Wonders and Woes of Change

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At Deb Scott’s Radio Show, “The Best People we Know Show,” we were discussing how most people know what change looks like, yet far fewer seem sure how to launch great changes. Without warning, alterations  can dump you from a job you love on one day, or land you in a once- in –a-  lifetime opportunity the next.

Listen to internet radio with Best People We Know on Blog Talk Radio


Few face change without fear when it spells loss – but have you noticed lately the faces of change agents who risk even the security of a stable job for the wonder of  innovation that builds a finer future. One reason I avoid words such as can’t is because  I’ve discovered ( see new ASTD Leadership Manual)  that sometimes the impossible just takes a little longer. You?


Secrets of Change

You tap into key secrets of change when you refuse the setbacks that lock you into the status quo. The marvelous wealth of innovative brains would lose its life-changing joy if there were no barriers to lower. Helen Keller said: The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.

When the sky is dark you begin to take pleasure in the stars. It’s similar  to discovering the wonders of change, in difficult times. When the brain successfully removes obstacles it rewires itself for sustaining changes that follow. How so? Successful innovators often tell you  that obstacles to change may be inevitable – yet innovative delight is optional. It’s described in our new book and MBA course as Leading Innovation with the Brain in Mind.

Ten Golden Rules to Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind

  • If one door refuses to open, find a window that opens into innovation.
  • Cherish dreams as the mind’s blueprints to your finest future.
  • Become the person you’d like others to see in you.
  • Seek what uplifts humanity and sustains integrity – then do it with zip
  • If your plans burn in life’s fires warm yourself by lessons learned from heat.
  • Fear less and hope more –a brain focused on hope generates it as reality.
  • Step to the edges of your highest burden – and fly to a new peak.
  • Spot blessing – even when it arrives in pain, loss or disappointment.
  • For most woes – there is a corresponding wonder in innovative change.
  • Address people as if they are wounded, and you’ll spot their innovative IQ.

Brainpowered tools build wonder only for those who use them If you’ve seen on this TED video how education had clobbered creativity and stomped out change – you’ll likely be ready to rewire for another go at innovation and growth . And business too clobbers innovation daily in at least 10 areas, if you believe  Stefan Lindegaard at Business Week.

Reboot  brainpower for change –  from woes into wonders:

1. Invent and share a refreshing solution to a stubborn work problem – solve a  difficulty that leaves you bored or in a rut at work. Brain fact: Boredom is more a habit formed in brains, and shaped by daily choices,  then stored in brain as a reality.

2. Uplift your work area with natural lighting.  Brain fact: Environments influence brainpower, and a healthy workplace inspires people to transform problems into solutions.

3. Thank a fellow worker for a personal accomplishment.  Brain fact: Well being comes partially from and is fueled and extended by serotonin chemical hormones.

4. Give somebody the gift of forgiveness, and let go of a grudge. Brain fact: Anger, fear, and frustration  are fueled and extended by cortisol chemical hormones.

5.  Propose alternatives to an observed annoying habit.  Brain fact: Venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to much more of the same.

6. Act the person you want others to see in you, and that you’ll become. Brain fact: Dendrite brain cells use the outside world and  take shape, or grow based on what you do.

7. Vary your background sounds and add music for more motivation. Brain fact: Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter productivity.

8. Stir curiosity and engage others.  Brain fact: Lectures and talks work against listener brains and benefit speaker intelligence while neglecting  listener insights.

9. Shift routines up daily. Brain fact: Hebbian workers rewire their brains to kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains with sameness.

10. Include differences as assets.  Brain fact: Diversity training commonly fails people  mentally  because it shows inclusion as a deficit model – rather than as assets.

11. Sleep well in order to perform well. Brain fact: Brain waves can bring either sleep or peak performance, based on how you activate and manage them.

12. Research and open mentally to new and different ideas daily.  Brain fact: Hook even difficult facts onto one thing you know and learning increases in less time.

