switch: how to change when change is hard

by Dan & chip Heath

For things to change, somebody somewhere has to start acting differently. Maybe it's you, maybe it's your team. Picture that person or People.

Each has an emotional Elephant side and a rational rider side. You've got to each both. And you've also got to clear the way for them to succeed. In short, you must do three things.


1. Direct the rider

Follow the bright spots. investigate what's working and clone it. 

script the critical moves. don't think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviors.

point to the destination. change is easier when you know where you're going and why it's worth it.


2. Motivate the elephant. 

find the feeling. knowing something isn't enough to cause change. make people feel something.

shrink the change. break down the change until it no longer spooks the elephant.

grow your people. cultivate a sense of identity and instill the growth mindset.


3. shape the path.

tweak the environment. when the situation changes, the behavior changes. So change the situation.

build habits. when behavior is habitual, it's 'free'--it doesn't tax the rider. look for ways to encourage habits.

rally the herd. behavior is contagious. help it spread.