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“The Banana Principle” Is A Useful Way To Talk About – & Implement – Change

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Encouraging change successfully is generally not an easy task and, depending on the context (student behavior, systemic, etc), there are lots of potential strategies (see The Best Posts & Articles On Building Influence & Creating Change).

Today at school we were having a conversation about how to encourage our teachers to begin implementing more English Language Learner-friendly strategies, and talked about ways to make those activities and related materials more accessible.

Coincidentally, I read a Harvard Business Review article that was published today and titled To Get People To Change, Make Change Easy. 

I think it provides both a good metaphor for thinking about change and some good strategies for making it happen.

The article begins by exploring The Banana Principle. Apparently, there has been a fair amount of research on what fruit is chosen first from fruit bowls, and bananas are always first and oranges are always last. The reason – bananas are a lot easier to peel.

The article then provides several useful examples demonstrating ways making things easier can result in those actions being taken more often. On the other hand, it also talks about ways to make things harder as a strategy to reduce certain behaviors.

Listen, I’m not suggesting that any of this is earth-shaking.

However, I do think the idea of The Banana Principle can provide a helpful way to visualize a discussion about change implementation, as well as giving a useful initial framework.

What do you think?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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