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As both a neurologist (a medical doctor specializing in brain) and an organizational change manager, I have the good fortune to see behavioral change from two very different perspectives. From medicine comes insight into how the brain works and how to make it work for you. From the field of organizational change management comes insight into what it takes to get organizations to adapt successfully to changing business circumstances or goals. In this blog I’ll consider a variety of topics which all circle around the focus of adaptive migration of behavior in response to changing life or business circumstances.
Many perspectives argue that, except for times of environmental cataclysm, this era brings more rapid and extensive changes to people and society than has ever been previously experienced. The demands upon adaptive skill, flexibility, and intellectual ability have never been greater. Whereas adaptive change could previously proceed in a “do the best you can” fashion, it now requires solid technique and efficient efforts.
With all this change can come stress, frustration, confusion, and fear. So, another side of change is learning how to take it in stride. Yet, work burnout is a rampant problem. For organizations this is not only a problem for the individuals who are employees but also for the whole organization as stress, frustration, confusion, and fear drive expedient behaviors which can threaten the most well-conceived plan for business execution. So, building resilience to change is an important skill for ongoing success.
The limbic system of the brain is the emotional system. While it has been popular in recent decades to focus on scientific thinking and to downplay the role of emotions (think: Spock from Star Trek), this is actually a strategic error. Emotions are an important and useful element of informational processing in the human brain. People who do not use their emotions well do not do well in society.
Zen Buddhism focuses on attaining enlightenment through experience and contemplation. From this the word “zen” has come to carry a meaning of insight, enlightenment, and peacefulness – a tranquility born of knowing how things work and how to work with them.
Together limbic+zen as used here mean finding effectiveness in life: accepting the reality of who we are (individually or collectively) and using this to move forward effectively to who we can be.
I hope you’ll enjoy these pages.