193: Navigating Change, Ambiguity and Uncertainty with Russ Linden

As managers, we have a responsibility to help our employees find stability in a time of chaos. To do this most effectively, we need to understand how the brain functions best—and most importantly, how it can go wrong. Understanding the neuroscience of change will give us unparalleled insight into managing moments of uncertainty and times of change so that our team members remain productive, engaged, and loving their work.

Today’s guest is Russ Linden. Russ is a management consultant, leadership instructor, and author who’s worked with public and nonprofit organizations for 36 years. He specializes in change management, collaboration, and the use of influence (when formal authority won’t cut it).

Russ and I talk about the experience of navigating change, how to better deal with ambiguity, the phenomenon called loss aversion, the relationship between change and learning, and so much more.

Members of the Modern Manager community at the Sprout level and above get 30% off all of Russ’s books, including his latest, Loss and Discovery: What the Torah Can Teach Us about Leading Change. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: How Managers Can Create Stability In Unpredictable Times


Website: www.loss-discovery.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/russ.linden.9/

Key Takeaways:

  • Our brains are wired to perceive a lack of control, predictability, and certainty as threats.
  • Create stability for your team by building steady, predictable relationships. Be an honest, trustworthy leader they can depend on.
  • Define and implement your company’s core values so your team knows what to expect and how the organization operates.
  • Loss aversion is the brain’s way of avoiding the pain of loss which is stronger than the desire for winning.
  • Honestly address the potential losses that arise with any change. Give your employees space to mourn these losses.
  • Our brains continue growing new cells and neural pathways throughout our life, called neuroplasticity.
  • Shrink the overwhelm of change by reminding your team what’s not changing. Assure them that the changes are not their fault and compliment them on their past work.
  • People value what they make themselves, the IKEA Effect. Give them choices so they feel more a sense of control over the changes.
  • Build on your team’s strength while minimizing weaknesses, so they don’t lose their sense of competency.

Additional Resources:


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