Book Review-Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Book Review-Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Chia-Li Chien | May 05, 2011

“Change is hard because people wear themselves out. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion,” say the award-winning authors of Switch, Chip and Dan Heath. From big to small companies or even on a personal level, implementing change is hard. Leading a team of people toward change that benefits the company as a whole is not an easy task. From closing the next deal to innovating new services and products, every small to mid-size business acts as a “change” agent to its customers or clients. However, people often simply need to have a structure or plan to follow, along with the right motivation.

In this book, Dan and Chip outline three concepts for successful change:
• Direct the Rider
• Motivate the Elephant
• Shape the Path

I recently put myself on a 1300-calories a day plan to intentionally lose 16 pounds of fat. I put together many different suggested methods for my 90-day program and created one that I felt would work specifically for me. At the time of this writing, I am 61% into the time frame of the 90-day program and have achieved 80% of my goal (13 pounds of fat gone!). Simply by following the right path along with the right motivation, it worked like a charm.

But perhaps real world change is not the same as my “lose fat” plan. Through many stories, the authors take us through the application of their successful formula for “change” implementation, even with limited resources. As a matter of fact, many of the people in their stories have no resources at all, yet are still able to produce an outstanding “change” result that benefits the overall mission.

In a small to mid-sized business, you may have a limited amount of resources to invest in your company as well as to help your clients grow. This book provides a structure to do so, even though it is targeted to Fortune 500 companies.

There are many great tools available for small to mid-size businesses. You see, we’re all in the people business, and understanding how we, as humans, can make changes can greatly increase the value in what clients get when working with you. Direct, motivate and show them the path!

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