A famous behavioral scientists once noted that if you want to truly understand something, try to change it. But the reverse is also true. To truly change something, you need to start by understanding it. Too often, as potential change agents, we focus on ourselves. We center on the outcome we're looking for or the change we're hoping to see. We're so blinded by the belief that we're right that we assume if we just provide more information, facts or reasons, people will go along, but more often than not, things, whether they're people, organizations, or even things broader than that, they don't budge. By focusing so much on ourselves and what we want, we often forget the most important part of change, understanding our audience, not just who they are and how their needs might be different than ours, but as we talk about throughout the course, why haven't they changed already? What barriers or roadblocks are stopping them? What parking brakes are getting in the way? Whether it's about shifting minds, changing behavior, or inciting action, we need to reduce roadblocks. We started talking about reactance. That was the idea that when pushed, people often push back. So rather than telling people what to do or trying to persuade, we need to allow for agency, we need to encourage people to convince themselves. We talked about providing a menu and giving people more choice. Making them feel like they're involved in the process, they're participating, make them less likely to push back around what we're offering. Next, we talked about easing endowment. We talked about people are attached to the status quo, what they've been doing already. So to ease that endowment, we need to surface the costs of inaction. We need to help people realize that doing nothing isn't as costless as it seems. I love that study on injuries. As we talked about it, we might think that minor injuries are less painful than more major ones, but the problem with minor injuries is we never get them fixed, and that's the same thing is true with change. If something isn't bad enough, we never end up changing it, and so we need people to realize that those things they thought were minor might not be as minor as they think. Next, we talked about distance, the third key barrier in the framework. Too far from their backyard, people tend to disregard. Perspective that are too far away fall in that region of rejection and they get discounted. So what do we do? Well, we have to shrink distance, we have to ask for less and switch the field. Use things like stepping stones to break up a big ask into smaller chunks so people are more comfortable at jumping across what we're asking them to do. Next, we talked about uncertainty, how seeds of doubt slow the winds of change. There are lots of costs to switching, to doing things new, but one of the biggest cause is uncertainty. People don't know whether the new thing will be better or worse than what they're doing already, and if they don't know, why take the risk to do something new? So to get people to change, to get them to unpause, we have to alleviate that uncertainty. We have to make things easier to try, whether it's a product or service or a new initiative that we're trying to get the boss to introduce, we need to make them experience what we're offering and lower those upfront costs to change, making them easier to see why what we're suggesting is good and more likely to buy into it. Then finally, we talked about corroborating evidence. Some things, well, they just need more proof. Some things are pebbles, but other things are boulders. So in those situations, when we're faced with a boulder, when we're faced with something that's particularly difficult to change, we can't always do it by ourself. Sure, we can come back and provide more information, but that doesn't solve the translation problem. In those cases, we've got to find corroborating evidence, we've got to use multiple sources to help overcome the translation problem. At the end of the day, these are five key barriers. As we've talked about, these fall into the reduce framework. But I want to note that these aren't the only barriers to change. You might be sitting there going, there's a sixth one or seventh one. On the situation or industry or issue I'm faced with, there are three more barriers to change, and that I think is the most important thing we've talked about in this course. Not just what the barriers are but beginning to think about recognizing them. There may be other barriers in the market you're in. Think about a customer journey, for example. Someone might not adopt a new product or service for many different reasons. They may not be aware that that a product or service exists, they might be aware that it exists but not realize why it's useful. They might realize why it could be useful but not believe the value proposition if outlined, they might believe the value proposition but think it's too expensive. They may not think it's too expensive but they might think it's hard to implement. Those different things are quite different barriers. If people don't have awareness of what we're offering, we need to raise that awareness. If people think it's too expensive, well then something like freemium or lowering the barrier to trial might be more effective. Without starting with the barriers themselves, it's going to be really hard to figure out how to create change. It's almost like being a doctor. A doctor doesn't solve every problem by putting a splint on people's finger. Sure, a splint is useful if you might have a broken finger, but it's not very useful if you have a headache, and so doctors start by figuring out what the problem is, by finding the root. They start by figuring what the root is, and only then do they prescribe the solution. Same thing here. Start by finding those parking brakes, start by finding those barriers to change, and then once you've identified them, think about how best to mitigate them. Because at the end of the day, everyone has something that they want to change. Politicians want to change voting behaviors and marketers want to build their customer base. Employees want to change their bosses' perspective and leaders want to transform organizations. Spouses want to change their partner's mind, parents want to shift child behavior. Startups want to change industries and non-profits want to change the world. Throughout the course, we've examined the cutting edge science of change, looking at how, when, and why people shift their beliefs and when they don't, when they alter their actions and adopt new perspectives, and when they stick to what they're doing already. By being a catalyst in working reduce roadblocks, by understanding why people change and when they don't, these ideas can help you change anything.