Dr. Janet Lapp | Change Management & Leadership Speaker

Speaker, Dr. Janet LappDR. JANET LAPP
ChangeFit™: Five ways to more Flexibility and Better Ideas

Dr. Janet Lapp delivers a powerful message: change is not a force to be feared but an opportunity to be seized. With humour and finesse, she confronts her audiences with the truth of what they need to do–and how they need to think–to move into the future with success and optimism. Her energy-charged, exhilarating programs provide usable ideas people can put to use right away. Below, Janet Lapp writes about change pioneer-ship:

It struck me while listening to programs from the Industry Strategy Meeting 2016 (Tianjin, China) that disruptions in the future of work will demand not change leadership but change ‘pioneer-ship.’ Rather than change to lead, there is change to invent.

So I wondered what simple consistent actions could help us gear up to be ‘Change Pioneers?’ Here are five quick-start jolts to thinking status-quo that are easy to schedule. As stand-alones, they don’t seem so impressive. Try even one or two of them for even a week or two and I bet you’ll be surprised at the new ideas that pop up.

1. Get away from your day-to-day. Make a small physical change in your environment: move your desk, your lamp, your anything. Make a small psychological shift by imagining a current your ‘issue’ or your life, for that matter, as experienced by someone else. See it running on a video camera. That helps you distant and disconnect from your current state of thinking.

2. Go out of your mind. 🙂 Project yourself forward in time; view one sample thing you’re facing from ten or a hundred years away. One study showed that when participants were asked to think about what their lives would be like one year from now, they were more insightful and generated more creative solutions to problems than those who were asked to think about tomorrow. Imagine yourself living somewhere else (in another country). How would you view the world? What would you be doing, be wearing?

3. Read ‘strange’ novels and watch ‘weird’ TV. Your mind craves novelty. The more absurd the content, the harder it has to work, and the happier it is. Brains like to exercise just like muscles love to work out. Participants in one study read one of Kafka’s short stories before doing a pattern recognition task. Those who had read the short story showed an greater ability to recognize hidden patterns.

4. Use your moods and your dreams. Both positive and negative emotions can enhance flexibility; use them, don’t fight them off. One study found that brain flexibility – and thus performance – increased when subjects felt both positive and negative emotions. Instead of getting distracted or discouraged by your emotions, celebrate them by setting aside a few minutes to be quiet, explore inside, and see what you find. Negative emotions can be the breeding ground for innovative messages if you could stop feeling bummed about feeling down.

5. Mix opposites. Interviews with top Nobel Laureates uncovered a unique type of thinking called ‘Janusian thinking’ which is thinking in multiple simultaneous opposites. We can practice a modified form of that by developing lists and combining them. That’s how that first colorful iMac was created–from the word ‘candy’ and ‘computer’. You might not come up with the principle of complementarity in quantum theory, but if you set up impossible oppositions, and something will budge.

Try these, and others that you think of that will force you to change your current habit paths – and you’ll be on your way to a fast, flexible, and competitive brain for the digital age.

Dr. Janet Lapp / July 2016
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Dr. Janet Lapp is represented by K&M Productions for speaking engagements. For more information booking Janet Lapp, click here.