For years, my friend Rick never really cared about the plight of orphans in Kenya. He knew that more than 15 million children there suffer from the effects of extreme poverty, and he had the financial means to make a difference. But it didn't matter.

Then the missions pastor at Rick's church invited him on a "scouting" trip to investigate possible partnerships for the church. Rick reluctantly agreed. Two weeks later, he called to tell us about it. With great emotion, our usually stoic friend talked about the beautiful children living in the slums of Nairobi. He sold his beloved Camaro and gave the money to a children's relief organization. Rick's wife wondered what had happened to her husband.

Rick was a changed man, and the principles behind what happened to him—and what must happen for any individual or organization to change—are the subject of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

In Switch, the brothers Heath argue that all change is ...

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