Direct the Rider, motivate the Elephant and shape the Path.
That’s the premise of Switch: how to change things when change is hard, by Chip and Dan Heath.
In our latest infographic, we share some of the standout thoughts, tips and ideas from this bestselling book.
According to the authors, the primary obstacle to change is a neural conflict between our rational and our emotional minds. This causes tension in our brains which can doom a change effort.
The Heaths use a compelling storytelling approach, with decades of research to show how change efforts can follow an easy-to-understand model that can guide us to make change happen.
The Rider, the Elephant and the Path
Social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt developed the analogy of the Rider and the Elephant and the Heath brothers enhanced this model with a third component – the Path.
This famous model forms the pattern required for any successful change.
If you want to lead change, you need to do three things
- Give direction – The Rider represents your rational, analytical side, the part of us that plans and problem solves. It needs to be given a clear direction in which to move.
- Motivate – The Elephant, which represents your emotional side needs to be motivated to provide the power for the journey.
- Shape the Path – If you want the Rider and the Elephant to head in a new direction together, you need to shape the Path, the external, situational factors by allowing for easy progress, shortening the distance or removing any obstacles that stand in the way.
That’s how change happens.