I just finished a book called Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but knowing the book was written by Chip and Dan Heath, I figured I’d enjoy it and learn something. I read their first book, Made to Stick, for a marketing class.
Change is hard. Even when we know a change would be good for us. The book is a great resource for people wanting to make changes in an organization…but a lot applies for those wanting to make personal changes, too. One point that I found interesting is that when interested in making a change, we often focus on what is “wrong” and needs to be “fixed.” The Heath brothers point out that it helps to sometimes look at what is working. They call them “bright spots.” What a concept.
They also talked about how many problems are situational, when we want to blame them on people. If we make a minor change to the situation, we can change people’s behavior. They gave an example of two high school kids being late to class and not paying attention. Instead of punishing them, etc. the brilliant teacher tweaked the environment (bought a comfy couch to put in the front of the room) and those same two kids started showing up to class early to get a seat on the comfy couch.
If you’re inspired to make a change in your life or at work, pick up this book. If you join the brothers’ mailing list, you can also download podcasts and other materials for free from their website.