Switch by Chip & Dan Heath
What’s it about? Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? In Switch, authors Chip & Dan Heath give some compelling insights into how each of us can effect transformative change. Psychologists have discovered our minds are ruled by two different systems, the rational mind and the emotional mind, that compete for control. The emotional side of our mind is like a headstrong Elephant, and the rational side of our mind is the guiding Rider. The Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader, but you can imagine how easily an emotional Elephant can overpower a rational Rider (for example, consider the rational mind’s desire for a great beach body vs. the emotional mind’s craving for an Oreo cookie). Add in the third element to this framework, the Path, and you have three elements that can be worked on to address change.
Switch addresses each of these elements in detail; Directing the Rider, Motivating the Elephant, and Shaping the Path, bringing in research-tested solutions and real-world success stories.
Is the narrator any good? I must admit to being indifferent towards the narration of this audio book. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve certainly heard better.
The verdict? I’m a big fan of Heath brothers’ first book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die and I’m happy to report that they have delivered another excellent book. In fact, as someone who is especially interested in “change” (for those readers who don’t know, I have another blog called The Change Blog) I found this audio book to be even more fascinating. As I mentioned above, I’m indifferent towards the narration, but the content more than makes up for it. Switch brings together research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to give a compelling, story driven narrative that will help you make the changes you care most about.