Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is HardSwitch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this is not a bad book, but has the misfortune of a competing title that addresses the same issues in more depth and with a more specific framework in roughly the same amount of space. I do like that it talks about change as a simple 3 step process, but Influencer just gives a better tool set. I don't know offhand which one was published first, but they share several of the same examples. Perhaps some borrowing is going on, but that is not material to me since I am focusing on my personal usefulness of the material. If you want to read a book on change, read Influencer. If you've already read Influencer and want a different vantage point on essentially the same principles, then Switch is the book for you.

If I were to call out a nugget of wisdom from this book, there is a useful sections that comes to mind. I really liked the part about action triggers. Just making the decision, setting goals, and structuring the environment doesn't guarantee success in your change effort. Adding some other features to the effort will increase your likelihood of success, and one of those is attaching required activity to outside triggers. An example is attaching a planned action--such as homework--to a specific date, time and place in relationship to an unavoidable event, such as Christmas morning.

Finally, this book does break with my common observation about business books being one third too long, with the last section of business books usually feeling like useless filler to hit a page target. This book gives great tips, examples and applications of the content at the end of the book. A small thing, but nice. Unfortunately, I think the first part of the book could have moved faster, but you can't have it all.