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Change Management

Specific help with neurosciences in a change context

Neurolead helps you to prepare for change and to deal with change when it occurs

For the brain, whose core mission is our survival, it’s about Safety First and predictability. That is the reason why so many people don’t react positively to change, which automatically triggers stress in the brain. To get over that initial legitimate reluctance NeuroLead has developed a practical neuroscience based ‘6 R’s’ method that address positively each stage of the brain process and transform Change from being perceived as a “threat” to being perceived as an “opportunity”. It’s about leveraging Rhythm, Reward, Reinforcement, Reflection, Repetition and Relatedness

Awareness of our inner mechanisms through change

The idea of change resistance is widely known and accepted and nevertheless most people don’t understand exactly how this process works. And by the way it is false… When the balance between perceived pro’s and con’s is positive people change continuously (school, job, partner, location etc.) But what they don’t like is “to be changed” by others

At the individual level, people are convinced they just “disagree” with such-and-such new project or organizational change with no awareness at all that their thinking is primarily induced by their mostly unconscious emotions or motivations. We all unconsciously maximize the disadvantages and minimize the potential benefits. Our brain is negatively biased toward threats. It’s an evolutionary successful functional mechanism. But, we are not running into the savannah amidst predators anymore- or are we?

Our mission is to bring these processes into awareness and help people rebalance and rationalize their appreciation of the pros and con’s of change, to relate those changes to some intrinsic motivations to fuel their energy to move on, to help them focus more on the opportunities rather than just the threats and to make wise decisions, with distance, adaptive reflection and creativity, making the most of their adaptive intelligence skills.

Preparing people to tackle change individually is very important to help the organization minimize the side effects of change and allow people to be happier while experiencing higher resilience and creativity through pressure times. As people say: “Pressure is unavoidable, stress is optional”.

Change management with brain-friendly leadership through change

At the relational level Leadership is about aligning strengths and leveraging the proper motivations of collaborators to move forward to the next destination. Nowadays responsible leaders have understood that it’s their role to preserve their company’s human capital through change.

By raising awareness on change impacts in the minds of people and providing adequate brain-friendly sustainable methods to lead change, Neurolead will effectively support your managers who will have to become change leaders and accompany their teams with the right pace and attitude.

Growth mindset and change : working on the culture

One of the best ways to prepare human beings for change is to help them change their own mindset about a situation.
People are often afraid of failure, or of being judged, or of losing something along the way, which is typical of a fixed mindset. To preserve their image they might show a defensive mentality which is nothing but a mask to protect their ego or an illusionary way to keep things under control.
What is needed is a Growth Mindset both at individual and cultural levels. This mindset makes people focus on the opportunity rather than the threat, on their capacity to progress rather than their limitations, on their willingness to “play to win” rather than “playing not to lose”, on the desire to experiment rather than sticking to what they know already. In a nutshell: it helps them learn and develop their potential through the change process
Neurolead usually prepares organizations in the long run, to change their mindset culture to a “real and genuine” Growth Mindset, which will prove most helpful when change occurs.

We have supported a major Belgian Retailer in its transformation journey. A specific department of 240 people volunteered to be the first to commit to the new Group Strategy.
This project implied several potentially “brain life threatening” major changes:

  • Developing a “client centric” strategy instead of the previous long known “product driven” strategy. What a change!
  • Turning the organization upside down (literally) to align with the Strategy: top-down vertical V.P. driven management left the place to autonomous self-managed teams encompassing diverse people in charge of all the activities leading to one specific client output. What a revolution !
  • People had to move from an “execution” mindset to an “empowered and accountable” mindset. What a challenge!
  • All (yes ALL) 240 jobs where cancelled and replaced by brand new functions aligned with the new Strategy and Organization. On top of it a full layer of management was erased. What a threat!
  • All new positions were subject to a one month open job market where everybody had to / was free to apply to the new positions (first choice and second choice) they would like to have in the new constellation. A specific screening process was put in place to quickly but fairly and efficiently select the people/job positions. Clients could not wait for long… What a reset button!
  • People had to move to their new positions in four waves over twelve months. What a tempo!
In a nutshell we had here all ingredients to trigger a MASSIVE THREAT in the 240 brains engaged in the change. And nevertheless it turned out to be a big success.

That success is first the reward of a management team that intentionally decided to go with us along a “brain-friendly journey” to change. They really walked the talk.

Here are some of the actions that they put in place to minimize the threat and maximize the opportunity:

  • We started with a one-day workshop with the top management to help them be aware of, understand and manage the whole process in a brain-friendly way. They really wanted to lead the pack.
  • We helped them present the program in a non threatening but interesting, compelling and engaging manner to the 240 collaborators, starting with “why” rather than “how”
  • We trained all people managers 3 days + 3 individual coaching sessions around how to foster a Growth Mindset in themselves and in their collaborators to address this massive change + how to leverage the right motivations and emotions in people + how to communicate positively around the program
  • We trained all collaborators in two days on how to see this change through a Growth Mindset perspective and jump into it
  • We help them all along tune their ongoing communication in a positive way
  • We helped them devise a brain-friendly open-job market selection process guaranteeing equal access, fair screening, transparent evaluations, safe process, intrinsic motivations driven selection, etc.
  • And we managed to tremendously accelerate the whole process because people moved from “avoiding change” to “wanting to move” much faster than expected…
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