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UnavailableSwitch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Currently unavailable on Scribd

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Written by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Narrated by Charles Kahlenberg


Currently unavailable on Scribd

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Written by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Narrated by Charles Kahlenberg

ratings:
4/5 (538 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Released:
Feb 16, 2010
ISBN:
9780739376973
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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 that's built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller 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.
Released:
Feb 16, 2010
ISBN:
9780739376973
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Chip and his brother Dan have written four New York Times bestselling books: Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments. Their books have sold over three million copies worldwide and have been translated into thirty-three languages including Thai, Arabic, and Lithuanian. He has helped over 530 startups refine and articulate their strategy and mission. Chip lives in Los Gatos, California.

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Reviews

What people think about Switch

4.2
538 ratings / 48 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This book took me about 6 weeks to read, which is almost unheard of for me. I definitely needed to read this book in very short doses. I also altered my reading schedule several times to get my daily reading for this book in with confidence.

    Despite all of that, I still really enjoyed the book. I found the focus on different aspects of individual and/or organizational change intriguing and easy to identify with. I enjoyed the use of scientific studies to support ideas the authors brought forward (as a scientist, I love when credibility is improved this way).

    I would recommend this book to individuals looking to take action steps for making change. I believe change begins with your mindset, and therefore this book isn't right for someone who has not already decided and dedicated their mind to change.
  • (5/5)
    Great book on how to make a switch. Rational Rider, Emotional Elephant and shaping the Path.
  • (3/5)
    really good ideas for how to approach problems
  • (4/5)
    This book took me about 6 weeks to read, which is almost unheard of for me. I definitely needed to read this book in very short doses. I also altered my reading schedule several times to get my daily reading for this book in with confidence.

    Despite all of that, I still really enjoyed the book. I found the focus on different aspects of individual and/or organizational change intriguing and easy to identify with. I enjoyed the use of scientific studies to support ideas the authors brought forward (as a scientist, I love when credibility is improved this way).

    I would recommend this book to individuals looking to take action steps for making change. I believe change begins with your mindset, and therefore this book isn't right for someone who has not already decided and dedicated their mind to change.
  • (5/5)
    Great stories to help hammer home the strategies given. Definitely a must read & will recommend it to family and friends
  • (5/5)
    Full of solutions. I liked the checklist tecnique. Liked also that every technique is a case study brought from real stories.
  • (4/5)
    Switch provides valuable insights about the relationship between our rational thoughts, emotional motivations, and balance required between the two that proceeds remarkable changes. The Heath brothers provide examples ranging from a principle reviving a failing elementary school, to corporate image makeovers. Nice Book for sure.
  • (5/5)
    This was a great book! I shared ideas with colleagues immediately and should listen again for ideas I thought and didn’t write or share! Thank you.
  • (4/5)
    Great Book, but horrible mic quality on the narration. It is obvious when he splices audio recordings together. It is worth the read though as there are very useful concepts and techniques.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent book! Loved every minute of it! I will most definitely listen to this book again. Lots of good studies they gave insight into human psyche and decision-making process. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.
  • (4/5)
    Nice practical and fun to listen to. I would recommend to listen twice
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this one and it challenged my thinking on how to influence change.
  • (5/5)
    A little redundant if you have read many titles of this genre, but a great review and an excellent introduction if you haven't read much about motivating change.
  • (2/5)
    I couldn't follow the ideas of the book, maybe the printed copy can be better, but the wirters style is not helping
  • (5/5)
    This book has great practical advice that can help you come up with actions to make changes. The narrator is good. I'd recommend listening to this at 1.5 speed.
  • (4/5)
    This is a really beautiful book on how to inspire, enable, and achieve change, let it be in our personal lives, work, communities, and so on. The central metaphors used throughout the book, as well as the many real-life examples provided are clear-cut, no bullshit. The authors have a friendly writing style that makes the book fun. You can tell they're applying their own recommendations in the book in order to get you to believe that you can also create change. The book is both enjoyable and practical, certainly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Simple model and plenty of practical real world examples to back it up. Well explained, easy to grasp, entertaining and not at all dry as many business books tend to be.

