5. Cultivate ability to adopt change

Content champion Sofie Halkjaer

“It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that best adapts to change.”

Why it matters?

Man is the greatest obstacle for change.

Brain researchers say that approximately 95% of our behavior is unconscious. We act and react primarily via our autopilot. But change management and transformation requires alertness, wonder, and high awareness of current patterns and habits.

I have seen hundreds of leaders and companies underestimating human behavior, human patterns and meta programs. We believe that the right answer is enough, that we are a rational species.

One of our challenges as human beings is that we overestimate our own abilities. As an organization for example, we initiate more projects that we have the capacity to focus on. As people, we believe we are born change champions (because we are in the middle of many changes).

Persistent overestimation of an organization’s abilities to adopt change, and long term neglect in cultivating its ability to adopt change (before it happens) can create a state of change fatigue. In this scenario, the battered crowd has learned that the best strategy is not to engage, rather to let it all blow over, so you can get back to normal work.

The question then becomes, “how do we improve our appetite for change?”

How it works

A part of the solution is to upgrade the way we think in order to navigate in a changing world.

This includes training our change muscle. For a leader, what we fear, what motivates us, and the need for control is in the way for change. We can help ourselves and help each other identify the root causes of resistance and to find solutions to objections.

The conscious leader has cultivated in himself and his employees an ability to discover, explore and challenge inappropriate mental, emotional and energetic patterns in a balanced way.

The conscious leader manages to see the individual’s current strengths and weaknesses and manages to develop the individual from that individual’s point of view without taking into account his own weaknesses and strengths.

This practice requires training, persistent practices and a self-commitment to lifelong learning. Every day, we have new insights on how the brain works and we have the chance of a lifetime to explore and expand our consciousness.

Learn your own default behaviors and patterns during change

Explore how good you are at facing, understanding and accepting your emotions, behaviors, patterns and mechanisms during change. Strengthen your ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Study the habits of human and neuroscience

Study human nature and habits and how to make the most of them.

Facilitate retrospectives

Facilitate retrospectives focusing on the process and how we can support the adoption. Ask the following questions:

  • How can I as a leader support the change?
  • Is the change going fast enough?


Emotional Intelligence“, Goleman Daniel, Bantam, 2012