16 December 2015

Switch (Part 2) - Direct the Rider, Find the Bright Spots

Review of Chapter 2, Section 1: Find the Bright Spots

There are more negative emotions words than positive emotions words in the dictionaries. The bad things stick in our minds relatively longer than good things. Bad things spread faster. This trait of human beings put us in disadvantage when it comes to making decisions. The manifestation of this trait during a change process is looking for complex solution for a complex problem. We look at problems - the scale of the problem and try to find a solution of similar scale.
Can the solution be simple? If so, How to make it simpler?
The authors claim that the above shortcomings can be mitigated with "Finding the bright spots". Once we have the bright spots identified, the next step is to learn from bright spots removing any exceptions and cloning bright spots. The entire change process can be sequence of bright spots.

Let us dig it further

There are couple of case studies in this section that are quite powerful. One of the case study is "Jerry Sternin's Solving Malnutrition in Vietnam". Sternin was tasked to address malnutrition of kids in Vietnam. There were numerous papers published before on discussing the problem. But the knowledge were knowledge in piece of paper but nothing changed. 

Sternin identified healthy kids among malnourished kids and there were clear differences in terms of what they eat and how they eat food. Sternin found the bright spot (local wisdom) and made community kitchens for mothers to learn how to keep their kids nourished. Within months, the kids showed marked improvement and this kitchen become laboratory and spread across the country. In this case study the authors clearly bring out why the bright spots are needed. Without bright spots how the Rider derails the change process (spinning the wheels and analysis paralysis). 

This case study and another case studies anchors the subject very well.

To sum up, this section conveys the following
  1. Bright spots keep us moving without being stuck in analysis (without moving an inch from problem and not getting started with actual change process)
  2. Change is sequence of bright spots
  3. Transition from problem focus to solution focus
  4. Archaeological problem solving to bright spot evangelizing
  5. Solution-focused therapy to change behaviors,
  6. Red flag: Focusing on bright spots can be counter-intuitive for business - Talks about Rider's weakness to see initial "good news" as "bad news" or as an anomaly.
  7. Red flag: Rider's Weakness - Big Problem needs big solutions attitude

Impression: Very well presented and with some big takeaways. There shouldn't be a second thought to read this book.

Next: Direct the Rider (Part 3)

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Disclaimer: I neither get commission for a writing review nor using Affiliation of any Bookstore. The whole purpose of these posts is to provide value to my readers and give them information to be better.

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