Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.

Neuroscience of Change

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Psychology of Product Adoption (46-slide PowerPoint presentation). Some innovations are truly spectacular, but consumers are slow or just refuse to adopt. In fact, over 70% of all new products fail in the marketplace--and innovative, new products fail at an even higher rate. Why is this the case? And, how do companies overcome this? This document discusses [read more]

* * * *

Business Transformation initiatives are typically undertaken to solve a pressing issue, bring about improved performance, or to serve customers better.  A critical element of the success of such initiatives entails transforming the existing behaviors of the employees across the organization.  However, this isn’t a straightforward task.

Attitudes and practices get reinforced in people by following established routines day in and day out.  Such practices become a part of an Organizational Culture over time.  These ingrained behaviors and practices aren’t considered burdening until the organization’s performance keeps declining considerably over time.  That’s when the leaders think about changing these beliefs and habitual actions.

Psychology and Neuroscience can help enterprises change the deeply embedded attitudes and practices of people and replace those with new beliefs and practices.  Leading organizations are using psychology and brain research to induce successful Organizational Transformation.

The practices that these organizations employ to engender Transformation are based on the following 6 core Principles of Neuroscience:

  1. The brain is hardwired to hold on to habits, making it difficult to change them.
  2. Connections in the brain—even deeply embedded thoughts—are quite flexible to transform.
  3. Concentrating on new ways of thinking can overhaul individuals thinking habits.
  4. Don’t tell people what is wrong, just focus on drawing their attention to the positives.
  5. Encourage the ability to reject negative cerebral impulses.
  6. The competence to focus attention has to be created bit by bit.

Let’s dive deeper into these first 3 principles of Neuroscience.

Principle 1 – The brain is hardwired to hold on to habits, making it difficult to change them.

Our thinking patterns are stored in circuits by brain parts—including the habit center (basal ganglia), amygdala (emotion center), and hypothalamus (which manages hunger, thirst etc.).  These brain parts, especially the basal ganglia, process info unconsciously and the activity feels rewarding to the individual.  This activity makes stronger neuronal connections with other areas and gets the activity reinforced.

For the desired behaviors and practices to get embedded, the organization need to make stronger connections with the entire workforce’s’ basal ganglia to enable deep rooted neuronal circuits.  The practices ingrained this way are difficult to remove.

Principle 2 – Connections in the brain—even deeply embedded thoughts—are quite flexible to transform.

People with obsessive compulsive disorder keep deliberating on their impulse to wash hands to ensure cleanliness.  This fortifies brain circuits in the basal ganglia, which takes over their behaviors.  However, Neuroscience reveals that even the most well-established notions can be altered.  This can be done by making the individuals aware of what they are thinking and where their focus is in a given moment.

Training and directing people to think about their thoughts can make them conscious of their undesired behaviors, disengages brain areas notable for causing distraction, and adopt new behaviors.

Principle 3 Concentrating on new ways of thinking can overhaul individuals thinking habits.

The 3rd principle highlights that persistent focus on unfamiliar, desired thoughts and objectives activates the habit center of the brain, which turns these desired thoughts into habits.  The mechanism according to Neuroscience is such that basal ganglia’s caudate nucleus region processes…

Interested in learning more about the other principles of Behavioral Transformation?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 6 Core Principles of Neuroscience here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

21-slide PowerPoint presentation
Transformation initiatives to enhance organizational performance are increasingly prevalent for a while now. This This presentation delves into the critical role of psychology in driving successful change management. It highlights the importance of understanding the collective culture of an [read more]

Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources

27-slide PowerPoint presentation
For every successful market entry, about market entry attempts end in failure. This failure is attributed to many factors—timing, scale, competition, capabilities, and particularly irrational decision making. The decision to successfully enter a market necessitates detailed analysis. These [read more]

22-slide PowerPoint presentation
23-page PDF document

About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Complimentary Business Training Guides

Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]

  This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]

We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]

  We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function






The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most of our articles are authored by management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience.

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for business best practices, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our best practice documents are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier consulting firms (like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte) and used by Fortune 100 organizations. Learn more about Flevy here.

Flevy Marketplace: Top 100
· Strategy & Transformation
· Digital Transformation
· Operational Excellence
· Organization & Change
· Financial Models
· Consulting Frameworks
· PowerPoint Templates
FlevyPro (Subscription Service)
KPI Library
Streams (Functional Bundles)
Flevy Executive Learning (FEL)
PowerPoint Services

FREE Resources

About Flevy
Management Topics
Marcus (AI-Powered Consultant)
Partner Program
LinkedIn Influencer Marketing
FAQ / Terms / Privacy / Blog
Contact Us: support@flevy.com

Acquisition Strategy
Artificial Intelligence
Balanced Scorecard
Best Practices
Big Data
Breakout Strategy
Business Continuity Planning
Business Plan Financial Model
Business Transformation
Change Management
Communications Strategy
Company Financial Model
Competitive Advantage
Competitive Analysis
Consulting Frameworks
Continuous Improvement
Core Competencies
Corporate Culture
Cost Reduction Assessment
Customer Experience

Strategy, Transformation, & Innovation
Digital Transformation
Operational Excellence and LSS
Organization, Change, & HR
Management Consulting

Customer Journey
Customer Service
Cyber Security
Data Privacy
Decision Making
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation Strategy
Due Diligence
Employee Engagement
Employee Training
Enterprise Architecture
Growth Strategy
HR Strategy
Hoshin Kanri
ISO 27001
Information Technology
Innovation Management
Integrated Financial Model
Key Performance Indicators

Business Strategy Frameworks
Case Studies
Consulting Training Guides
COVID-19 Trend Data
Digital Transformation
Financial Advising Services (FAS)

Knowledge Management
Lean Manufacturing
M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions)
Market Research
Marketing Plan Development
Maturity Model
McKinsey PowerPoint
McKinsey Templates
Operational Excellence
Organizational Change
Organizational Design
Performance Management
Post-merger Integration
Pricing Strategy
Process Improvement
Process Maps
Procurement Strategy
Product Launch Strategy
Product Strategy
Project Management
Quality Management

Free Resources
KPI Library
Lean Management
Lean Six Sigma Training Guides
Marcus Insights
Operational Excellence

Real Estate
Remote Work
Risk Management
Robotic Process Automation
Service Design
Six Sigma Project
Social Media Strategy
Strategic Planning
Strategic Thinking
Strategy Development
Supply Chain Analysis
Target Operating Model
Team Management
Total Productive Maintenance
Value Chain Analysis
Value Creation
Value Stream Mapping
Visual Workplace
Workplace Safety

Product Strategy
Small Business Owner
Startup Resources
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning Process
Value Innovation Strategy

© 2012-2024 Copyright. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.