Unleashing the full capacity of your people

Changing Corporate Mindsets is the Critical Path to Cultural Change: Now We Have Research to Prove It!

I recently found on strategy+business.com a long article on how the brain is wired to perpetuate those rote tasks and roles that make up a corporate culture, and how changing the wiring of those established mindsets is the critical foundation to improving employee engagement and productivity.

Eureka! Science is finally uncovering the reasons why our “changing mindsets” and Foundation of Excellence approaches have been so successful.

When you dig through the 5,000 word article and wade through the biological and psychiatric terminology, you will find these basic conclusions:

  • Habits, good and bad, get wired into the part of the brain that retains learning.
  • To break the bad habits, you have to motivate employees to recognize and challenge their own individual “wiring” or mindsets before they can see the need to change.
  • After gaining their agreement that a new set of mindsets would be more productive, you have to install a learning regime that teaches the new behavior repetitively enough to permanently rewire the new mindset into the brain. 

This brings to mind what the wife of one of our Bovo-Tighe associates says about her private-lesson piano students: It is easier to imprint her system on students new to piano than on those who come from other teachers. Transfer students need extensive “rewiring” before she can make any progress.

Naturally, we see our Foundation of Excellence approach more focused than the framework recommended in the article, and we completely disagree with the authors concluding remark that “the concept of organizational reframing (their phrase) is still relatively young.”

Unrecognized, perhaps, but not that young. We have been using this approach for over 20 years!

But these are quibbles: It is nice to be right, and to have such esteemed people agree with us!

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