Businesses everywhere face this kind of problem: success isn’t possible without changing the day-to-day behavior of people throughout the company. But changing behavior is hard, even for individuals, and even when new habits can mean the difference between life and death. So what about changing the way a whole organization behaves? The poor track record in this area tells us it’s a challenging aspiration at best. 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 psychologythe study of the human mind and human behaviorand neuroscience, the study of the anatomy and physiology of the brain.
Change is never easy, and as Dr. Schwartz maintains: "Like driving a car with standard transmission for the first time, changing a hardwired organizational habit can be nerve-wracking. It is now clear that human behavior in the workplace doesn't work the way many executives think it does," Schwartz wrote recently in an article for Strategy+Business. "That in turn helps explain why many leadership efforts and organizational change initiatives fall flat." American Express
The role of noticing is deeply rooted in the rapidly evolving field of behavioral decision research. It has diffused to a number of other fields, including behavioral economics, behavioral finance, behavioral marketing, negotiation, and behavioral law. The field is rooted in the concept of bounded rationality and in scientists’ work on
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Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives-and
At the organizational level, a CEO wants to change the way thousands of people think. A common approach would be to identify the current attitudes across the group through some sort of cultural survey. The hope would be that identifying the source of the problem would help solve it.
As Peter F. Drucker said, “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
Cognitive scientists are finding that people’s mental maps, their theories, expectations, and attitudes, play a more central role in human perception than was previously understood. This can be well demonstrated by the placebo effect.
Neither the behaviorist perspective nor the person-centered approach has been sophisticated enough to provide a reliable method for producing lasting behavior change in intelligent, high-functioning workers, even when it’s in their own interest to change. It’s time we looked elsewhere.
Try to change another person’s behavior, even with the best possible justification, and he or she will experience discomfort.
It takes a strong will to push past such mental activityand the same is true on the level of organizational change.
No matter what you do and what you aim for, you can always improve your performance, be more focused and productive, stay cool under pressure, reduce the length of meetings, and tackle the hardest challenge of all: influencing other people. You can also be a better parent and partner, perhaps even