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Fantastic event in Bristol this week on neuroscience for change management. Brilliant speaker, Tom Flatau from Team Working International gave us insight and led us through discussions on the practical application in managing change of how the brain works.

My key takeaways were: Culture isn’t the biggest driver for decisions By understanding how the brain works, you get an insight into what can inadvertently alienate people. Our brains create meaning from every experience we have, everything we see and hear and that meaning is affected by our previous experiences.

For those of us leading change across multiple countries, it was interesting to hear how consistent the brain is in how it behaves, irrespective of culture.

My conclusion is that whilst there are cultural rituals that sit on top of the basic operation of the brain, if I can use the principles of neuroscience to guide my interactions, then it doesn’t matter so much which country I am working in.

Part of this was the statistic behind how we make up our minds. 95% of our decision making is based on emotion, and only 5% is drawn from facts and information. From the outset it is important to create positive feelings about the change, create an environment where people feel valued, feel safe to share their thoughts and hear about the opportunities created by the change. Any negativity from the start will be hard to shift, because however many positive facts you put forward, the emotional part of the brain has already decided that the change is bad news!

We looked at the parts of the brain that govern our conscious and sub-conscious decision making – download my full paper below.