Posted by: Don Linnen | 25 September 2010

When Change Is Hard

When is change NOT hard???

What follows is not the definitive list on how to change things. It is merely my top 10 insights gained from Randy Mayeux’s review of the Heath brothers’ February 2010 book, Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard.

Why Change Is So Doggone Hard

  1. We suffer from improvement overload.
  2. The kinds of change we want typically involve short-term sacrifices for long-term payoffs.
  3. The first surprise about change: What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.
  4. Self-control is exhausting, but vital if we want to change our automatic (read that “convenient”) behaviors.
  5. Change is hard because people wear themselves out. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.
  6. We’re all loophole-exploiting lawyers when it comes to our own self-control.
  7. Big problems are rarely solved with big solutions. Small steps can make big differences. (… an echo from my last post?)
  8. More options, even good ones, can paralyze our decision process. Not to decide is to decide – often in the favor of the easiest (not best) default position.
  9. Checklists provide insurance against overconfidence and a roadmap for the logical “left-brainers” and the creative “right-brainers.”
  10. It’s easier to persevere on a long journey when you’re traveling with the herd (or riding in a paceline). People find it more motivating to be partly finished with a longer journey than to be at the start of a shorter one.

If you’re missing Randy Mayeux’s book reviews in Dallas, you are missing something special. He reviews business books each Friday morning at the First Friday Book Synopsis and books on society, faith, and politics the first Thursday of every month at the Urban Engagement Book Club. Give your brain a treat – or simply impress your friends by “finishing” another new book in 30 minutes.

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