This week I began working with a new client on our employee assistance programme in Essex who wanted to improve performance at work after his best man had flown the nest to travel the world and left a great big productivity whole in his wake.
’ I know I shouldn’t have built the business around his being a part of it but now he has gone we are really struggling to get by, I don’t know how we can pick up skills where he left off’.
His team started their team building programme at Mapetry this week. So in traditional creative flair, here is this weekend’s metaphor for change management at work; or post-partum plasticity.
Neuroplasticity, describes how experiences reorganize neural pathways in the brain. Long lasting functional changes in the brain occur when we learn new things or memorize new information. The neural circuitry in the brain must reorganize in response to experience or sensory stimulation.
When an infant joins the world they have various hubs in the brain, like roundabouts- but there aren’t very many roads connecting them. Over time and as the littlen interacts with their environment lots more roads are built which serve to connect all the roundabouts in hundreds of millions of different routes. This building and rebuilding of roads is neuroplasticity.
All of this wiring, doesn’t just happen once. It does not consist of a single type of morphological change, but several different processes that occur throughout an individual’s lifetime. Many types of brain cells are involved in neuroplasticity, including neurons, glia, and vascular cells.
During infancy plasticity is high! You might have heard that you ought to start learning French or playing tennis before age 10, and that is because your brain is more malleable in terms of its wires at that age.
Plasticity occurs in response to age over time. But it also responds to trauma. For example as an adaptive mechanism to compensate for lost function and/or to maximize remaining functions in the event of brain injury.
When there is a brain injury or a piece of the brain is removed/separated, and the part of the brain responsible for a specific function moves out of town, we often see other parts of the brain begin to find new and inventive ways of doing that function on its behalf. Picking up where it left off.
Neuroplasticity kicks in and new roads are built. It’s often not until one unit is lost, that we can see how ingenuous all the other parts; those who usually wouldn’t even have been considered for the task are. (because it’s not their thing ) Furthermore it is the study of brains post injury, that has allowed researchers to gain such great insight into the varied and phenomenal things each part of the brain is capable of.
And one last thing. The environment plays a key role in influencing plasticity. Fostering an environment where change and development is nurtured will go a long way.
For more info head over to www.mapetry.com and begin telling a better story.