Neuroeconomics and change

By William Seidman I like the book Your Money and Your Brain: how the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich. Its author is Jason Zweig – an editor and writer for Forbes, Money and, now, The Wall Street Journal – who recently in an interview discussed the ways that short-term noise can overwhelm people and lead them to make bad decisions. It’s absolutely what you see if you watch people make financial decisions with long-term effects based on what’s worrying/thrilling/upsetting/delighting them right now. In our work with companies and people who are seeking organizational and personal change, we have found that intense focus on the underlying principles of a best practice, or of a desired cultural change, can cause people to adopt and live these principles in ways that actually help them to resist the noise. Focus can lead to change. Despite the distractions, emotions, and overstimulation, we CAN convince ourselves otherwise. There’s a hitch, though: The underlying principles must be in place before the pressure begins. Frequent repetition of positive images takes time and commitment. I miss Woolworth’s, which on this day in 1997 closed its last 400 five-and-dime stores, laying off 9200 employees. It had struggled for years and wasn’t it a classic example of the vital need for change, both for spending at the dime store AND for the survival of companies?]]>

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