13. Change on regular basis.  Brain fact: Your brain’s basal ganglia stores old facts and creates ruts, while working memory holds few new facts and leads change.

14. Survey and engage more strengths. Brain fact: Multiple intelligences are common to all, used by few, and can be cultivated daily with regular use as mental tools.

15. Create rather than criticize. Brain fact: Cynical or critical mindsets literally block creativity, limit talent in you or others, and stomp out innovation.

16. List key facts as guides and reminders.  Brain fact: Memory can be outsourced to help you remember more, and to free your mind for  focus on the moment.

17. Inspire novel young ideas. Brain fact: Plasticity enables people of all ages and backgrounds to rewire the human brain in ways that keep it younger and more agile.

19. Encourage you and others often.  Brain fact: Encouragement changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, and ratchets up tone for profitability.

19. Communicate with care, openness and honesty. Brain fact: Meta messages destroy relationships through implications different from message spoken.

20. Integrate from ideas and people across many fields.  Brain fact: It often takes an integration of  hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind.

21. Relax and practice letting worries go.  Brain fact:  Stress literally shrinks the brain, and tone in communication acts as a silent killer.

22. Seek genuine and lasting relationships. Brain fact: Greet  colleagues through speaking people’s names, to offer spike in well being or awareness in person’s brain.

23. Risk innovation one step at a time.  Brain fact: Inspire creativity and invention through teaching others at the same time you also learn and create yourself.

24. Collaborate to propose solutions. Brain fact: Create new neuron pathways collectively and add  solutions to workplace  problems  encountered.

25. Celebrate those who differ mentally. Brain fact: Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually, for instance,  in ways that few optimize.

TPT Top bannerHow could these few applications from Deb’s radio interview or facts about your brain increase your brainpower and toss new innovations into your day? See practical brain based tools for facilitating sizzling change in your circles!

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8 thoughts on “Wonders and Woes of Change

  1. eweber Post author

    Ryan what an interesting thought – when we see order we tend to create order around us. Makes me think of the similar idea for writing. When we see and think clearly — we artculate and write with clarity. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Narelle Stratford

    Hi John
    I’d love to put a link to your Brain Facts included from Woes to Wonders, on my site. I’m a psychologist and hypnotist in Brisbane Australia.
    so, may I have your permission please?
    I loved these brain facts, they are spot on!
    Regards Narelle

  3. Jackie Ruka

    So many are at a loss for innovation. So glad you are encouraging creativity as part of the innovation mission. The time is now and you are right on time. Thanks for this poignant blog !

  4. Ryan Biddulph


    Super creative ideas here.

    Changing lighting levels make such a massive difference. Sometimes we get so caught up in the inner world we forget to make outside adjustments: cleaning up our work space, working in a quiet environment (or charging up with music, if need be), or making sure we have adequate lighting creates a visually orderly environment.

    When we see order, we tend to create order in our minds. Since order is heaven’s first law expect really cool things to happen when your mind is in an orderly state.

    Thanks for sharing with us.


  5. Lisa TEner

    I love how you link 25 simple suggestions (in plain English) to specific brain facts that support them. Can you say more about what meta messages are and how we create (or un-create) them?

    1. eweber Post author

      Thanks for your kind encouragement Lisa, and your work looks fascinating.

      Great question! Here is a link that will help to illustrate the kinds of meta messages that add to toxic workplaces. https://brainleadersandlearners.com/general/meta-messages-lower-intelligence/

      It’s the statement that means opposite what its words convey and one can hide behind these words rather than face issues that cause conflict. meta messages are deadly in most situations – just as is the truth told with good tone skills.

      I’ve just completed a book to show how each of these brain facts works to hold back brainpower or to propel it forward in ways that increase growth and improve well being.

      We create them by stating what is not sincerely true – just as the exact words we use indicate. We alter the habit of meta messages each time we catch ourselves using insincerity and restate the sincere meaning. Plasticity rewires our brains for action with each use of that action. make sense?

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