$20 donation for a free book — promotion ends soon

So far, we’ve had 322 people donate over $7,500 to Teach For America through our promotion. Thanks to everyone who has donated! You’ll all be receiving a free Switch book soon.

There are 3 days left to get your donation in — the promotion ends at 5pm Eastern on Tuesday. Give $20 or more to Teach For America and get your free copy of Switch!

[Update: The promotion has now ended. We finished with 344 donations for $8,080! Thanks to all of you!]

4 Switch tour stops this week

This week we have Switch tour events in four different cities. Chip will be in:

– Los Angeles on Wednesday Mar 10; and

– San Diego on Thursday Mar 11.

Meanwhile, I’ll be in:

– Atlanta on Wednesday Mar 10; and

– Chicago on Thursday Mar 11.

All the events are FREE. We’ll give a talk on “How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” and then hang around to talk or sign books. Hope to see you there!

The Art of Choosing

If you’ve ever read research about “choice paralysis” you’ve probably been reading about the work of Sheena Iyengar (we talk about her speed dating and 401k studies in Switch).  She has a beautiful new book out about her work and the broader cultural consequences of choosing.  You’ll learn that not every culture venerates choice like Americans, and her insights will be useful to you if you work in a global organization, deal with global consumers, or just want to see the world through keener eyes. Check it out:


Do we overexpose ourselves to temptation?

If you have any patience at all for academic articles, you’ll find this one captivating. Three researchers find that when we are confident about our impulse-control abilities, it backfires on us, because we allow ourselves to get into tempting situations — and then we end up caving. Whereas people who are more skeptical about their self-control will tend to avoid those temptations altogether. (By the way, don’t miss experiment 3 — a comical case study in temptation involving smokers and the Jarmusch film Coffee and Cigarettes.)

Here’s a teaser:

Consider these common dilemmas. Can recovering alcoholics ever return to the people and places that once nurtured their addiction without fear of relapse? Can dieters visit their favorite buffet without bingeing? Can people committed to their marriage have drinks with past flings without fear of being unfaithful? The answers to questions like these, it would seem, hinge largely on one’s belief about the human capacity for impulse control.

… [In this article, we] argue that people generally, unlike Odysseus, exhibit a restraint bias: a tendency to overestimate one’s capacity for impulse control. The restraint bias matters because it leads people to overexpose themselves to temptation, thereby promoting impulsive behavior.

Situation problems vs. people problems

In Switch, we point out that what looks like a “people problem” is often a “situation problem.” Here’s a great story from a 3rd-grader teacher who came to that conclusion when he noticed that another teacher’s students were doing a better job getting their assignments in on time…