Change = Switching One Thing For Another

* Once again we see a reappearance of the concept of clarity of vision as discussed by Jim Collins, Pat Lencioni and others.


Chip and Dan Heath explored the psychology of change and created practical guidelines on how to create successful changes by addressing three different parts of the change problem. Many people's approach to change is to just wish for it and hope it comes along by magic.

Chip and Dan Heath teach that change is skilled work that can be best achieved by attending to all three parts of the problem of human change. They use the analogy of a rider, an elephant, and a path. To have the best chance of success, you must work on all three, or at least have all three working in your favor.

Part 1 - Rational
Direct the Rider (the intellectual part of the mind)

  • Find the existing good examples - Find the Bright Spots
  • Define the desired actions and methods* - Script the Critical Moves
  • Clearly identify the goals and objectives* - Point to the Destination

Part 2 - Emotional
Motivate the Elephant (the feeling part of the mind)

  • Create an emotional motivation - Find the Feeling
  • Define small, manageable increments of improvement - Shrink the Change
  • Build capacity for change and new things - Grow Your People

Part 3 - Situational
Shape the Path (the circumstances you live and work in)

  • Change conditions so they favor the change - Tweak the Environment
  • Start small behaviors that promote the change - Build Habits
  • Align people to support change - Rally the Herd

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