My first of the Business Books Challenge: Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Switch is hands down my favorite book on change management. It’s easy to read and their strategy makes sense. In fact, we base much of the work we do with our clients on the philosophy in this book. If you’re leading or participating in a change effort at work, or even have your own personal change effort, I highly recommend reading Switch.
As with many business books these days, Switch is available in hard copy and in audio form. However, I’ll warn you – you’ll want to take lots of notes and mark it with a highlighter pen, so listening while you drive is probably not the best option.
While I’m encouraging you to put this on your list of business books to read this year, here’s a little summary to get you started.
The Heath brothers discuss the need to appeal to two sides when attempting change. The analytical side (the Rider) and the emotional side (the Elephant).
To Direct the Rider, one must do the following:
Find the Bright Spots: What’s already working? Or, in the case of great customer service, who’s already delivering it? What do we know about who they are and what they do? How can you build on what’s already working?
Script the Critical Moves: The analytical people (or sides of people) need clear direction. What are the most important moves people need to take in order to make the change?
Point to the Destination: What measurable results are you expecting to happen when you make the change?
To Motivate the Elephant, one must do the following:
Find the Feeling: What emotions can you tap into to make people want to change?
Shrink the Change: Rather than encourage your people to tackle everything at once, break the change down into bite-sized steps.
Grow Your People: Provide opportunities for your people to grow and see themselves as the kind of people who live in the change you want to create.
In addition, the Heath Brothers suggest you tweak the environment to make the change easier, build new habits and tap into peer pressure (or rally the herd.) As I said, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, is my favorite book on change management. It’s a fun read with great content and actionable ideas – which are my favorite kind.
Donna Cutting, CSP is the author of two books on customer service including the bestselling 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers. She’s the Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., a training company which provides provides products and programs to help leaders engage their team to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Follow us on Twitter at @donnacutting or Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel here.