Dan Heath: Switch

Here are my notes from Dan Heath’s talk about his latest book, Switch:

Switch: Dan Heath

When a person is faced with change, there are 2 systems in play: the Rider and the Elephant.

Rider                                                              Elephant

Rational                                                          Emotional

Conscious                                                      Unconscious

Deliberative                                                   Automatic

3-Part Framework for Change:

1. Direct the Rider

(a) Forget about the problems – what’s working right now? (Look for the bright spots)

(b) Analyzing problems comes naturally, analyzing successes doesn’t

(c) Look for “bright spots” in your school. What are your best teachers doing? Your best parents?

(d) What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. Ambiguity is the enemy of change (i.e. the Food Pyramid)

2. Motivate the Elephant

(a) It’s hard to think your way into change

(b) Change starts with motivation, not information

(c) Emotion moves the elephant

(d) See -> Feel -> Change (find the feeling)

3. Shape the path

(a) Give Specific Directions (Saints vs. Jerks in charity drive)

(b) When the situation changes, people change, so change the situation.

(c) What kind of environment would make your students thrive? (i.e. “Buy now with 1-click)

If you want change, failure is part of the deal. Give yourselves permission to fail.


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