Challenge: Behavioural psychologists note that one reason change is difficult is the difference between exploration and exploitation. In their younger years people explore the world around them with little preconceived notions and expectations.
Then as time goes on, they exploit their known options and come to rely on what they already know as a guide. This makes change extremely difficult. Oftentimes leaders are faced with the obstacle of employees being set in their habits and ways even when they understand the benefits that change could bring.
Solution: Another finding popular with behaviour psychologists is the effect of novelty. When a new program, format, process or technology is presented, it can kick people back into exploration. While learning about it they are more open to change. It becomes a tangible avenue that allows them to engage in a different way of thinking.
Learning is a result of a cognitive shift in thinking.
Just as employees engage more readily when they are presented with new ways of doing and thinking, HR and training professionals could reflect this in their design of change programmes. Instead of focusing on the what to teach, business leaders will see significant results by focusing on how to deliver the learning.