In Chip and Dan’s Heath’s metaphor of change from their book entitled Switch, the rider represents our cognitive response to change. The rider loves to analyze change and make plans, which is important, but the rider is also subject to analysis paralysis. The Heath brothers suggest two strategies to help direct the rider when change is necessary – provide a destination postcard and script the critical moves. In this brief video, I give two personal examples of how I am attempting to direct the rider to get a needed change in my life.
The destination postcard represents the need to describe in simple yet compelling terms why the difficult change is necessary. A good destination postcard will both show the rider where he is headed and provide the elephant with the motivation to act. In this example, my real destination postcard is to transform my professional life. I describe how in 2009 I realized I had not been assuming enough personal responsibility for my career and had instead allowed myself to become dependent upon obsolete assumptions about my industry. As you watch the video, please don’t miss my attempt to be introspective and developmentally critical as I reflect on the shortcomings of my own behavioral choices.
The critical moves I need to script to transform my professional life are to write a book and learn how to speak better. It’s difficult for a guy that speaks for a living to admit that he needs to improve. Harder still is taking the actions I know I need to take if I am truly serious about the improvement. My rider knows where to go and how to get there, but my elephant (emotional self) resists the change.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video. After you do, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.