinternational scal crisis acing governmentand this movement towards austerity we’llbe seeing in the United States, Great Britain,Germany, and all over the world. It’s a hardchange because people are going to have togive up things they’ve long become accus-tomed to. We can’t aord them anymore.Like the Heath brothers, Indiana Gov.Mitch Daniels says it’s important to ocus onthe small things because it changes the culture.Aer a ew small wins, people start looking orcost savings in dierent areas, and they’re ableto see their ideas getting implemented. Youstart to change the culture by nding all thesesmall bright spots. What you’re also doing isshrinking the change. Te size o the scalgap means there will have to be big changes,but once people get into a habit o lookingor cost savings, the big changes will be easierto accept.
About the authors
William D. Eggers,
Deloitte Services LP, is the director o public sector research at Deloitte andthe author or co-author o numerous books on government reorm. His next book,
Te SolutionRevolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises are eaming up to Solve Society’soughest Problems
, will be published in September 2013.
is the co-author, with Dan Heath, o
, a bestselling book on change.