It doesn’t matter if you are an individual or organization; Charles Duhigg makes it very clear in this chapter that if you change one keystone habit it will set off a chain reaction. This chain reaction will result in a bunch of other habits altering; some not even seeming to relate to the keystone habit you’ve changed in the first place.
For example; through studies it has been found that those who make their bed in the morning are found more likely to be industrious, manage money better and have a better sense of welfare in general. Also, according to Mr. Duhigg, People who work out have been found to be more tolerant of others, more productive at work, less dependent on credit cards, eat better, etc. Charles admits that no one is quite certain as to why this is. But, for whatever reason, it would seem that keystone habits like bed making and exercise affect other habits, “Positively!”
Mr. Duhigg writes that finding the keystone habits of any organization (like with people) is the better option. This is because these keystone habits become the core values and/or Culture, in a sense, that will trigger wide spread changes regarding other habits.
For instance, focusing on something like safety and instituting routines around the wellbeing of all those working for the manufacturer of aluminum materials can very easily touch off changes that increase productivity, efficiency and a better quality product. Thus, all involved in what the organization does are happier while overhead drops and profit increases. In addition; habits revolving around safety become an accepted part of the organizations culture as a core value.
We are told here, too, that once a keystone habit becomes part of an organization’s culture it is easier for decisions to be made, no matter how great or small. Even matters of hiring and firing can become routine based upon the excepted behaviors triggered by embracing one keystone habit. However, Charles tells us that in some cases (organizational and personal) we need to simply create habits that are small wins for us when changing of more ingrained habits are currently out of reach.
For example; the author of this book summary has made the decision to develop the habit of waking up at 5:00 AM every morning. The time he gets out of bed has nothing directly to do with producing quality book summaries. But creating this habit does help in other areas of his life that are linked to his ability to write in an effective manner.
Getting up at 5:00 AM forces him to change other habits with regard to sleep cycles. That in turn forces him to develop or change habits with regard to the way he manages his daily routines. All of these habits, once nailed down, become small wins by themselves. All of these small wins keep adding up until a successful Self-Publishing Author of quality book summaries is born!