Simple instructions

Change needs to be made simple.

I recently read Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, a book of change management advice told through stories of positive deviance (changes that worked).


Change needs to be made simple with simple visuals and explanations.  A “bad” example given is the food pyramid:  It’s simple enough for a 4th grader to understand but too complex for many people to follow when they decide to try to eat better.  There are instructions for every food group – too many!  But what if the change people are asked to make is one simple thing like “Switch to 1% milk”?  That’s the example in the book and it worked.

Keep this in mind when ways of working need to change.  It’s helpful to translate what we need people to do into simple statements like “meet as a team for 10 minutes per day” or “know the customer problem we’re trying to solve”.  Examples will differ by business; the key is that they are simple statements of exactly what people need to do.


How can we use simple instructions to make change easier?

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