Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Plus One Challenge!

This summer my entire faculty read the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. The book lays out some clear ideas for how to make change in an organization. The authors use a metaphor of an elephant, suggesting there are three things you need to do to affect behavior:
  1. Direct the rider: Be very clear about what you want people to do, make it as simple and concrete as possible.
  2. Motivate the elephant: Appeal to the heartstrings and the emotions. Give vivid examples of why people need to change.
  3. Shape the path: Make it as easy as possible for people to complete the challenge. Figure out what is getting in the way and try to remove obstacles.

On Friday I presented the "Plus One Challenge: to my faculty:
  1. Direct the rider: Add one technology project to your repertoire this year.  If you do zero right now, do one, if you do two, do three etc. It could be anything. You could do the same thing twice. Just add one.
  2. Motivate the elephant:  We need to keep up with our peer schools. We can't be left behind. 
  3. Shape the path: I will make this as easy for you as possible. I will meet with every member of the faculty by the end of the first semester to see what you are doing and how I can help.
So there you have it. I'm excited to start a new year and see what happens. I hope it works!

The Elephant and the Rider

Image Soure: