How to change things


Change can be difficult, and in the book  “Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard”, authors Chip and Dan Heath lay out the rules of the road for creating sustainable change.  Fascinating stories from research, successful changes that have stuck, interesting failures all illustrate useful concepts that are usable and clear – a perfect read for incoming Club Presidents and Boards.


“Switch” is fast moving and very readable. Early on it outlines a concept they call “Find the Bright Spots”. It sounds much like what many Rotary Action Groups are already doing: find something that is working well, share it with others, and do more of it. 


But it also delves into how to work with the human mind, which can be divided into two sides –  one motivated by emotion, and the other by rational thinking.  The inner conflict between the comfort of the status quo and the rational goal of launching needed change can cause one set of obstacles to change.  Or, the emotional compulsion to make an immediate change can conflict with overthinking and “analysis paralysis” .


From that basis, strategies to speed up the adoption of new ideas, avoid making overly complex solutions, paint a picture that appeals to emotions, and use clear directions that appeal to rational thinking are shared with examples and stories from real life.


“Switch” is not a new book, published 2010, yet its lessons are timeless, and an energizing inspiration to people who want to be effective at  leading the way to more sustainable ways of living.

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