Tension and fear are poor catalysts for change

By William Seidman These are incredibly turbulent times: a critical national election here in the US, a plunging stock market, turbulence in the economy, and wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia – to name a few. It’s well-documented by Jason Zweig, Stephanie West Allen, and others that our brains are wired to put us into a state of tension and fear in these conditions. It’s all also well-documented that this state is not a good basis for making business or any other important decisions, because it’s too much about our emotional state and not enough about analysis – which isn’t to say that our emotions are “wrong,” or an unreliable basis for decsion-making. An effective best practices program can mitigate some of the impacts of turbulence by engraining the the responses to fear deep enough into people’s thought patterns that they act in their best interests, even if extremely scared. The keys are to focus on a set of underlying principles that positive deviants use, and have enough repetition of the principles so that they can govern response even during periods of extreme stress.]]>

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