A common pitfall is to put forward our own solutions when conflict situations arise. We think we can see a way forward, and we're itching to get our opinion across. But if a friend were short sighted, would we give them our glasses, or suggest they get some tailor-made to their own eyes?
Whether it’s going to the gym three times a week, eating more healthily, improving customer service or introducing a new IT system, change is hard. While there has been plenty written about change management and the psychology of change, many practitioners fail to deliver the desired outcomes.
In fact, change is so hard we won’t do it, even when faced with life threatening consequences; as few as 1 in 7 patients that have suffered a heart attack make the advised lifestyle changes to avoid further health problems.
However, growing research in the field of neuroscience, linking brain structures and functioning to our emotions, perceptions and behaviour, means that we are beginning to understand why. And this body of evidence offers valuable insight on how we can lead more effectively, in synchronicity with how the brain works, through a discipline called Neuro-Leadership.
So how can business leaders use this research to lead change effectively?
James: Cash is a bit like oil and power in a machine. You can design and build an absolutely fantastic machine that changes the world, but without the power to make it start and the oil to lubricate the moving parts, it'll seize up very quickly. Parts will stop working and melt away to join many other good ideas and inventions that unfortunately litter history.
Most MDs and CEOs want their organisations to grow, either in terms of growth in sales or profit, or delivering more against their vision, their core values, their purpose.
But many businesses never even get started with their growth plans. It can be for many reasons, all of which we’ve heard of or experienced so many times before; do any of these sound familiar?
- We tried that 5 years ago
- It’s not possible
- It’s a stupid idea
- We’ve always done it this way
- We tried to sell to them before
Are these objections still valid? Was it tried with a different team, when technology was different, and the market hadn’t changed or moved on? Is it possible if someone else is given the challenge, as a stretch goal? Were you trying to sell to a customer when you had a different value proposition, a different set of circumstances and a different business model to the one you have today? Were you selling to a different buyer?