Archive for the ‘Change’ Category
During the last two decades, scientists have gained a new, far more accurate view of human nature and behavior change because of the integration of psychology (the study of the human mind and human behavior) and neuroscience (the study of the anatomy and physiology of the brain).
The implications of this new research are particularly relevant for organizational leaders. It is now clear that human behavior in the workplace doesn’t work the way many executives think it does. That in turn helps explain why many leadership efforts and organizational change initiatives fall flat. And it also helps explain the success of companies like Toyota and Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation, whose shop-floor or meeting-room practices resonate deeply with the innate predispositions of the human brain.
Managers who understand the recent breakthroughs in cognitive science can lead and influence mindful change: organizational transformation that takes into account the physiological nature of the brain, and the ways in which it predisposes people to resist some forms of leadership and accept others. This does not imply that management — of change or anything else — is a science. There is a great deal of art and craft in it. But several conclusions about organizational change can be drawn that make the art and craft far more effective. These conclusions would have been considered counterintuitive or downright wrong only a few years ago.
If you want people to change the current system, or status quo, first you have to get them to notice what’s wrong with it.
“Take America’s educational system. You could find some flaws in that system,” says India Johnson, a graduate student at Ohio State University who did the new study with Professor Kentaro Fujita. “Sometimes, people are motivated to change things—that’s what brought about the U.S. civil rights movement and the changes in Tunisia and Egypt this year, for example.”
“In order for people to feel like they can actually affect the world and actually do something, they have to view the world as changeable,” Johnson says. “If you want people to be able to make that leap, you have to first get them to that point. Then they’ll be willing to seek out the negative information.”