Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Summary - Switch - Part 2

Continued from part 1

In this post I will summarize the 'Direct The Rider' part. 

So you know from the previous part that the rider is often confused by the different options available, and goes into analysis paralysis mode. The rides likes the analysis part, but only with analysis nothing can be achieved. It should be acted upon to achieve any results. So how to start - The authors say that the best way to start is by 

Finding the bright spots: If you want to create change, see if someone else has already achieved that change. Find what did they do and how they did it and try to replicate the parts that have produced results. In an organization, if some new initiatives were started, and if the adoption is mixed, the change leader need not get disappointed. The best way to proceed forward is to observe what the groups which are doing well are doing and try to replicate the same with the people for whom it is not working. In the book, the authors give an example of a social worker, who is  trying to overcome the malnutrition problem in Indonesia. He observed though most of the children are malnourished, there are some people who are having good nutrition. He found this out by weighing the people. He goes to observe what food are they being fed. He identifies that there are differences in the ingredients of their recipes and the timings of their eating. So they take this a bright spot and then tries to direct the parents, i.e the riders of the other children to cook in the same way. Where other workers might have given up saying the people are poor so they don't get to eat well, he tried to look at the bright spots in them and there by solved the problem and created the switch he wanted to. 

Script the critical moves:I feel this is the most determining part in creating change. What the authors mean by this is that the change leaders should remove ambiguities, so that the rider is not stuck in analysis-paralysis mode. In the book they give an example of how the people trying to change the food habits of the americans to reduce fat in their diet. So now you have  a lot to do, you have to identify what foods contain fat and how much to have them or whether to avoid them altogether, which is overwhelming to the people. So people incharge of this found that milk contained the maximum amount of fat they were taking in, so the people gave one clear direction - Pick up the 1% milk instead of the whole milk and this drove adoption very very much. Though the 1% milk was available previously, only after the people in charge of the change 'scripted the critical moves' did the change occur. So it is a must that there should be clarity in the decisions when leading change. 

Point to the destination:By having an energizing goal infront of you, the rider is much more active and will make short term sacrifices for long term gains. So you should have some goals which should be supplemented by scripting the critical moves.  The book has a lot of good examples of balancing these. 

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