A place where we stop and reflect on what old habits prevent us from moving forward and how we can change those.
Latest Activity: Jun 1, 2010
Habits help us through the day, eliminating the need to strategize about each tiny step involved in making a frothy latte, driving to work and other complex routines. Bad habits, though, can have a vise grip on both mind and behavior. Notoriously hard to break, they are devilishly easy to resume, as many reformed smokers discover.
A study of the MIT has shown why. Important neural activity patterns in a specific region of the brain change when habits are formed, change again when habits are broken, but quickly re-emerge when something rekindles an extinguished habit -- routines that originally took great effort to learn. "We knew that neurons can change their firing patterns when habits are learned, but it is startling to find that these patterns reverse when the habit is lost, only to recur again as soon as something kicks off the habit again." (from MIT News)
The same is true for teams and social systems. Organizations try to maintain their patterns and usually repair disfunctionalities quickly. Change means that things will not necessarily be like they used to be. When we want or we have to change something it evidently means that we need to quit or give up from something. Giving up is sometimes easy and sometimes painful. Organizing a ritual like funeral of old team gives us a moment to celebrate and to be thankful of a good old times. At the same time it will give us freedom to start seeing a new team, new relations, life and possibilities in the future. However, if things need to be given up, people will ask themselves whether it is worth to do so. They compare costs and benefits, and based on this valuation they will
It is a good practice to come together as a team and to first individually list things that people need to abandon and bury. Compare lists. Is there a lot of common ground and agreement about needs to die in order to move forward? Or do people differ significantly of what they perceive as "old stuff"? Such conversation are not easy because they tend to get very personal. People need to understand what they gain when before they give up something.
Ray B. Williams outlines in his blog post Why Old Habits Die Hard: What Managers Need To Know how the results of brain science apply to management:
Please add tools, links, articles etc. which help organizations to reflect on the old habit that are blocking change and for overcoming these blockades.
Started by Holger Nauheimer Mar 21, 2010.