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<data>{"Title":"Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard","Author":"Chip Heath"}</data>
The Elephant [is] looking for the quick payoff (ice cream cone) over the long-term payoff (being thin). When change efforts fail, it’s usually the Elephant’s fault, since the kinds of change we want typically involve short-term sacrifices for long-term payoffs.

To make progress toward a goal … requires the energy and drive of the Elephant.

Self-control is an exhaustible resource. The bigger the change you’re suggesting, the more it will sap people’s self-control.


!Follow the Bright Spots
Knowledge does not change behavior.

Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over weeks, sometimes over decades.


!Script the Critical Moves
The status quo feels comfortable and steady because much of the choice has been squeezed out.


!Point to the Destination
Our first instinct, in most change situations, is to offer up data to people’s Riders. The Rider loves this. He’ll start poring over the data, analyzing it and poking holes in it … [will] debate with you…. You have a choice about how to use the Rider’s energy: By default, he’ll obsess about … whether it’s necessary to move at all. But you can redirect that energy … toward the destination.

A big picture goal like “Be healthier” is necessarily imprecise, and that ambiguity creates wiggle room for the Elephant. It makes it easy to rationalize failure.


!Find the Feeling
In almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not ANALYZE-THINK-CHANGE, but rather SEE-FEEL-CHANGE.

When people fail to change, it’s not usually because of an understanding problem. Smokers understand that cigarettes are unhealthy, but they don’t quit.

There’s a difference between knowing how to act and being motivated to act. … We speak to the Rider when we should be speaking to the Elephant.


!Shrink the Change
Rather than focusing on solely on what’s new and different about the change to come, make an efforts to remind people what’s already been conquered.

A business cliché commands us to “raise the bar.” But that’s exactly wrong … You need to lower the bar.

Motivation is more important than math.

When you engineer early successes, what you’re really doing is engineering hope. Hope is precious to a change effort. It’s Elephant fuel.

When you set small, visible goals, and people achieve them, they start to get it into their heads that they can succeed.

When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur…. Don’t look for the quick, big improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.

The challenge is to get the Elephant moving, even if the movement is slow at first.


!Grow Your People
Their little yes [change] seemed to pave the way for the big-yes.

[After making the small change and being approached about a bigger change], they subconsciously asked themselves James March’s three identity questions: Who am I? What kind of situation is this? What would someone like me do in this situation?

People are receptive to developing new identities [and] identities “grow” from small beginnings.

Any new quest, even one that is ultimately successful, is going to involve failure. … You know that you or your audience will fail, and you know that the failure will trigger the “flight” instinct. … You need to create the expectation of failure – not the failure of the mission itself, but failure en route.

Real change, the kind that sticks, is often three steps forward and two steps back.

People will persevere only if they perceive falling down as learning rather than failing.


!Tweak the Environment
The “Fundamental Attribution Error” [is] our inclination to attribute people’s behavior to the way they are rather than to the situation they are in.


!Build Habits
Our habits are essentially stitched into our environment. According to one study of people making changes in their lives, 36 percent of the successful changes were associated with a move to a new location, and only 13 percent of unsuccessful chances involved a move.

Not a quote: A general discussion of “action triggers” that create “instant habits.” E.g., Meatless Mondays; eating vegetarian MWF; etc.

Keep the Switch Going
Recognize and celebrate the first step.

Reinforcement is the secret to getting past the first step of your long journey and on to the second, third, and hundredth steps. And that’s a problem, because … we are quicker to grouse than to praise.

Change isn’t an event; it’s a process.

The more you’re exposed to something, the more you like it.

People don’t like to act in one way and think in another. So once a small step has been taken, and people have begun to act in a new way, it will be increasingly difficult for them to dislike the way they’re acting. Similarly, as people begin to act differently, they’ll start to think of themselves differently, and as their identity evolves, it will reinforce the new way of doing things.

Big changes can start with very small steps. Small changes tend to snowball.
Sun, 12 Jun 2011 13:20:00 GMT
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 10:35:59 GMT