Over 30 years in brain based renewal, showed me several reasons why renewal cannot come to certain workplaces. I’ll admit that naivety in younger years, prompted me to believe deteriorated settings could turn around in spite of barriers. Over time though, I observed some settings that simply cannot revolutionize because organizational toxins contaminate their talents. It’s a brainpower thing. Transformation is not possible, if you consider dangerous directions of certain anti-innovative neuron pathways at that site. How so?
Power struggles, for instance, like Rochester’s current mayoral demands to rule education, preclude change. Fighting egos add cortisol, increase poor tone, and mentally divert brainpower away from progressive pathfinding. If secondary schools fight for control, like Rochester NY, currently fights for mayoral power, brain renewal cannot co-exist. Learning transformation, with the brain in mind, is more about facilitating rewired minds so that adults and teens learn to collaborate for mutual benefits. Brain based workplaces are more about facilitation of multiple intelligences from all, and less about demanding more power for one.
Fear of failure, opens the door for bullies and cynics to lock out workplace renewal which adds courage and curiosity for brain based risk taking. The head of a university department recently wrote to me about their sinking numbers, and dwindling morale. I want to introduce brain based strategies, and a new innovative program, he said, but I cannot do so for another year. When I asked why wait, he shot back, because we are up for accreditation this year. You could hear the anxiety in his voice, which provokes failure, and forfeits freedom. Imagine the level of fear that prevents genuine renewal, so that your organization can qualify for anything worthwhile. He went on to complain about low worker moral, and nosediving dividends. I’ll likely get a similar call from this leader in a year, when some other speedbump demands his focus and controls his deteriorated destiny. Have you seen it?
What holds your organization back from leading innovation with the brain in mind, for a post-recession era?