13. Switch, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
A behavioral-psych look at making huge changes, from the personal to the political -- why it's so difficult, and how to accomplish it gracefully.
Switch: "This is a book to help you change things. We consider change at every level -- individual, organizational, and societal. Maybe you want to help your brother beat his gambling addiction. Maybe you need your team at work to act more frugally because of market conditions. Maybe you wish more of your neighbors would bike to work.
"Usually these topics are treated separately -- there is 'change management' advice for executives and 'self-help' advice for individuals and 'change the world' advice for activists. That's a shame, because all change efforts have something in common: For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently. Your brother has got to stay out of the casino; your employees have got to start booking coach fares. Ultimately, all change efforts boil down to the same mission: Can you get people to start behaving in a new way?
"We know what you're thinking -- people resist change. But it's not quite that easy. Babies are born every day to parents who, inexplicably, welcome the change. Think about the sheer magnitude of that change! Would anyone agree to work for a boss who'd wake you up twice a night, screaming, for trivial administrative duties? (And what if, every time you wore a new piece of clothing, the boss spit up on it?) Yet people don't resist this massive change -- they volunteer for it."