By: Chip Heath & Dan Heath
We all know that, as the title of this book states, change is hard. But why is it so hard? Through numerous interviews with individuals who have been successful agents of change as well as by looking at various studies and research, the Heath brothers have compiled a body of evidence that would seem to answer that question, thereby clearing the way for others to change whatever needs changing in their lives or organizations.
Filled with case studies, this book is an entertaining yet illuminating read. It is inspiring to read about the myriad creative ways that CEOs and regular people alike have managed to bring about changes that needed to happen. The Heaths break down the elements of change as follows: in order to get a person to change, you need to change their mind (what the authors call the Rider), their heart (the Elephant), and also their environment (or Path). Many things can go wrong along the way. The Rider can get confused or overwhelmed, the Elephant can get and stay stubborn, and the Path might be really a rut that the person can’t get out of without a lot of digging.
While of course each situation (and person) is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for getting someone to say, quit smoking, there are certain things one can do, based on this model, to facilitate the desired change. By making sure the Rider has a clear direction and isn’t succumbing to analysis paralysis, by motivating the Elephant and inspiring in it the feeling that the change will bring, and by making sure that the Path is already curving toward success, one can eliminate some of the most painful and frustrating aspects of changing or trying to change and lay the groundwork for reaching the goal line.
This is one of those books that is really a cross between a business book and a self-improvement book. It is a must-read for anyone who is trying (or has tried and failed) to do something that requires a person or organization to undergo seemingly wrenching changes. It provides a road map of sorts and, perhaps most importantly, hope that real and lasting change is possible.
Authors: Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Publisher: Broadway Books (Random House)
List Price: $26.00