The brothers Heath have devoted their careers to helping the rest of us understand why it is so difficult to get onto a different path, even when we have no doubt that said path would be better (in many ways) than our present track. They present a very logical and easy-to-understand metaphor of the Elephant and the Rider, and go into great detail throughout the entire book describing how those two interact (inside our heads), and how we can get them to function better as a team.
Using examples from medical, educational and corporate cultures, readers are exposed to myriad specific (and very detailed) accounts of regular people making changes on multiple scales. They make a point to present individuals who are not CEOs, high-level managers or other similar occupants of “the top,” focusing instead on persons with little to no assigned responsibility and how those people effected major changes within their organizations.
They are also direct about their intention of not painting a rosy picture of “how easy change really is.” The guidelines here are not for anyone looking for a quick fix; rather, the clearly stated objective is to get people to open up their minds and thoroughly examine their situations before deciding upon a course of action. Once that analysis is complete (and only then) can the Elephant, Rider and Path all be modified to arrive at the desired destination.