So this is the first of the books I had to read for my training this summer. I have to say that “Switch” was my favorite just because it really gets down into why change is hard for people and organizations. And it shows how small changes can build into such big successes. I am at an organization right now going through some upheaval since our boss was let go after our employee feedback survey and overall morale dropped over three years. Of course looking back now and after completing my training I can point out where things went wrong. Ignoring feedback from employees, refusing to adjust to others and listen, having “process” improvements every couple of months and not sticking with one approach, etc. It’s no wonder I was full of stress and would wake up grinding my teeth.
The book really focuses on what is called the elephant, the rider, and the path. And that the elephant for many of us are dealing with emotions. The rider is supposed to be the rational part of yourself. And the path is where you want the elephant to go. Well you would think that it would be pretty easy to steer an elephant right? Nope. It’s really hard. In fact it takes a lot to control the elephant so that you can get to the path you want to go.
The Heath’s do a great job of putting in a ton of case study work in this book that I found fascinating. My favorite was of the man given a finite amount of time to improve nutrition and pretty much solve hunger in I believe it was Thailand. And then him realizing after studying mothers in some villages how they were able to make sure that their children were fed and not suffering from malnutrition. He had those mothers show the other mothers and from there all of this knowledge was passed on. It seems like such a small thing, but it wasn’t.
I have dealt with some employees this past year that I want them to get on the path and I know it’s my job to keep control of my elephant so that I don’t show frustration or impatience and have to clearly show them why the path in the end will be worth it. It definitely helped me rethink some things and how I interact with others.