SWITCH by Chip & Dan Heath
Brothers Chip Heath, professor of Organizational Behaviour at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and Dan Heath, a consultant to the Aspen Institute, have followed up their bestselling and course-adopted book Made to Stick with a groundbreaking book that addresses one of the greatest challenges of our personal and professional lives—how to change things when change is hard.
In Switch, the Heaths have written a thoroughly engaging narrative about the difficulty in bringing about genuine, lasting change—in ourselves and in others—especially when we have few resources and no title or authority. The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting review that discusses the book’s message within the context of one reviewer’s personal life challenge, and in a recent video review social and new media maven Chris Brogan called the book “a must read”.
Check out their reviews by clicking on the links above, and start reading the book here; then post a comment: what do you think of the authors’ message? Do you see applications in the classroom, among faculty/administration, or within your larger discipline? Can we really flip the switch?
MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS by Tracy Kidder
Tracy Kidder, author of such bestselling books as the college common reading classic Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World and the new, critically-lauded Strength in What Remains, has penned an interesting op-ed in The New York Times about the current crisis in Haiti, offering some much needed historical context.
You can read the article here.
The Age of Empathy by Dr. Frans De Waal
World-renown primatologist Dr. Frans De Waal’s new book, The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society, draws upon decades of research and study, considering such fundamental questions as: Do we have an instinct for compassion? Or is everything we do motivated simply by innate self-interest?
The book has received a lot of interest; most recently, the Wall Street Journal published an interesting review accompanied by compelling video and images, and the Los Angeles Times pondered the book’s central argument in light of all of the recent negative events (i.e. the War on Terror, the financial meltdown, the ongoing unrest in the Middle East) triggered by humans at the dawn of this still very new century.
You can read an excerpt here, and visit the author’s website for more information.
So what do you think of this newest chapter in the nature versus nurture debate? Is empathy really hardwired? If so, what does that mean for us?