The Blog You've Been Missing

How To Make a Change

September 19, 2010

Filed under: Book Review,Coaching,Management,Uncategorized — admin @ 9:44 am

Change is never easy. Organizational development specialists have made careers out of teaching companies how to successfully adapt to it. Not surprising, numerous books have been written on the the topic.

“Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath is just the latest to win public attention and climb up the list of business best sellers. It is well written, entertaining and filled with the usual list of everyday examples which ‘prove’ the authors’ contention.

Maybe I’ve just read too many books which claim to hold the key to effective change management, or maybe the authors just make it seem too easy, or perhaps I spent too many hours trying to motivate people or organizations, but it’s just not that easy.

The Heath’s use an Elephant and Rider metaphor to illustrate their theory. It’s just a more concrete way of explaining the rational vs emotional brain dichotomy. They admit the metaphor is not their own but they have adopted it to illustrate the need for a three-way change process.

In a nutshell, the Heath’s note, people need a rational fact-based reason to change, but they also need an emotional reason to make a move and they need to have a clear path. Their theory makes perfect sense, and they have numerous examples of how managers used their reasoning to make changes.

From Brazilian railways to the Woman’s Cancer Center at UC San Francisco there are numerous examples of how managers¬† created both¬† a rational and emotional reason for change and then put people on a path and direction they wanted. I’m not sure the managers they cite were consciously following the logic because they read the book or because it just seemed like the right thing to do, but it worked.

I think you learn more from mistakes than success and I would have liked to have seen more examples of change management that went awry when they attempted to use the theories in the book but maybe that’s too much to expect.

Still, I think the book is worthwhile and provides some valuable insights into some successful changes and can provide the underpinning for an organization or an individual trying to make a change.

It’s certainly another example of a technique any coach can use to work with client’s who say they want to change but can’t seem to get moving.

As I noted in an earlier post this was my first electronic book. I downloaded it from Amazon and read it on my iPad. Emotionally I just wanted an iPad, rationally I could carry this and many other books wherever I wanted and Steve Jobs certainly made the path pretty easy to follow.

Post to Twitter

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment