Thursday, June 30, 2011

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

I missed yesterday's post, mostly because I was lazy, but also because I went to Zachary's, had a few Ace Pear Ciders and a slice of Pepperoni, and was pretty much done for the night (worth it). So I'm making it with a surprise Thursday posting! Whoot!

A little while ago, I read Switch, a nonfiction book I had purchased as part of my professional development. Being a grad student working for a large university, the title drew me in, mostly because I was interested to see if it could offer me any advice (or confidence) about working with a large department and making substantial, meaningful contributions.

Switch is a summary of the work of Chip and Dan Heath, two brothers who have studied large businesses and organizations and tried to create what is, in essence, a formula for enacting organizational change (in addition to familial and personal change).  

The book itself was pretty accessible - the writing was clear, and I did like the presentation of many examples and thought questions that allowed the reader to sort of 'quiz' themselves on how to change the presented situation. The examples were also encouraging to a grad like me - Chip and Dan provided plenty of scenarios where change was brought on by a lower-ranking employee. To be completely honest, it wasn't a mind-blowing text that instantly revolutionized my world, but it's simple advice is easy enough for me to implement (and I've been working to use their advice in every interaction I've had - when I've remembered to).  But, overall, it's a nice, fairly enjoyable read that helps pass the time, if nothing else.  Will it allow me to enact large-scale changes from my position next year?  Who knows?  I suppose only time will tell, but I will be referring to the book as the year goes on, to help me as a professional.

PREVIEW: hopefully, by Saturday, I'll be all caught up with reviewing books and then can get back to a regular schedule on Wednesday.  But it may not happen.  Because it's me.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Alex - that Zachary's sounds great - wish I could have been there - I do love APC!

    How about a future follow up post citing examples of implementing the advice - I'm curious to know the situations in which the book's ideas could be used.

    sounds like a good read!