SOLWorld

Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

My Amazon Review of the book: "Switch" by CHip & DAn Heath

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard - by Chip & Dan Heath

Not all change is difficult.

We change all the time, voluntarily, in many different ways - we get married, we start a family, we take up a new job or a new role, we change ideas…

just think of much you changed in the last 10 years!

Based on this insight, the question is: what are the characteristics of successful change?

Chip and Dan Heath set out on a quest to find what works to make change easier, at any scale - individual, organizational, societal.

And in doing so they dispel 3 big myths about change: that some people are just hard to change, it is in their nature; that people are lazy, and that is why they do not change; that there is a "resistance" to change.

To illustrate their findings, the authors borrow Jonathan Haidt's metaphor of the Elephant and the Rider: the conscious, analytical part of ourselves is like a rider perched on top of an elephant, the adaptive unconscious.

The rider has the ability to plan, to analyze, to make rational choices - but it also has the tendency to spin its wheels and over-analyze, and it stands no chance guiding the elephant with brute force, at least not in the long run.

The elephant gives us drive and power, but it is easily distracted by short term rewards.

The authors use this simple metaphor as a framework to make sense of some useful strategies for change, based on research and illustrated with vivid, "sticky" stories - these strategies are grouped in 3 sections:  how to "direct the rider", how to "engage the elephant" and how to "shape the path".

I am a Solution-Focused practitioner, so I was very happy to see Solution-Focused Brief Therapy featured in this book. It appears, together with Appreciative Inquiry, in the section about Directing the Rider, in the chapter "Find the Bright Spots".

As the authors themselves point out, an effective approach to change involves all 3 dimensions (rider, elephant, path), and sometimes this distinction is pretty fuzzy.

I believe Solution-Focus interviewing protocols to be a case in point:

- when we, as Solution-Focused practitioners, ask exception-finding questions, we "find the bright spots" (chapter one)

- when we, as Solution-Focused practitioners,  ask for concrete, behavioral details about what works, we help clients "script the critical moves" (chapter two)

- when we, as Solution-Focused practitioners, ask the Miracle Question, we "point [the rider] to the destination" (chapter 3) and we also help the elephant "find the feeling" (chapter 4)

- when we, as Solution-Focused practitioners, ask "what would be the smallest sign that…" we "shrink the change" (chapter 5)

- and since all the questions in the Solution-Focused therapy or coaching protocols are interactional, i.e. are aimed at focusing the client's attention on the situation, we do help in "shaping the path".

The more I practice Solution-Focus, the more I am impressed by how effective it is.

Yet, despite the empirical nature of the work that led to the creation of Solution-focused interviewing protocols and despite the research supporting it,  people have a hard time believing it can work. And that is because of ingrained assumptions about change. The authors did an excellent job in showing that there is a different way to think about change. And for that, I am very grateful to Chip and Dan Heath.

 

Crossposted at www.briefcoachingsolutions.com

Views: 107

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of SOLWorld to add comments!

Join SOLWorld

Comment by Paolo Terni on February 8, 2011 at 23:28

Thank you, George!

Thanks also for sharing how you are using some of the examples in the book!!

Cheers,

Paolo

Comment by George Agafitei on February 8, 2011 at 10:54

Hello dear Paolo and thank you for the review you have made; this is one of may favorite books too.

The story of the TBU (true but uselss) in dealing with malnutrition in Vietnam and the replacement with what already works with local community resources it is a brilliant example I am using in my workshops.

Thank you Paolo for letting me joining in this appreciation action.

 

 

Badge

Loading…

Notes

Jumpstart into Solution Focus

You want to learn more about "Solution Focus"?

You prefer a "step by step" introduction instead to start with reading some
voluminous books?

You would appreciate to have a complete "helicopter view" on SF after the first step…

Continue

Created by Hans-Peter Korn Dec 25, 2009 at 10:25am. Last updated by Mark McKergow Nov 3, 2014.

Making the most of SOLWorld.ning.com

If you’ve just arrived at SOLWorld.org (the SOLWorld ning group), you may be looking at all the features and wondering where to start.  This note might be helpful…

 …

Continue

Created by Mark McKergow Jun 3, 2008 at 4:55pm. Last updated by Jesper H Christiansen Aug 22, 2017.

Open Space at SOLworld conferences

SOLworld Open Space instructions as it was used at the 2011 conference, by Mark McKergow

Continue

Created by Katalin Hankovszky Dec 30, 2015 at 10:18pm. Last updated by Katalin Hankovszky Dec 30, 2015.

SOLWorld Resources

Welcome to the SOLWorld Resources section.  This part of the site features information about the SOLWorld network, our past events and materials from our previous website.  It will take some time to update all the information, so thanks for your patience. 

Information in this part of the site is 'read-only'.  If you want to start discussions, please go to the Forum or Groups. …

Continue

Created by Mark McKergow May 12, 2008 at 4:08pm. Last updated by Hans-Peter Korn Dec 25, 2009.

© 2018   Created by Mark McKergow.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service