Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Chip Heath - Switch Implementing Change when Change is Hard

Chip Heath (one of my favorite authors) started by scaring us with some hard facts:

Change is hard.
Change is feudal.
People resist change.

But is that true? Many changes like the change from ketchup being the number one condiment to salsa today actually happened. Or the biggest change in life - having kids.

The bottomline - we like some changes.

When is life hard and easy?

He talked about his rider(will power, limited, overthinks, overanalyses) vs elephant(automatic - hard to change). (This is one of his great concepts that really resonates.)

The key is to use the strengths of both sides of the brain if you want action to occur. The elephant needs the incentive and encouragement. Make things easy for the elephant. (I call these Success Habits)

I like his concept of "bright spots". Look at those things that are working and then see how to replicate or expand on them. For example, even someone who eats poorly sometimes likely eats some things that are good. Focus on the good and just do a bit more of them.

There was a health study in West Virginia. Researchers determined that just changing people from drinking one glass of whole milk to 1%. To move the "elephant", they connected by explaining that one cup of whole milk has as much fat as 5 strips of bacon. By spending 10 cents per person, they were about to communicate the message and change behavior. That small thing beat the food pyramid in impact.

Script the critical moves (and they are few).

Chip used a examples from his book. I am glad I had read it (although I think his talk would have held together well even without that). I respected Chip before hearing him talk (from just a couple of emails and from reading his book) and respect him even more now.


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous davidburkus said...

I am totally jealous that you are there. The Heath brothers are like an improved version of Gladwell. They write really interesting stuff...that you can actually apply.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous richcrowley said...

It's not that people resist change. They resist the losses (or perceived losses) that sometimes accompany change.

It's the uncertainties that come with change that people associate with losses that make them resist change they might actually be happy with.

I attended a seminar once by a guy named Tim Daniel and he went through this in detail. It was perhaps the best 3 hour presentation I've ever seen.

Another good book on change management can be found here --> http://amzn.to/bzLqh2


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