Change is learned!


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Lake Consulting AG is your partner of choice to assist you with your corporate change. Together, we will set up a training plan adapted to your staff’s needs, and we will develop quality training so we can provide them with the best tools they need for your change to succeed.

Change is learned!

It is a well-known fact that our brain does not like change. You would have to say that it is more comfortable to maintain our old habits.

To illustrate this, let us do a little exercise. Start by folding your arms. Good. Now cross them again, but the other way around so that the arm that was underneath is now on top. You will notice that this position is uncomfortable. It does not feel natural. In the first position, you didn’t have to think about it. You just instinctively crossed your arms like you usually do. By contrast, the second position needed you to think about it more, because it is not part of your habits. Analysis has shown that during this exercise, the signal emitted by your brain actually comes from different areas of your brain.

Habits are deliberate and automatic choices. They represent more than 45% of our daily activities. Our brain is lazy and it doesn’t know the difference between a good habit and a bad one. Its aim is to automate our tasks, our thoughts and even our words to save our body’s energy.

When you crossed your arms the first time, it was your limbic system which triggered your action. This part of your brain stores memories and habits. The second time, though,

the message came from your prefrontal cortex. This part is at the centre of thought and planning. This is where any new thoughts or behaviours start. If they become a habit, we switch over to using our limbic system. For example, when we learn to read, we initially decode using our prefrontal context. Afterwards, our limbic system picks up the baton, making our reading quicker, less tiring and more fluent.

Change jeopardises our normal habits. That’s why it triggers resistance. Whether it’s a new role, a new boss, a new car, a new regime or a new routine, our brain has to make an extra effort to adapt to change. It makes us adopt new habits and it is this which makes us feel uncomfortable. The more deep-rooted a way of doing things is, the longer it takes you to develop new habits. However, you can deliberately train yourself to deal with change. The more you change your habits on a regular and frequent basis, the more you will be quick to welcome change into your private life and your work life. The next time you are faced with change, keep this idea in mind.


LET US CHANGE OUR APPROACH TO CHANGE

Have you noticed that when someone is talking about a positive change in their lives, they speak with enthusiasm and dynamism? Whether it’s training for a marathon, picking up an old activity again or learning a new skill, your plans for your personal change are expressed through extremely positive emotions. The change in you makes you feel empowered, energised and, at times, exhilarated.

Conversely, the association with the words ‘change’ and ‘organisation’ often give rise to very negative feelings. The present economic situation and our public mood mean that these two words are often perceived as being synonymous with redundancy. It has become very complicated for companies to communicate on these changes. The inten- sification of globalisation and technological evolution and other factors oblige companies to continuously adapt. Some people talk about ‘era of continuous change’. These perpetual, endless changes have become exhausting in our collective opinion, especially if we continue to think about change in the same way we always have.

WHY DOES CHANGE EXHAUST US?

We saw earlier that change makes our brain leave its comfort zone. If we add to that the fact that change may be imposed on us or may be badly planned or introduced at a time of crisis or just be cosmetic then we can easily understand why it is difficult to present it in a positive light.

Some managers often wait too long before reacting when faced with change. This has the effect of making a change urgent, a crisis even. People are then going to focus on short-term outcomes and not unite around the general idea of development but instead just seek to put out the flames. It is then difficult, impossible even, to introduce goals for the long term.

There are 5 strategic imperatives to help managers modify the way they approach change and that’s how exhaustion might be replaced with stimulation and a feeling of empowerment.


TRAINING: AN ESSENTIAL LEVER FOR CHANGE TO SUCCEED

There are many methods for managing change: the Kotter model, Lewin model, ADKAR model and many others besides. By following these methods, it is possible to bring about organisational change in a company. These methods all have one point in common. A stage which includes staff training and development.

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