Skip to main content

Switch: Don't Solve Problems -- Copy Success Instead!

I have read an excerpt of Chip Heath and Dan Heath's book "Switch".  The idea of this book is this: to effect great change, instead of trying to analyse a problem, look at "bright spots" (areas with the least problems) and figure out why they are less problematic.  This is a sort of roundabout way of how people usually address problems.
When we analyze a big, complicated problem -- like malnutrition in Vietnam, or a married couple nearing divorce, or a business on the verge of bankruptcy -- we seek a solution that befits the scale of the problem. If the problem is a round hole with a 24-inch diameter, our brains will go looking for a 24-inch peg to fill it. So, naturally, the experts on malnutrition in Vietnam wanted to talk about poverty and education and sanitation systems.
Our focus, in times of change, goes instinctively to the problems at hand. What's broken and how do we fix it? This troubleshooting mind-set serves us well -- most of the time. If you run a nuclear power plant and your diagnostics turn up a disturbing signal once per month, you should most certainly obsess about it and fix the problem. And if your child brings home a report card with five As and one F, it makes sense to freak out about the F.
But in times of change, this mind-set will backfire. If we need to make major changes, then (by definition) we don't have a near-spotless report card. A lot of things are probably wrong. The "report card" for our diet, or our marriage, or our business, is full of Cs and Ds and Fs. So if you ask yourself, What's broken and how do I fix it?, you'll simply spin your wheels. You'll spend a lot of time agonizing over issues that are TBU.
When it's time to change, we must look for bright spots -- the first signs that things are working, the first precious As and Bs on our report card. We need to ask ourselves a question that sounds simple but is, in fact, deeply unnatural: What's working and how can we do more of it?
The excerpt goes on to illustrate the various situations where this approach works well, and some cases where it might not.  After reading the excerpt, I am so looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this book.

Have you read the book already? Please share your thoughts about it!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Juan Luis Guerra: Mi Bendición (Guitar Chords and Lyrics)

I discovered the Latin singer Juan Luis Guerra yesterday on Spotify and I fell in love with one of his songs "Mi Bendición". I couldn't find the guitar chords online so I decided to pick up my old guitar and write them down myself.  Here goes...




Mi Bendición Juan Luis Guerra
CM7--F-G
 C             Dm7        Em7      FM7 Dicen que las flores no dejaban de cantar    Dm7        G7sus4   G7 tu nombre, tu nombre cariño C            Dm7          Em7         FM7 Que las olas de los mares te hicieron un chal      Dm7      E7sus4  E7 de espuma, de nubes y lirios
Am        Am/G     Am/F# Y la luna no se convenció   D7                 D7sus4-D7 Y bajo a mirarte el corazón   C          Dm7           Em7       FM7 Y al mirarte dijo que no había visto un sol     Dm7       E7sus4    E7     FM7 radiante, mas bello que mi bendición
   G        Em7     C7sus4    C7      FM7 Tenerte, besarte, andar de la mano contigo      G       Em7     C7sus4      C7        FM7 Mi cielo, mirarte, decirte un te quiero al oído …

Relearning C++

There's quite a lot of developments in the C++ programming language in recent years, first with the long-awaited C++11, and just this week, the new (surprisingly on-time) C++14.  The language has changed quite considerably that it's safe to say, "It's not your grandma's C++ (or C, for that matter)!"

So, I think I'll have to devote some time from now on to learn about new C++ paradigms.  I'll be posting about them as I go along.

Oh! Kinabuhi (Oh, Life!)

I've just seen that video of famous boxer Manny Pacquiao singing a sort of medley of Visayan songs so I thought I'd post the lyrics and translation of one of them here. This song is called "Oh! Kinabuhi" by Filipino singer Victor Wood.



Oh! Kinabuhi
Victor Wood

Inig sidlak sa adlaw sa sayo sa kabuntagon
Masud-ong ta ang katahoman ning kalibutan
Gidayandayan sa nahigmata nga kalanggaman
Nga nanag-awit ning kabukiran

Ug mopadulong sa pagsalop sa kahapunon
Ug sa dughan nga walay naglaylay
Sa kasing-kasing nga way nagsapnay
Sama kanako nga sinalikway ay magamahay

Chorus:

Oh kinabuhi sama ka sa usa ka gapnod
Nga gianod-anod sa bul-og ning mga luha
Way kinutoban way hunong ang iyang guidulngan
Ayayay-ayayay nganong sakiton man.
Here's the English translation:

Oh Life!
by Victor Wood
(translated by Allister Sanchez)

When the sun shines early in the morning
We'll see the beauty of this world
Adorned by the awoken birds
That sing in these mountains

And it heads to set i…