Change is hard. It’s tough to change our behaviors: to eat less or read more. We’ve failed before, so we put up barriers to future attempts at change. I just finished a great book called Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Dan and Chip Heath. Many of us involved with KCS have firsthand experience with changing behaviors in our organizations—it’s one of the biggest challenges of implementing KCS. We understand that it takes practice, the right messaging, long term perspective and commitment to the processes. But if we know this, how is that we so often mess up getting the change to stick?
I have often said that I love change, embrace and welcome it. I have always thought it best to attempt to focus on the positive in learning to do things differently in order to obtain a goal. Thinking this way and doing it successfully are very different things.
One of my most favorite nuggets from Switch is focused on what they call the “bright spots”. If you can identify the things that are working, like who are the people adopting and embracing KCS in your organization and why, then figure out how to recognize those “bright spots” and parlay them into your program adoption plan. Figure out what works and focus on the positive. Don’t try to fix what’s broken; recognize the successes instead.
By identifying and recognizing positive results instead of negative ones, we can more likely create the change we are looking for. Carol says to her peers, “Look at Margo and Philip. They are practicing KCS and getting recognized for their contribution. Maybe I should check it out too!” We didn’t say to Carol that she had to do something else or something different…she identified a need to change her KCS behaviors, on her own.
I found the examples in this book to be exactly what I am able to best learn from: real stories, experiences, results and research. Switch gave me more effective methods for making change happen to place in my toolbox. I will be incorporating these methods and examples into future KCS Workshops.
Amazon.com: Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
by Heath and Heath