As you know, I’m a huge fan of Chip and Dan Heath. Dan emailed me over the weekend and let me know about a pretty cool opportunity to get a free copy of Switch, their latest book. Simply donate $20 to Teach for America and they’ll send you a copy of the book for free. Trust me, it’s well worth the read for any small business owner and outlines simple business strategies for you to use in your business to get your customers to do what you want.
One of my favorite examples of inspiring change from Switch is about a first year teacher in the Teach for America program whose first grade classroom had a wide range of skill levels, from students who couldn’t even hold a pencil to those who could recognize a few words. Not one student in the Atlanta, GA classroom had the skills expected of a typical first grader. Yet this teacher challeneged her students with the goal to be third graders by the end of the year. Of course they weren’t going to literally skip second grade, rather their skill level would be that of third graders.
As many of you know, first graders think third graders are pretty cool! So this destination specific goal that was near term and inspirational was just the goal this classroom of first graders needed. By the end of the year, over 90% of the students in the classrom were reading at or above a third-grade level. The tactics used by this teacher to inspire and motivate an entire first grade classroom of low income students are the SAME that we, as business owners, can use to motivate ourselves and our customers to act the way we need them to for success.
Step 1: To inspire change, we need to set a goal that can be tackled in months or years, not decades.
Step 2: We need to clearly paint a picture of where we are headed in the end by achieving this goal. The Heaths’ call this the destination postcard. It’s the vivid picture from the near-term future that shows what can be possible.
After finding the bright spots (I talked about these in the previous two blog posts) now we can set goals of where we are headed in the end and we have an action plan from our bright spot analysis of how to get there! So, if you want to read more of Switch: how to change things when change is hard, donate $20 to Teach for America and they’ll send you a copy of
the book for free.