Notes from Chip Heath at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast

March 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

Last fall I attended the Chick-fil-A Leadercast which will take place again this year.  If you're curious to read my notes and thoughts from the other speakers at that event, you're in luck.  You can read them all for free on the Chick-fil-A Leadercast page of this blog.

Chip Heath was at the event and spoke about the book him and his brother co-authored entitled, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.

I read the book before Chip's presentation and it was pretty good.  The book was about how change happens and how you can assist that change to take place.   Here's a few of the key thoughts Chip shared in his talk:

Change happens when we are both motivated to go in the same direction

Change rarely happens because of one person, especially if you're a leader. 

Leaders are responsible for making change–not just change in themselves–but change in others.  If change wasn't needed, why would there be a need for a leader?  If you just wanted things to stay the same you can hire an average manager to keep an eye on things for you while you go out and play golf the entire time.

Change takes a team and it means you're changing in the same direction.  I've worked at organizations (not as the leader) where a poor leader thought he was taking us in one direction towards a goal, but in reality we weren't making the change with him.  There was little respect for him and the way he led us, therefore when he attempted to lead us in a new direction, the rest of the people at the organization started to move in the opposite direction because they resisted him.

Change doesn't just happen because "I" want it to, it takes a group of people saying "we" want to change.

TBU means True But Useless

This was the first time I had ever heard this term, but it seems to be relevant to our work.  Have you ever worked with someone or been in in a meeting where people were talking about things that were true, but worthless?  They share information on problems, but they just talk about the problem.

Yes, it's true there are problems.  But sharing a problem with someone that you see is only a useless task, but showing a possible solution is useful.  Since Chip's talk I've been tempted to say, "TBU!" when people share things with me which are True But Useless.

For instance, gas prices are always going up and down.  And everytime the gas prices go up people complain about them, as if we ae going to change the gas prices. 


Or the weather, when people talk about the weather that's coming or already here, I think:


The weather is what it is, so who cares? 

Chip's talk at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast was pretty good.  He's an academic, so if you see him speak expect to see a slide presentation and hear lots of research (which is a good thing).

Question: What are the strategies and techniques you used to make change?

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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