Friday, August 07, 2009

Leadership Summit #7: Chip and Dan Heath: SWITCH

Leadership Summit #7: Chip and Dan Heath: SWITCH
The speakers are authors of the book "Switch" (due in 2010) and "Made to Stick"

Note: I'm posting live from the leadership Summit ( satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ ( which was chartered 140 years ago by the state of NJ "for the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ."I'm also tweeting live: you can follow (even if you don't have a twitter account) at:

Dan Heath: Harvard MBA, Chip is Professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Both have consulted for many top name companies.

Interview format. Interviewer is Craig Groeschel of

First Book, Made to Stick, was also a help to churches

Talking about change:

  • (note: they mentioned a new vocab word: lugubrious)
  • They say that people don't like change. "Switch" is about change
  • Some changes are easy and others are very difficult. Why?
  • Metaphor about Elephant and rider (john Heinz: Socialogist) : The human rider sitting on a 6 ton elephant. The person may not want to move, but elephant doesn't. We can convince the rider, but the rider needs to influence the elephant.
  • Example: Part of us wants to save for retirement, another part of us wants to buy something.
  • The emotional appeal (Chip must have proposed to his new wife with an emotional appeal) is the best, it's how we convince the elephant
  • Teacher (Chrystal Jones) told the 1st grade class that if they listen in and do well, I'll make you like a 3rd grader. Part of the way through 1st grade they had a 2nd grade graduation!

Advice for a church that has 2 programs working well, 5 working alright and 2 not working well?

  • Concentrate on the winner - study it and clone it
  • One branch of therapy studies the problems of the past
  • Solution focused Therapy: They look for the bright spots (e.g. if marital problems, they'll ask: when was the last bright spot in your marrige).
  • As a ministry, look at the bright spots in your work
  • As a person or a leader: what are the bright spots of your work?
  • The idea is that we already have the idea of how to solve it, we just need to clone that method/practice
  • Gerry of "Save the Children" - All of this stuff is TBU (True But Worthless), because he couldn't do anything about it. So, he pulled together some moms to help their children. First they gathered the data. Were there any children that seemed perfectly healthy and nourished? Do any of them not have parents with resources like the rest of parents? They looked at those parents to find out how it was being done. These practices went on to help 2.2 million people in 265 villages.
  • Big problems are rarely solved by a big solution, usually by small solutions: BIG PROBLEM, SMALL SOLUTION
  • Minimize and shrink the solution!
  • Story: High school students' presentation convinced people to spend just 10% more within their county (Minor County), it increased their tax revenues. Now they are increasing the population. A Big change started with a small solution!
  • Pointers from Twitter posts: @tonysteward:make small corrections to get you to your solution, @lrcooper:use your existing skillset and apply it to new technologies

What can we do to keep the Elephant moving in the right direction

  • Tough times may cause people to give up
  • ideaworld? : Cycle :high hopes, Valley of insight, then the height of Confidence
  • Growth Mindset: people believe that with work i can become better. Tiger Woods decided to overhaul golf swing
  • Built into that mindset is a tollerance for failure - leaders need a tolerance for failure
  • You hear the quote "Team: failure is not an option here" - but failure is needed, if you want to be stronger, you'll need to lift weights to the point of failure
  • Failure may an early warning sign for success (note: Audient
  • Some people might be empowered to fail
  • Thomas Watson built IBM to what we know today. At one point an employee lost $10M. Watson pulled him in his office. The employee was ready to be let go. Thomas Watson said "let you go? Are you kidding, I just spent $10M on your education!"

How do we apply this to the church?

  • We should ask "I wonder what it is about their life and workplace that prevents them from serving
  • This is termed a "Fundamental Attribution Error"
  • Seminar students asked to do experiment: they needed to prepare for a talk and give it across campus. They were set up to encounter a student coughing and obviously not doing well. The students were told they have a few minutes: 64% helped the person. Another group was told: you're already late for your talk: in that group only 10% stopped to help the person. The point: leave margin in your life so you have time!
  • More people would tithe if we allow the direct deposit
  • More people would serve if we scheduled the work at lunch time

When change occurs, it's usually due to what?

  • Example: Marriage
  • An emotional appeal is what starts it
  • Change directs the rider - look around and you'll see other people doing it (like the parents are married)
  • Think of what society does to make it easier to get married: family, friends, tax relief!

My Take-aways:

  • Look for the bright spots in people
  • Look for what I'm doing right and expand on it

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