Habits are worth studying and this is a one great book to get started. I had to summarize the key ideas to my blog as well, because I’ve a feeling that I will be referencing to it quite often in the near future.
“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits” – William James, 1892
Our lives are made much of habits. Habits shape not only individual lives, but organizational lives as well as organizations are networks of people. People operate in where ever they go through habits. Cultures grow out of habits.
Habits can be formed consciously or unconsciously. Habit forms a habit loop: “New habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.” Old habits cannot be deleted or forgotten conveniently, however almost any habit can be transformed if the cue and reward remain the say.
“Every habit, no matter its complexity , is malleable . The most addicted alcoholics can become sober . The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves . A high school dropout can become a successful manager.”
Where does the change begin? Again, Duhigg refers to William James who has written the Will to Believe: “will to believe is the most important ingredient in creating belief in change.” Then he refers to NFL Coach Tony Dungy as well, who had said that “belief is the biggest part of success in professional football.” Will to believe, opens the possibility to beliefs. Then Duhigg brings up the concept of small win, which enables teams to believe that the bigger success can be achieved.
“Movements don’t emerge because everyone suddenly decides to face the same direction at once. They rely on social patterns that begin as the habits of friendship , grow through the habits of communities , and are sustained by new habits that change participants ’ sense of self.”