In a tragic incident at the
Switch is a book to help you change things. It considers change at every level – individual, organizational and societal. May be you want to help your brother beat his gambling addiction. May be you need your team to become more innovative. May be you want to reduce stampede injuries in temples and railway stations. Heath brothers point out that the underlying principles in all kinds of changes are the same. It involves the same mission: Can you get people to start behaving in a new way? Unfortunately, we all have a built-in schizophrenia. One size of the brain is emotional and the other side is rational. And most problems arise because the two sides often don’t agree.
One of my favorite stories from the book is about a social worker, Jerry Sternin. In 1990 Sternin working for Save the Children, the international organization that helps children in need, arrived in
Heath brothers call Sternin’s method “Follow the bright spots”. It asks the question, “What is working already? And can we do more of it?” Perhaps a solution to Mamata Banarjee’s railway station stampede problem already resides in Chennai or Kolkata or Mumbai. Like Sternin, we may have to find the bright spots first.
Switch gives several techniques such as “Follow the bright spots” in bringing about a change. There are several resources including the first chapter of the book available free at Heath brothers’ web-site. I consider change management to be one of the three pillars of systematic innovation. I won’t be surprised if Switch becomes one of my textbooks.