    I only didn't give it a five as the content wasn't entirely new (though that may reflect my own reading rather than the book, but I can't judge that). But if you're looking for a primer on making change happen (whether organisational, in family, or personal), it's a really useful model, and easily applicable.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing, simple,a great positive must read book highly recommended.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Like many universities, mine is in the midst of implementing some major changes to the way we do business, with the goal of becoming more efficient and decreasing operating costs. Recently, Chip Heath and Dan Heath?s book ?Switch? was provided to a number of people on campus who have responsibility for some aspects of these changes. Although I generally find business books to be disappointing at best, and irritating at worst, I started this one optimistic that it would be different. Alas, that optimism waned by the second chapter, and was completely destroyed by the time I finished the book.?Switch? suffers from the three main problems that I?ve found in nearly all popular business books. First, it presents claims without sufficient justification. This book focuses on techniques to facilitate change in organizations and individuals, and while it occasionally cites interesting work in cognitive and social psychology that may be relevant to the techniques suggested, for the most part the justification for the techniques is anecdotal: technique X worked at company Y in particular instance Z, and so it?s obviously a valid technique that?s always applicable. There?s no attempt at any sort of rigorous scientific testing of such a claim. For example, in chapter 2, the Heath brothers claim that you cannot focus on why a proposed change is failing to take hold, but must instead ?find the bright spots,? i.e., identify the pockets where it is working, figure out why it works there, and then try to emulate the small successes elsewhere. They describe several case studies where this approach has led to successful change, including a project to improve childhood nutrition in Vietnam, and an intervention with a misbehaving ninth grader. Finding the brights spots is surely a good thing to do, but the hypothesis that it is always the best approach, that it will always trump analysis and correction of failure, is simply not sufficiently backed up. How do we know that there weren?t particular features of the Vietman project or particular aspects of the ninth-grader?s personality that made one approach more effective here than others? We don?t. Anyone trained in the proper use of the scientific method will want to scream at instance after instance of this type of claim without support.The second problem with ?Switch? is that it uses the overly cutesy language that is so common to this genre of books. At a high level, the book?s central claim is that effective change requires three things: you need to engage the rational, data-driven perspective of the people who have to make the change; you also need to make sure that they also have an emotional stake in the change; and you need to make the change process as easy as possible for them by manipulating the environment. To describe this triad of requirements, the Heath brothers make use of a metaphorical rider (the rational perspective) on an elephant (the emotional component?it?s much stronger, and so gets the elephant label), moving down a path (the change context). They then use and use and re-use and re-use again this metaphor in paragraph after paragraph, until their message is almost drowned out by the infantilizing language. This use of cute language pervades the book, even beyond the rider-elephant-path triad. For example, near the end of the book, where they?re describing how to keep change momentum going, they talk about positive reinforcement, and provide the example of a monkey trainer who rewards her charge with bits of mango for each small action she performs correctly. A page or two later, they proclaim ?If you want your boss or your team to change, you better get a little less stingy with the mango.? C?mon!Finally, one has the sense that the book is about twice as long as it needed to be to convey its key points.All that said, ?Switch? contains some reasonable, if sometimes common-sense, approaches to effecting change. To summarize, and paraphrase heavily, their main points:Engage the rational mind by (1) seeking out examples of where change is working and emulating those successes in other quarters; (2) providing specific, well-defined statements of the initial steps that need to be taken in the change process; (3) clearly identifying the intended end-state and the reasons that that end-state is valuable.Engage the emotions by (1) instilling a positive disposition in the people who must implement the changes: focus on hope and optimism, not fear; (2) ?shrinking the change?, i.e., show people that they?re already partway to the goal; (3) capitalizing on people?s sense of identity by showing them how certain behaviors align with the kind of person they naturally want to be; and (4) blocking the common belief that people are defined by inherent personality characteristics, and instead affirming that people can change and grow.Facilitate the change by (1) tweaking the environment so that the newly desired behavior is inevitable, or at least easy; (2) similarly, creating a situation in which good habits are natural (and making use of one interesting approach to this, namely preloading decisions, i.e., setting up triggers for desired actions);and (3) using peer pressure.These are all reasonable strategies, and having them in one?s change-management arsenal is doubtless a good thing. But surely there is a way to present them in less than 265 pages, without using silly, repetitive language, and without claiming that they are the only effective ways to create change.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    So far I'm really enjoying this book, it's fascinating...
  • (4/5)
    I now use the concepts in this book often at work. The book provides a good practical methodology for getting from A to B. Worth reading.
  • (5/5)
    Terrific book about making changes both in yourself and for a group. One of my favorite nonfiction titles.
  • (5/5)
    To start with, I really liked the 'rider-elephant-path' analogy that the authors have chosen to explain change. It made understanding the process of change a lot simpler.The book makes you think about human behavior itself and to some extent, answers why people are the way they are. It gave me some insight into how we can bridge the gap between rational/logical brain with the emotional (not so logical) will.I could also closely relate myself to some of the examples that are mentioned in the book - allowed me to appreciate the book even more.This book is for any one who works with humans. There are definitely scenarios where you'd want something different from the other person/people and the chapters of the book help you achieve the same.I would like to start by applying these concepts on myself first."For individual's behavior to change, you've got to influence not only their environment, but their hearts and minds. The problem is that heart and minds often disagree."
