5. Getting Unstuck - Shift for Impact: Envisioning the Future with Dr. Melissa Hughes

Where do you envision yourself or your organization in the future? In this episode, we move from the contemplative stage of change – assessing our situation internally and externally – to activating the potential for change.

We’re joined mid-way through our discussion by Dr. Melissa Hughes who shares her insights on how to harness what we know about neuroscience to help us understand how the brain can help – and sometimes hinder – our progress. Melissa is a life-long educator. She works with school and business leaders to understand how the brain works and how to make it work better to build cultures of learning and leadership. She is the author of Happier Hour with Einstein and the accompanying Gratitude Journal, a wonderful adventure into neuroscience written in plain English.

“Even as adults, every time we learn something new, dendrites grow as does the capacity for them to communicate, increasing the ability to learn more. In time, all that growing and learning and pruning enables the Charlies Brown Christmas tree to grow into the Rockefeller Center tree.” — Dr. Melissa Hughes

“Even as adults, every time we learn something new, dendrites grow as does the capacity for them to communicate, increasing the ability to learn more. In time, all that growing and learning and pruning enables the Charlies Brown Christmas tree to grow into the Rockefeller Center tree.” — Dr. Melissa Hughes

Listen for:

• How the three major parts of the brain along with the situations we find ourselves in can contribute to or hinder change.

• How John F. Kennedy’s challenge to the nation in 1961 to send astronauts to the moon and return them safely back to earth demonstrates how engaging the three parts of the brain in a compelling situation prompted effective change.

• What activities organizations can engage in to gain clarity around a desired future.

• What activities and questions individuals can consider to gain clarity around a desired future.

• Why understanding how we learn as individuals can positively impact the ever-increasing team-based cultures most organizations operate within.

• How the act of reflecting actually builds pathways in the brain that enhance long-term retention.

• Why paying attention to what you’re paying attention to can help you avoid self-defeating thoughts (the vicious cycle) and build a more positive outlook (the virtuous cycle) on life.

• What often happens in the brain when we confront change.

After listening to the episode:

  1. If you’re wanting to change, create a four-part storyboard to map out potential success in the future – identify what happened before the transition, what’s happening during the transition, after the transition, and immediately after transition.

  2. Reflect on what you typically pay attention to. Do you find yourself operating in the vicious or virtuous cycle?

Jeff IklerGetting Unstuck