I enjoyed reading this article this morning on some of the neuroscience behind change and some of the practical approaches you might adopt armed with this knowledge. Here are the sections of the article with one or two sentences highlighting key ideas.
- A Universal Truth – brain science is giving us new insights into how and why people change (or resist it).
- Why Change is Painful – there is physical and psychological discomfort when we are faced with change. We get overwhelmed as the prefontal cortext is overworked—short term memory and where we perform our mental gymnastics. We fall back on our basal ganglia, which is our intellectual work horse. The patterns here are more fixed and resilient to change.
- Carrot and Stick: The Flaw – this approach is like training animals. Doesn’t have a long-term effect on the individual. It can have a system-wide effect, for example getting all entire sales force to increase the number of customers in South America.
- Not Your Change; Their Change – People hate being told what to do. It is better to show people examples and have them have their own epiphanies. This means painting a broad picture of the future and resist filling in all the gaps so there is room for people to envisage how the future might unfold.
- How Questions Provide Answers: A Case Studied – The article highlighted questions as a good way for people to engage in a idea. I was also say stories help enormously. Here’s a guide to collecting stories you might like.
- The Joy of Repetition – The insight or epiphany is merely the trigger. People need repetition of the idea for the new connections to be made.
- Not Your Motivation, Theirs – Learning is a big part of change. Learning programs need to be at the core of the change programme.
- The Hard Edge of the Soft Stuff – Be patient. Change takes time.
[via Stephanie West Allen]
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: