This week we are joined by bestselling author Dan Heath. Dan and his brother Chip wrote SWITCH, a book Dr. Kate Hurley referenced many times in last week’s episode so we thought we’d get his thoughts about what made Kate’s Million Cats Campaign so successful.

In this interview, Becky and Dan discuss the brilliance of Kate’s campaign to prevent unnecessary euthanization of cats and how she creatively applied the principles of behavior change from SWITCH to catalyze massive change. (get it…”cat”-alyze?) Rapid transformation is possible when you direct the rider, motivate the elephant and shape the path! Tune in to learn more about how to do this yourself.

Show Highlights:

  •  A three-minute summary of Switch and Dan’s theory of how scale happens
  • All change is ultimately behavior change. The importance of getting clear on exactly whose behavior needs to change to make this happen?
  • Dynamics of behavior change. Why giving people the correct information is insufficient. 
  • The three steps to behavior change: 1) Direct the Rider 2) Motivate the Elephant 3) Shape the Path. 
  • Diagnosing change efforts: Do you have a rider, elephant or path problem?
  • Get curious about the bright spots
  • Get proximate to the problem
  • Shrink the Change. How to make it easier for people to get into the change.
  • The coalition of the willing. Unleash the motivation already there.
  • Why so many non-profits have it backward and how we can move forward!


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Resources mentioned: