First, what is it?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s amazing capacity to change and adapt. It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences.
Here’s why it matters for you, and your business.
Learning how to physically interact with the world isn’t intellectual. As we learn how to do something, such as business processes, communicate in sales, make critical decisions for future profit, or manage people in a department, parts of the brain lay down pathways involving coordination, movement, and balance. It takes months and years of practice to learn this, which is why we go to school and learn a specialized trait or skill in order to launch a career that specializes in what we’ve studied. Hundreds and even thousands of days in school have helped you reinforce your brain’s pathways every time you enter your office, conduct a meeting, or run a company. These abilities are deeply carved into your brain.
In today’s world, change, iteration and disruption are synonymous. They fight against our habits and automated-thinking patterns. Most likely, the things you learned in school have been outpaced by rapid interruption and the constant advancements in technology. Yes, there are good business practices in textbooks, but at the time your professor or mentor coached you through those days in years past, disruption as we know it now, was rare. Thinking the same as we’ve trained ourselves to do, based on previous successes or what we’ve been told, no longer works. How plastic is your brain?
Learn. Unlearn. Learn. Never stop.
No business is immune. Companies must not only be agile, but the thinking they possess to execute must be also. Successful companies today are being innovative in order to survive. They must give consumers products and solutions they never knew they needed.
Where do you think that kind of thinking is coming from? Innovation starts from the inside out. The continuous improvement delivery vehicle starts with you.
Here’s a great example that proves the point.
Everybody knows how to ride a bicycle, right? But what if you alternate the steering controls and now must turn the wheel the opposite way of the way you want to go when riding?
You will be forced to attempt to lay down new pathways in order to get to where you want to go. As soon as you get on a bike, your existing habits (turn the handles in the direction you want to go) kick in automatically — and its nearly impossible to switch them off. This explains a lot about learning practices within your business. You may want to be continuously aware of your experience—for example when you’re paying attention to your breathing—but it’s very hard to do this because you already have behavioral pathways carved into the brain.
People have two major parts of the brain that are used every day. One is resilience, which is linked to what we already know, and is utilized based on our experience. The other is cognitive and imaginative which helps us think outside the box of what we think is possible. Both support our progress toward the tipping points of driving change. How aware are you about the programming you’ve developed for your brain up until present day? That’s the intersection of neuroplasticity.
See the video below and post your comments about what this means to you and how your company operates. Spend a few minutes and watch the entire video…