Book Review: Switch

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated March 30, 2019

When the Heath brothers write, it should be obvious that everyone must read and follow their advice. Even people only remotely connected to the subject matter stand to benefit. Thus Made to Stick is a must-read for people who communicate ideas. Switch is similarly a must-read for people who want to change anything.

I mean those sweeping generalizations to include everyone. These Heaths are genius.

Genius, above all else, seems to be derived from discipline. The Heaths' genius is demonstrated in the way Switch rigorously follows the communications patterns they offered in Made to Stick. If you study how Switch works, you'll be able to intuit much of Stick. For example, they don't offer a series of vague ideas, evidence, and some conclusions. They present the whole thing as a memorable package--bite-sized, sticky chunks, all connected to the main idea. Similarly, the evidence is sticky and the conclusions a sticky idea, sticky evidence, and sticky, applicable conclusions.

I wonder what kind of childhood experience these two had. Whiteboard-assisted brainstorming instead of backyard tackling? Lame, but such probably gave us their collective genius.

Aside from the genius of the authors, Switch reminded me to ensure my action steps are based on clear evidence and designed with a clear end in mind. These are the subtle but profound lessons of experience, encapsulated well in book form.

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