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Great book. Amazing insights into the psychology of decision-making and why our attempts at change tend to fail. A clear look at why and how change can succeed.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Amaaaaaazing
  • (3/5)
    Like many universities, mine is in the midst of implementing some major changes to the way we do business, with the goal of becoming more efficient and decreasing operating costs. Recently, Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s book “Switch” was provided to a number of people on campus who have responsibility for some aspects of these changes. Although I generally find business books to be disappointing at best, and irritating at worst, I started this one optimistic that it would be different. Alas, that optimism waned by the second chapter, and was completely destroyed by the time I finished the book.“Switch” suffers from the three main problems that I’ve found in nearly all popular business books. First, it presents claims without sufficient justification. This book focuses on techniques to facilitate change in organizations and individuals, and while it occasionally cites interesting work in cognitive and social psychology that may be relevant to the techniques suggested, for the most part the justification for the techniques is anecdotal: technique X worked at company Y in particular instance Z, and so it’s obviously a valid technique that’s always applicable. There’s no attempt at any sort of rigorous scientific testing of such a claim. For example, in chapter 2, the Heath brothers claim that you cannot focus on why a proposed change is failing to take hold, but must instead “find the bright spots,” i.e., identify the pockets where it is working, figure out why it works there, and then try to emulate the small successes elsewhere. They describe several case studies where this approach has led to successful change, including a project to improve childhood nutrition in Vietnam, and an intervention with a misbehaving ninth grader. Finding the brights spots is surely a good thing to do, but the hypothesis that it is always the best approach, that it will always trump analysis and correction of failure, is simply not sufficiently backed up. How do we know that there weren’t particular features of the Vietman project or particular aspects of the ninth-grader’s personality that made one approach more effective here than others? We don’t. Anyone trained in the proper use of the scientific method will want to scream at instance after instance of this type of claim without support.The second problem with “Switch” is that it uses the overly cutesy language that is so common to this genre of books. At a high level, the book’s central claim is that effective change requires three things: you need to engage the rational, data-driven perspective of the people who have to make the change; you also need to make sure that they also have an emotional stake in the change; and you need to make the change process as easy as possible for them by manipulating the environment. To describe this triad of requirements, the Heath brothers make use of a metaphorical rider (the rational perspective) on an elephant (the emotional component—it’s much stronger, and so gets the elephant label), moving down a path (the change context). They then use and use and re-use and re-use again this metaphor in paragraph after paragraph, until their message is almost drowned out by the infantilizing language. This use of cute language pervades the book, even beyond the rider-elephant-path triad. For example, near the end of the book, where they’re describing how to keep change momentum going, they talk about positive reinforcement, and provide the example of a monkey trainer who rewards her charge with bits of mango for each small action she performs correctly. A page or two later, they proclaim “If you want your boss or your team to change, you better get a little less stingy with the mango.” C’mon!Finally, one has the sense that the book is about twice as long as it needed to be to convey its key points.All that said, “Switch” contains some reasonable, if sometimes common-sense, approaches to effecting change. To summarize, and paraphrase heavily, their main points:Engage the rational mind by (1) seeking out examples of where change is working and emulating those successes in other quarters; (2) providing specific, well-defined statements of the initial steps that need to be taken in the change process; (3) clearly identifying the intended end-state and the reasons that that end-state is valuable.Engage the emotions by (1) instilling a positive disposition in the people who must implement the changes: focus on hope and optimism, not fear; (2) “shrinking the change”, i.e., show people that they’re already partway to the goal; (3) capitalizing on people’s sense of identity by showing them how certain behaviors align with the kind of person they naturally want to be; and (4) blocking the common belief that people are defined by inherent personality characteristics, and instead affirming that people can change and grow.Facilitate the change by (1) tweaking the environment so that the newly desired behavior is inevitable, or at least easy; (2) similarly, creating a situation in which good habits are natural (and making use of one interesting approach to this, namely preloading decisions, i.e., setting up triggers for desired actions);and (3) using peer pressure.These are all reasonable strategies, and having them in one’s change-management arsenal is doubtless a good thing. But surely there is a way to present them in less than 265 pages, without using silly, repetitive language, and without claiming that they are the only effective ways to create change.
  • (5/5)
    A book everyone should read.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    me ha encantado, me he leído los tres libros de estos autores, y todos son muy buenos pero este es mi preferido. Da muchas pautas sencillas de aplicar para mejorar nuestras vidas, aunque no siempre nos son intuitivas... Las historias que aderezan el contenido como siempre son memorables, de forma que uno se acuerda fácilmente de la historia y luego lo vincula con la " lección" . Lo recomiendo, creo que todo el mundo puede sacar algo de provecho de este libro.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    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 should say, getting people, functions, and businesses to change is my job, and I’m interested in books like this and how I can apply concepts and ideas presented. There were some interesting theories and notions in this book, but it is highly repetitive and somewhat tedious.

