Today’s Solutions: October 26, 2021

Marco Visscher | April/May 2010 issue

If you are an executive looking to modify a process at work, you can turn to change management literature. If you need to transform your life, there are plenty of self-help books. If you want to change the world, there is advice for activists, too. With their new book, Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the bestselling Made to Stick, show that these divisions are a shame; any change starts with someone acting differently. So, in Switch, the question is, How can we manipulate behavior to achieve change? To provide the answer, the Heath brothers look at successful changes on all levels—individual, organizational and societal—and present clear recommendations.
A fundamental psychological principle that changemakers should never forget, they claim, is that the brain has two independent systems at work—one is rational and reflective, the other emotional and instinctive. We should address both systems to get people inspired. To direct the rationalist, they suggest prescribing specific behavioral changes instead of big picture goals, and cloning what works instead of fixing what’s wrong. But emotionalists are motivated when you speak to their feelings as well as their intelligence, and break changes down so the tasks become less daunting. The good news, according to the authors: For things to change, we need only small steps, and behavioral science can help us take them.
Switch is engaging and insightful, whether you want to motivate your sales team to sell more, get your teenaged kid on the right path or lose weight. If anything, it will change the way you think about change.

Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

6 Foods for eye health that aren’t carrots

These days, many of us spend a lot of time straining our eyes by staring at screens. Unfortunately, cutting back on screen time may be difficult, especially if work demands that we work on our ... Read More

This wooden steak knife is three times stronger than steel

Scientists from the University of Maryland may have discovered a more eco-friendly alternative to ceramics and stainless steel for our knives and nails by figuring out how to chemically alter wood so that it can ... Read More

Newly discovered properties of cannabis could help prevent seizures

Cannabis has been used to battle against disease throughout history, with the component cannabidiol (CBD) becoming an accepted treatment for many disorders including epilepsy, anxiety, and more. However, cannabis contains many other cannabinoids which have ... Read More

Candy to costumes: 6 ways to make your Halloween more sustainable

Halloween is just around the corner, and many families are excited to celebrate the holiday in full force for the first time in two years. Last year we shared how to sustainably dispose of post-holiday ... Read More

These crafty activists flock together and stitch canaries for climate change

Over the past few months, residents in the UK would have had the chance to spot more than 70 “flocks” of UK crafters that have been gathering across the nation as a way to encourage ... Read More

The future of eco-friendly laundry detergent is in dissolvable sheets

While laundry pods are supposed to be biodegradable, wastewater treatment plants often don’t have the capacity to create the necessary conditions to dissolve them. As a result, the material in question (polyvinyl alcohol) typically ends ... Read More