Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive


How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

By Chip Heath + Dan Heath

  • Direct the Rider – what looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. Provide crystal-clear direction.
    • Ask: what’s working and how can we do more of it?
    • Script moves with rules so you can easily make decisions. Think specific behaviors.
    • Point to the destination: definition of done.
  • Motivate the elephant – what looks like laziness is often exhaustion. The rider can’t get his way with force for long, engage their emotional Elephant.
    • Find the feeling: knowing something and why it’s worth doing
    • Shrink the change (focus on small things to get long term vision, they aren’t scary things)
    • Appeal to identity: Who am I? What kind of situation is this? What would someone like me do in this situation?
    • Elephants are the real hold back – it’s not an intellectual problem, it’s a feeling problem; a habit problem
    • Elephants like immediate payoff: boosts of hope and success, tiny ones
    • Set small, visible goals. Get it into their head that they can succeed.
  • Shape the path – what looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. The situation is the Path. When you shape the Path, you make change more likely, no matter what’s happening with the Rider and the Elephant.
    • Build a habit
    • People attribute things to the way they are vs the situation they’re in
    • Rally the herd – create a bandwagon effect
      • Catch people being good
      • Behavior is contagious
  • All successful change comes from this perspective: SEE – FEEL – CHANGE

People don’t see the need to change

  • Find the feeling. Dramatic demonstrations.
  • Create empathy. Show people the problems with not changing.
  • Tweak the environment so they have to take action

We’ve never done it that way

  • Highlight identity. What’s consistent with the history of your organization?
  • Find a bright spot that was invented there and clone it

We should do something but we’re bogged down in analysis

  • Find the feeling
  • Create a destination
  • Simplify the problem with scripted moves

The environment changed and we need to adapt

  • Create a new habit
  • Set an action trigger
  • Create a new routine
  • Old patterns are powerful, script the critical moves.

People aren’t motivated

  • Is it an identity conflict?
  • Make a destination postcard to motivate
  • Lower the bar to keep people moving
  • Use social pressure
  • Smooth the path

I’ll do it tomorrow

  • Shrink the change to start today
  • Set an action trigger for tomorrow
  • Make yourself accountable to someone

It’ll never work

  • Bright spot that shows it can
  • Small victories engineered
  • Some people do think it, carve out a space for them