A frequent lament of leaders is: “Change doesn’t stick.” Even with a strong business case for change, many leaders are surprised and frustrated when employees revert to old habits and continue using outdated systems and processes. Changing behavior takes more than an appeal to the intellect. Sustainable change with “stick” results requires appeals to the mind and the heart. As Innolect partners with leaders to structure and implement organizational change, we encourage them to read Chip and Dan Heath‘s latest book, Switch. As in their best-selling book, Made to Stick, they use engaging stories and useful ideas to demonstrate how to change things when change is hard.
The book’s framework is organized into three key areas:
- Direct the Rider. What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. Leaders must provide crystal-clear direction.
- Motivate the Elephant. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. The Rider can’t get his/her way by force for very long. So it’s critical that leaders engage people’s emotional side. Leaders have to get other Elephants on the Path and then get them to cooperate.
- Shape the Path. What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. The situation (including the surrounding environment) is the “Path.” When leaders shape the Path, they make lasting change more likely, no matter what’s happening with the Rider and Elephant.
Switch is a quick, compelling read and we encourage you to pick up a copy.
For more information about Innolect and our systematic approach to change architecture and leadership, contact Becky Ripley. Also download our one-page guide to Managing Complex Change.