Listen: Wired to Resist Is Now An Audible Audiobook!
We are biologically wired to resist change: it is the obstacle that often gets in the way of us fulfilling our potential. Yet, change is the key to our survival. In the face of the abrupt, worldwide change we are a part of now, how do we transition—as individuals and teams, as companies and communities—from disruption to new function?
While we were recording Wired to Resist: The Brain Science of Why Change Fails and a New Model for Driving Success for Audible, the pandemic emerged. Each day narrating the chapters, I couldn’t help but appreciate that neuroscience research on change offers us organizing principles that guide us even through complete disruption of personal and professional norms.
Remarkably, before post-production completed on the audiobook, the unemployment rate rose to its all time high, and a new civil rights movement has swept across the US and around the world. Whether we’re ready for change or not, it’s coming at us. Where we may have begun to adapt, six weeks into Covid-19 stay-at-home-orders, the environment continues to shift at an accelerated pace. How do we prepare ourselves for more change while we already overwhelmed?
A New Change Model and Strategies Relevant to Now
At the time I wrote Wired to Resist, I was on the other side of an unexpected merger and acquisition as an employee, something that was pretty intense at the time. In comparison to our current situation, the experience is tame. And yet, my research led to information that formed a new model and strategies that are absolutely relevant to this moment in history, and well into our future.
Neuroscience teaches us that there are several brain structures that can get activated by change. In Wired to Resist, we can assess the impact of change by observing how long it takes to get acclimated to each new normal and how much disruption it creates in our daily lives. We can assess how a change will go over by looking at people’s motivation for change, based on whether we chose the change and whether we wanted the change. And we see several examples of leaders who provided extraordinary guidance through change, and others who did unfortunate damage.
Navigating A Global Crisis Change by Change
We can agree, this global crisis of a pandemic, and the economic downturn has not been welcomed--which means we are more likely to resist it, and find it more difficult to lean in to what is being asked of us. We can also see also that long-standing racist beliefs and oppressive systems will not easily yield. And yet we will change. While humans are wired to resist change, we are also incredibly adaptive. We’re already adapting. You can see examples everywhere—people of all ages are engaging in social distancing, medical professionals are innovating solutions while fighting for lives on an hourly basis, businesses and leaders are making rapid decisions and taking unprecedented actions, while protestors are affecting change in policing and community engagement.
We are each of us doing what we can to move through this time. While we are wired to resist change, humans do adapt and often disasters usher in a period of innovation and closer connection. It is my hope that Wired to Resist will help you recognize your position, in this new and unfamiliar territory, and help you navigate to the other side.