Review of Switch

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This book stands the test of time. Current findings in neuroscience, behavioral economics and decision science support Chip and Dan Heath’s advice about change management. The Heaths use a memorable metaphor – “the Elephant and the Rider” – to explain the need to appeal to emotions and logic in motivating change. The Elephant represents your feelings; the Rider is your rational thinking. Change advocates usually mistakenly focus only on rationality. The Heaths offer a series of manageable steps anyone can follow in a thoughtful process for getting your Elephant on board and clearing the path for both Rider and Elephant to make change happen. This classic is a perceptive and applicable guide to change management.

About the Authors

Professors Chip and Dan Heath consult and speak worldwide about the psychology of decision making, change, innovation and collaboration.


The authors’ central theme is that to spark change and make it stick, you must appeal to people’s rational thinking and to their emotions, and you must reward small successes. The Heaths offer these lessons and insights:

1. Engage people’s logic and feelings.

The authors offer stories and cases to remind you that while your top executives and your colleagues might agree with your change presentation, often nothing gets done even when people have all the facts. Why? People think rationally, but they feel powerful emotions, which almost always rule. The Heaths employ an engaging metaphor to illustrate the human battle between logic and emotion. Your Rider represents your thinking side. Your Elephant represents your emotions. Change requires syncing the interests of Rider and Elephant.

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