More Choice Reduces Participation

I'm spending the day listening to Chip Heath (author of Switch and Made to Stick) talk about change. Some notable quotes from the first session...

  • If change is hard, why do so many people sign up for marriage? And why, a few years later, do so many of those couples sign up for parenting?
  • There is a schizophrenia about change that is built into each one of us. Part of us wants the brownie, the other part wants to look better in a swimsuit.
  • Every person who has ever initiated great change started with an emotional reaction to something and said, "That's wrong!"
  • No one ever feels like they have enough resources or the right position to implement change.
  • We spend more time thinking about (and talking about) things that went wrong than things going well.
  • Leslie Fielder: "Lots of novelists have achieved their fame by focusing on marital problems, but there's never been a successful novel about a happy marriage."
  • When you want to change something, find an easy critical move. One organization wanted a healthier community. Rather than go after everything--they focused on one thing: "Drink 1% milk." And it worked.
  • A 10% increase in options in a 401k plan decreases participation by 2%. More choice reduces participation.
  • What looks like resistance to change in an employee is often cluelessness.
Tim Stevens1 Comment