Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

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.