Point to the destination – Switch chapter 4

The hardest kind of money to raise is spent money.

When you are raising money to build a building, to start a program, you can sell the potential. You can show drawings. Many people love to be around for the beginning of a project.

But after the building is built, raising money to pay off the mortgage? That’s hard work.

“It’s just a building.”
“Why should new people help?”
“You got yourself into this.”
“Why didn’t you wait til you had the money?”

What’s cool about a bank loan? What do you show?

You give people a destination postcard.

That’s what Chip Heath and Dan Heath suggest in the fourth chapter of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. (I’m blogging through conversations about this book whihc is being released February 16. Here’s my post on chapter two: finding bright spots and three: Script the Critical Moves)

A destination postcard is a vivid picture from the nearterm future that shows what could be possible. (Switch, p 76)

While you are thinking about that, I should review a bit.

The Heaths are talking about how to change things. They are talking about how to get people involved in change. Like many people addressing persuasion and motivation, they talk about head and heart. But Chip and Dan don’t just talk about persuaders using logic and emotion. They point out that people are constantly using their heads and hearts, and that the challenge of a change program is to give their reasoning and give their feeling something to work with.

Now, back to the postcard.

If you are raising money to pay off a mortgage, one way to give people  “a picture of a future that hard work can make possible” is to give them pictures of what could be done with the money that is going to the mortgage.

I’m part of a church, working on just such a project. In our case, the $10,533 is part of our operating budget. We could cut our budget when the note is paid. Or we could look at what that kind of money could accomplish.

For example, you could point out that that money could send fifty kids and sponsors to camp. You could point out that it could buy a freezer and stock it well for a year at a local foodbank. You could point out that it could buy thousands of pounds of diapers.

And that would be what you could do with just three months of that money.

And then people can start thinking, not about whether to raise the money, but how to raise the money. See the head-related shift? They were thinking about whether this project should be done, how much it would cost them. Now, if they can see where they could go, they can start calculating how much interest could be saved…and put toward similar projects. Like building an entire church in another part of the world.

(One point that the Heaths make: don’t start with the amount of interest. Let people figure that out themselves. Start with the picture, the vision, the “here’s where we could be.”)

If you are working on a change project right now, whether for yourself or your family or your small business or your blog, here’s how to get minds engaged.

Find bright spots, things that are working. Don’t worry about the all the things that aren’t working.

Script critical moves, the simplest actions will pass on the core elements of the bright spots.

Point to the destination.


Here’s the first chapter of Switch.

Here’s a related post on the communication part of our campaign.



Above and following is an affiliate link for the book. If you order it, I’ll get a little money (but it won’t cost you extra.)  Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.

I also need to tell you that the copy I have is an advance copy I was sent because I requested it. I requested it because I was a fan of their previous book, Made to Stick. However, I will be buying my own copy when the book comes out tomorrow. (And a handful of copies for other people.)


2 responses to “Point to the destination – Switch chapter 4

  1. Pingback: Recommended book review @BusinessWeek: How Change Happens by Chip & Dan Heath « Fredzimny's Blog

  2. its very good think to help a traveller.
    Travel Help