Hacking HR to Build an Adaptability Advantage

amanda-boonzaaier's picture

Even small threats pack a punch!

We have been biologically "programmed" to move away from the unfamiliar and back/ towards the safe/ familiar (also called "fight or flight").  Therefore our own thinking/ experience in a new situation/ change message is an enemy of adaptability. If we can work hard at changing the language we use when we communicate change/ expect adaptability, we can help our brain in hearing "change-friendly" messages - minimising the "punch" a negative/ threatening message can pack.  Giving the brain "space" to process new information is also important as well as having access to information; who can I ask (and trust!) to give me information that can clarify my unease/ move me away from "fight/flight" towards "embrace and love".  

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keith-gulliver's picture

Hi Amanda - I think this is a fascinating area, thanks for sharing. I am sure as we increase our understanding of how the brain works we will see more and more of that learning applied in areas like implementing change. Perhaps we already are as you are referencing it! Do you have any references on this you could share, any reading?


amanda-boonzaaier's picture

Dear Keith - thank you for your kind response. I found Dr David Rock's work (Author of Your Brain at Work) in the field of Neuro-Leadership enlightening; learning new perspectives on how to apply brain research to change management. His model of SCARF specifically has helped me to make a lot more sense of people's reaction/ responses during change initiatives - helping myself and others to identify and work out our specific SCARF trigger. Once you are aware of the "cause" of your discomfort/ anxiety/ resistance (knowing what is being threatened) - addressing it is just so much easier. Of course it is not the only factor - although I believe it goes a far way in preparing our psyche to be more receptive towards the change/ adaptability. Good luck with this journey! I find it fascinating :)