Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Summary - The Switch - Part 4

This is the fourth in the book summary series of Switch. For more read part 1, part 2, part 3

We have seen two important methods of creating change - direct the rider and motivate the elephant. The next part of the puzzle is Shape the Path or changing the environment so that it is easy for us to create change.
First we can Tweak the environment to make change easier. There might be simple ways by tweaking the environment, we can create the change. The authors give an example where a manager who was termed as unapproachable change that impression by just making the chairs behind her so that when they came, they can face each other and not face the computer. That way, she will be responsive to the people. I have used it successfully by installing the 'StayFocused' extension so that I will not be distracted easily by wanting to look at twitter or news sites during work hours. Actually this can create a change very easily sometimes. If we want to eat healthy, just throw all the junk food outside. If you want to wake up at  6, try putting the alarm far from you, so that you have to wake up and walk to switch it off.
Next thing is to Build Habits,  encouraging the change. We can create some action triggers, like when I come here, first I will do this. Like when I wake up first thing, I will open my planner and plan the day or go and hit the gym. This will also help very much in creating change. Or just creating some checklists will also go a long way in helping create change.
Next is to Rally The Herd. Actually the authors write about a research finding where we are unconsciously influenced by our peers. When we are alone, we generally do what we feel is right, but when we are with others we tend to first see what the group is doing. This way we become the data for others whom we take as data. So we have to make sure we should make our behavior the acceptable behavior. So we have to highlight the data which is useful for us. Also if we don't have it, we have to apply social pressure so that they do what change we want to create. The authors give good examples of speeding up peer reviews by putting the review times up for everyone to see.
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