The Book

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

About Switch

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard is the latest book by Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick, the critically acclaimed bestseller. Switch debuted at #1 on both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists.

Switch asks the following question: Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle, say the Heaths, is a conflict that's built into our brains. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results:

  • The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients.
  • The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping.
  • The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service.

In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

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Switch Quotes
"An entertaining and educational must-read for executives and for ordinary citizens looking to get out of a rut."
- Publisher's Weekly
"One of the 6 best books to read for your career in 2010."
- FINS, Dow Jones Network
"One of the most anticipated books of 2010."
- BusinessWeek
"Witty and instructive."
- The Wall Street Journal
"A must-read."
- Forbes
"Dan and Chip Heath have done it again ... Any leader looking to create change in his organization need not look beyond this little book. It is packed with examples and hands-on tools that will get you moving right away. And it is really a fun read."
- BusinessWeek
"A fantastic book."
- Wired
"The one book to read if you're trying to change the world."
- Katya Andresen, The Non-Profit Marketing Blog
"The best book about understanding the mechanics and switches of change that I've ever read. I loved MADE TO STICK, by the Brothers Heath, and this book is like that, only even better. The book has LOTS of how-to baked into it, and by the end, you'll be re-assessing all kinds of projects in your life. Total must-buy."
- Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents
"Switch makes me a believer again in the power of words to convey the essential truths of change. The visceral clarity of the Heath brothers' thinking draws verbal pictures that my mind's eye will not soon forget. (I still see that darn elephant charging while the rider hangs on for dear life.)"
- Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin
"Solid advice."
- USA Today
"Whether you're a manager, a parent or a civic leader, getting people to change can be tricky business. In Switch, brothers Chip and Dan Heath--authors of the best-selling Made to Stick--survey efforts to shape human behavior in search of what works ... Even when change isn't easy, it's often worth making."
- Time
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