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The Switch Change Framework describes how to find a balance between the emotional and rational components of our decision-making behavior. It begins with the premise that our emotional and intuitive brain can sometimes overcome the rational decision-making side of the brain. However, relying solely on rational thought is also counterproductive because it tends to lead to overthinking. Therefore, by establishing a change process based around a goal, there is balance between the two systems in which the rational side of the brain has a clear path of thought, and the emotional side of the brain is fueled by motivation towards that goal.
Description of Switch Change Framework
There are ten main lessons derived from the Switch Change Framework:
- Our emotions can overwhelm our rational thought. However, sole dependence on the rational side of our brain can lead to over-analysis of minor events.
- There are better ways to make a change than probably what most think, and the majority of these superior strategies rely on setting a change-related goal. More importantly, these goals should be attainable and realistic.
- What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. While it is difficult, at many different levels (i.e., individual, organizational, societal) change begins when people start to change their behaviors.
- What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. It is very rarely the case that the rational and emotional sides of our brain are on the same page when it comes to achieving our goals, and engaging in rational discipline can be emotionally draining. Eventually, individuals become more vulnerable to straying away from the path towards their goals because they are resource depleted.
- The rational side of our mind has many strengths. For example, the rational part of our brain can develop a plan for a more productive and profitable company. However, the rational side of our brain can also scrutinize and ruminate over events, especially when it comes to misfortunes and issues rather than positive occurrences. This type of thinking can be just as counterproductive towards accomplishing successful change.
- We are all human but sometimes we tend to follow the default plan or the plan that was originally laid out for us. However, following this intuition might not always produce positive results because sometimes our initial reactions can be misleading.
- Make sure the goals the organization sets are reachable and specific. Smaller increments towards a larger goal is a much more productive way to create lasting change because as each step is conquered, individuals in the organization feel as though progress is being made. If the initial goal is too big or the step is too much to handle, employees are much more likely to get discouraged.
- In highly successful change efforts, people find ways to collaborate and help others see a problem in a different way, which can lead to solutions that can impact the emotional and rational side of our brains. Said differently, change is most productive when the rational and emotional mind agree and work toward a common goal that is comprehensible when thinking in both styles.
- The gates of large goals are lined with small accomplishments. Any step towards completing the change effort should be celebrated. External motivation will help to keep the organization on the path it is on.
- Any new quest, even one that is ultimately successful, is going to involve failure. In other words, not every task will be done successfully. Because the emotional side of the brain can get very discouraged by failure, it is important to begin the change effort with the expectation that something will not go right. In this way, the failure does not create a shock that disrupts the change effort and the organization remains motivated rather than demoralized when failure occurs.
Praxie's Online Switch Change Framework Tools & Templates
In order to determine whether the employees in the organization are more resistant to or accepting of change, the organization can conduct a Change Readiness Assessment, which will help establish which part of the brain is more dominant within the company. Praxie’s online Switch Change Framework tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Get started with our Switch Change Framework template.
How to use it:
- Review the framework.
- List how you will address each element as part of your change process.
- Create an action plan for addressing the specific strategies you identified.
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