How can you unlock the grip of failure on your organization?
“What?” you ask. “My organization is not operating at a loss or failing.”
Oh, I beg to differ. If your organization strives to achieve status quo, a failure mentality has taken hold. Fear of failure and fear of change are probably your organization’s biggest obstacle to innovation and growth.
Brain Savvy Leaders Guide With NeruoInsights
Smart organization leaders use current neuroscience and cognitive psychology research to break through the guardians of change.
They adopt and foster ACE: a change management system that sticks.
A stands for addressing and appreciating why the brain refuses to change.
C is for creating a brain-friendly change management buy-in plan for everyone involved.
E is for engaging brain-friendly messaging that acknowledges the biology of our brain when dealing with change.
Appreciating The Guardians Against Change
Smart, brain savvy leaders appreciate and understand the biology of our brain when dealing with change.
These leaders know that our own experiences, memory and fears serve as the guardians against change. These guardians reinforce the status quo. They frequently serve as judge, jury and verdict to any organizational change initiatives. They basically block your organization from growth, progress and innovation.
Neuroscience and cognitive psychology help us understand why our brains resist change. Once we understand these hidden processes we can design effective change strategies.
Here are some of the brain’s processes that guard against change.
1. Our brains look for menace and warnings before logic.
We automatically seek potential threats and negative situations more than positive ones. Two-thirds of our brain cells in the amygdala involuntarily seek negative situations (Hanson, 2010).
2. Our brains respond with the low road first, spontaneously and impulsively.
The brain’s biological operational process uses two systems: X-system or reflexive (automatic) system and the C-system or reflective (controlled) system. (Lieberman, 2006). The biology of our brains is to respond to perceived threats with the low road (Johnson, 2003) : non-thinking, faster fight, flight or freeze syndrome. It is only through repeated practice and training that our brains respond with the high-road: intentional, slower controlled thinking.
3. Our brains naturally fill in information gaps with fear.
The less information we have, the more we fill it with fear and resistance to change.
4. Our brains poorly forecast how well we can face change.
Scientists call this affective forecasting: believing things will be worse than expected. Usually, the opposite is true.
5. Our brains feel before they think.
Emotions play a significant role in how we embrace change. Presenting facts without engaging positive and hopeful emotions seldom move us to change.
6. The older we get, the more difficult it is to change.
Our resistance to change becomes more acute as we age. However, with patience, time and willingness, older generations can embrace change. Being motivated to never quit learning helps.
Breaking Through These Guardians
As you begin to consider organizational change, start by understanding why our brains naturally resist it. Helping your team identify and address their resistance to change and how to break through is critical to your success.
Then take the next two steps of ACE to prepare a successful change management plan.
Sources: Authors Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Charles Stone, Dr. Al H Ringleb & Dr. David Rock
How do you personally handle the tug of war when dealing with not wanting to change and seeing the benefits of it? What causes you to walk away from change and return to old ways?
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