    “Switch” suffers from three main problems. First, it focuses on techniques to facilitate change in organizations and individuals, and while it occasionally cites interesting work in cognitive and social psychology, the justification for the techniques is anecdotal: “Technique X worked at company Y in particular instance Z, and so it’s obviously a valid technique that’s always applicable.” There’s no attempt at any sort of rigorous scientific testing of such a claim. For example, the authors claim that you cannot focus on why a proposed change is failing to take hold, but must instead identify the pockets where change is working, figure out why it works there, and then emulate the successes elsewhere. They describe several case studies where this approach has led to successful change, including a project to improve childhood nutrition in Vietnam, and an intervention with a misbehaving ninth grader. Finding the bright spots is a good thing to do, but the hypothesis that it is always the best approach, that it will always trump analysis and correction of failure, is simply ludicrous. Anyone trained in the proper use of the scientific method will want to scream at instance after instance of this type of claim without support.

    The second problem with “Switch” is the use of overly-cute language. The book’s central claim is that effective change requires three things: engaging the rational, data-driven perspective of the people who must make the change; ensure they have an emotional stake in the change; and make the change process as easy as possible for them by manipulating the environment. To describe this triad of requirements, the authors use a metaphorical rider (the rational perspective) on an elephant (the emotional component) moving down a path (the change context). They use this metaphor in paragraph after paragraph, until their message is drowned out by the cutesy language. This pervades the book, even beyond the rider-elephant-path triad. For example, near the end of the book, where they’re describing how to keep change momentum going, they talk about positive reinforcement, and provide the example of a monkey trainer who rewards her charge with bits of mango for each small action she performs correctly. A page or two later, they proclaim “If you want your boss or your team to change, you better get a little less stingy with the mango.” Seriously?

    This book is about twice as long as it needed to be to convey its key points, but “Switch” does contain some common-sense approaches to effecting change. It presents some reasonable change strategies, and having them in one’s change-management toolbox is a good thing. But surely there is a way to present them without using silly, repetitive language, and without claiming that these are the only effective ways to create change.