The Business Brain

We see stuck businesses everywhere.

Owners that have followed instincts into alleyways. And for whom banging their heads against walls is now their only strategy for escape.

The result of which is business brain damage.

For which there is hope. And help.

For years, conventional science has believed that the brain is formed by our early experiences and then fixed. Thereafter, we were told, our brain’s capabilities begin to slowly diminish. And if damaged, through illness or injury, can never be repaired.

This is not true.

A recent book by Norman Doidge, MD called The Brain That Changes Itself explains that, in fact, our brains are constantly evolving.

And that the pathways between its neurons react to experiences. And compete with each other for attention.

Which means that stroke victims, supported by newly emerging forms of therapy, can recover significant use of motor skills previously thought permanently lost.

The method requires restricting the use of the healthy limb, and focusing intensively on developing recovery of the lost capability, measuring initial progress in tiny fractions of success.

The brain, prevented from following its natural pathways, and encouraged through repetitive and committed effort, begins to form new neural pathways.

The keys being focus and intensity.

The brain of a company works in the same way.

No surprise since every company is a reflection of its leaders.

And which provides a map to the method most likely to create new capabilities within any business.

1. Identifying and eliminating forces that distract from the effort. Naysayers and the distractions of unproductive opportunities being the two most common.

2. Committing urgently and fully to solving the problem. Too much opportunity is wasted by companies trying to partially solve too many problems at once.

The first step to change is to decide you want to.

The second is to change. Even if imperceptibly at first.

The third is to do it again. Immediately.

And the fourth is to resist the temptation to take the easy way out and go back to the old way.

So now we know we can do what we want, the challenge is not defining what to do.

It’s defining what we want.