Change whether it is positive or negative usually create stress and anticipation from the simple reason that managing or facing change demands a lot of energy from our brain.
Changing the status quo requires that our brain creates new connections and signals – a very energy expensive activity for the brain-. As a result, our very “hungry” brain needs extra glucose from our body to confront change.
Stress is the primarily process our brain uses to go and outsource energy from our body by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn cause liver cells to release glucose into the blood. This extra energy can help an individual to confront change and uncertainty. Adrenaline and cortisol are part of our threat system.
On the other hand, “anticipation” is the process our brain uses to release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that also boost our brain with energy. Dopamine however is the biology release by our brain reward system.
Depending on how we manage the perception of change in ourselves and stakeholders and how we manage the balance of the brain reward system between anticipation and pleasure we can induce either chronic stress, demotivation and lack of engagement or we could promote wellbeing.
The main challenge we face when managing wellbeing during change is managing the fluctuations of adrenaline, cortisol and dopamine levels in the individuals’ brain who are facing change.
In order to manage wellbeing during times of continuous change and transformation, we need to allow the neurobiology to fluctuate between “highs” and “lows” or what we called “peaks and valleys”. During times of change, we are at risk of remaining at the “peaks” most of the time or not engaging enough to promote positive “highs” of stress.
The good news is we can make lot of interventions in the “peaks and valleys” of our neurobiology by adjusting how we manage change to help promoting wellbeing. For example, by managing change by small iterations rather than big chuck of change we are allowing the adrenaline and dopamine to fluctuate high and low.
Another great example in change management is the adoption of an agile style of methodologies, where during a short two-week period the team runs a sprint (peaks), followed by some time of reflection, learning and celebration (valleys) before engaging in the second sprint and so on.
During the last 20 years neuroscientists have made a huge progress in understanding how we can increase wellbeing by positively managing our neurobiology.
Our Neuroscientist Tibisay Vera in collaboration with the @International Academy of Neuroscience and Education @APMG international and @Sparkling Performance are now taking all this research out of the laboratory and clinical practises into organizations and people’s life. Very exciting times ahead in 2023 for launching new tools and solutions for managing change.
PEPE© model is a structured and powerful solution based on neuroscience to help facilitating change and to support the positive adaptation to change as well as helping to increase wellbeing during times of change and transformation.
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