DBC - "Switch" by Chip & Dan Heath

Druid’s Book Club

Quick Take: Excellent book on encouraging change. So many interesting examples.


Longer Take:


I just finished reading “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath and thoroughly enjoyed it.


Have you ever said, “I can’t change things, I’m not the boss.”? Or, “We can’t change that, we don’t have the money.”? I’ve certainly said both. If you have to, this book is for you.


“Switch” teaches a specific process to implement change. It is predominantly targeted at change within an organization, but could just as easily be applied to life in general. The authors wrote this specifically for people with limited resources and little authority. No more excuses!

I especially enjoyed the elephant and rider metaphor used throughout the book.


Each one of us has an elephant and a rider in us. The rider is the rational part of our brain and the elephant is emotional. For real change to occur, you have to appeal to both. If you just appeal to the rider, you get a plan but no motivation. If you just appeal to the elephant, you have motivation but no direction. Real change requires convincing them both.


This metaphor is then applied to each change principle throughout the book.


My favourite part of any business book is the real-life examples. “Switch” does not disappoint in this area. Each chapter and concept includes several interesting examples. Most importantly, the examples made the change process seem achievable. If they can do it, so can I.


Reading this as an entrepreneur, I guarantee you will find many useful strategies to help your business (e.g. Check out the “first 2 stamps free” example on page 126)


Give this a read. Whether you're looking to implement change in your organization or not, you won’t regret it.


Some of My Favourite Quotes:


“Knowledge does not change behaviour.”


“… ask the question ‘What’s working and how can we do more of it?’ Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, in the real world, this obvious question is almost never asked.”


“When you’re at the beginning, don’t obsess about the middle … Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.”


“…behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.”


“Trying to fight inertia and indifference with analytical arguments is like tossing a fire extinguisher to someone who’s drowning. The solution doesn’t match the problem.”


“…big changes come from a succession of small changes.”


“Everything is hard before it is easy.”


“We will struggle, we will fail, we will be knocked down – but throughout, we’ll get better, and we’ll succeed in the end. … people will persevere only if they perceive falling down as learning rather than failing.”

Druid’s Top Entrepreneurship Lesson: Getting people to change (Employees = Change their behaviour / Customers = Buy a different product), is so much more than implementing the “carrot” or the “stick” (i.e. Reward or punishment). With a specific strategy, there are countless elements around the change that can be “massaged” to make change both palatable and easy (at least easier).



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