The bottom line: A game-changing & empowering book full of precise prescriptions on how to change people and things both big and small.
Lasting change—whether on a personal, local or institutional level—is hard. Experience validates this sobering reality, and Switch explains that human beings are engineered to do the bidding of the status quo. Hence, making a switch will be tough, but it’s far from impossible.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Dan and Chip Heath focuses on three general prescription areas that anyone can follow to make a change. What the reader is left with is a keen understanding of the formula successful change follows and how to apply that formula to their unique scenario.
The prescriptions are directed at the three components that affect change: the “Rider” or the overly critical, rational and analytical mind who tends to focus on why things will not work; the “Elephant” or the emotional, fickle, short-term oriented animal inside of all of us that gives our switch legs but is hard to get moving; and the path, which is the course the Rider and Elephant take in order to get to their desired goal.
Switch provides clear advice and detailed suggestions on how to whip the Rider into action, motivate the Elephant and chart a path that everyone can follow. The suggestions are not based upon empty rhetoric but scientific data and research from the fields of psychology and sociology. Generally speaking, the Heaths do a fantastic job of boiling down major themes and complicated ideas into succinct, plain explanations. And no, Switch is not written like an academic research book. The authors bring all of their ideas to life using real-life examples and invite you to apply your knowledge in several “Clinics” located throughout the text. The frequent stories aren’t “fluff” but help to animate the authors’ actionable advice with practical and everyday examples of transformative change.
Without a doubt, this book has quickly become one of my favorites of all-time. I was so moved and inspired by the authors’ compelling narrative that I bought every other book by Dan and Chip Heath: Made to Stick and Decisive. Ultimately, whether you are looking to change yourself in a small way or lead many others down the path toward big change, Switch offers plentiful raw material to fuel your transformation.
Switch: How To Change Things When Change is Hard does what all great books do: change the way you see the world and give you the inspiration and tools to execute that change.