Predicting the latest trends
With over 30 years experience of organisational change, I am often asked about the latest trends and techniques and what skills I think are critical for successful change management.
For the last few years, my answer has remained constant – neuroscience and building our understanding of how our brains work.
Explaining neuroscience for change
Neuroscience is the scientific explanation of how our brains process information, take decisions and act. An appreciation of neuroscience enables us to understand the reasoning our brains apply to every situation.
There are vast amounts of research on how the brain works, and by applying this to how we engage our stakeholders in change, I believe we are meeting an increasing demand for evidence-based approaches.
We can google any problem and find multiple ideas, suggestions, models and theories. We are busy, and we are cynical so we want to know that the solution we select has the highest probability of working. Neuroscience is a science, which means that there has been systematic testing of the theory and the results have been verified.
Why is neuroscience so relevant to change situations?
I know I feel more confident when my suggested course of action is backed up by research that explains how and why it works. This is especially true in the complex world of change. Complexity comes from the emotional, behavioural and psychological impacts of change. When we ask people to stop existing routines and take on new ways of thinking, feeling and doing, we are triggering a vast range of responses.
I need options for addressing each of these responses, not from guesswork but from an understanding of why the brain is having the response and what the brain is seeking as an answer.
Effectively, individuals change how they work of their own free will, so it is their brains that are our major stakeholder, so it makes sense to me to learn the language of the brain.
Understanding how brains work helps me design messages that trigger an instinctive brain response. I am working with the brain, not fighting against it.
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