Capitalise on our own reinvention™

Isnello, Sicily, a few days ago. Physical training is mental training: the mind is but an organ to experience experience [Why let bad stuff in trough 'TV' and poisonous food?]

"Recent research has shown that our moods are far more strongly influenced by the people around us than we might think. All of us, as part of the Palaeolithic heritage (where we needed to be on the lookout for predators at all times), have a tendency to converge emotionally. We all seem to be programmed to be receptive to other people's emotions. And all have a tendency to recognize and feel emotions that are similar to our own. [T]the urge to mirror others is hardwired into our brain trough a neural feedback mechanism […] because cooperation leads to more food, better health, and economic growth for a community. [W]e automatically mimic and synchronise facial expressions, vocalisations, postures, body language and other behaviors with those of other people. We also experience the emotions associated with the particular behaviour we are mimicking. [T]he moods of friends of friends, and of friends of friends (people three degrees of separation away from us whom we have never met) can influence us trough our social network like a virus. A diverse range of phenomena are transmitted trough networks of friends in ways that are not enterily understood: happiness and depression, obesity, drinking and smoking habits, ill health, the inclination to turn out and vote in elections, a taste for certain music or food, a preference for online privacy, even the tendency to attempt or think about suicide. [T]hese feelings ripple trough networks like pebbles thrown into a pond. […] In a team situation, it is often the mood of the leader that sets the tone. If the leader is upbeat, the mood of the other team members will rise. But is if he or she is down, everyone is down. And these changes in mood can occur very rapidly. […]
A shift in attitude and behaviour culminates in the redefinition, and even reinvention, of our self. […] However, even when there are clear signs that change is required within an organisation, it is often resisted because people know it will involve moving into the unknown. Some of these resistances can be unconscious, and can even contribute to self-defeating acts of sabotage. For any organisation to change, the degree of dissatisfaction has to be greater than the degree of resistance. […] Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," but it can take time to educate people about the benefits of the change process. The company may have been drifting -- with many employees feeling like helpless bystanders, watching the situation -- and now is the time to give them "voice", to make them feel that they can be involved in making a difference. [Here] is a good example of learning and unlearning, of rules and norms that have become institutionalised, to the extend that the team members can no longer trace their origins [ , ]

Once upon a time there were six monkeys living in a cage. One day they awoke to find a ladder had been positioned right in the middle of the cage and from the top of it a bunch of bananas dangled invitingly from a rope. One of the monkeys immediately climbed the ladder, but as soon as it reached the bananas, ice-cold water was prayed down on all the other monkeys. This happened every time a monkey climbed the ladder and tried to grab the bananas. Very soon each monkey was on the lookout for one of its companions to climb the ladder. Whenever one of them tried, the other monkeys would stop it. As time went by, the monkeys simply learnt to ignore the bananas. Nothing would tempt them to try to get them, even after the bunch was lowered and within easy reach. The monkeys stayed well away: the last thing they wanted was another freezing shower.
Then one day a new monkey arrived in the cage. When he saw the bananas and tried to scale the ladder, all of the other monkeys attacked him and trashed him severely. The new monkey quickly discovered that the bananas were taboo. As time went by more monkeys from elsewhere found themselves in the cage. Each in turn learned their lesson: stay away from the bananas. When they tried to climb the ladder, the others (including the newcomers) would attack them. Typically, it was the most recent victims that punished the new transgressor most.
In fact, the monkeys were so busy punishing each other that they failed to notice that despite the regular appearance of newcomers, their numbers mysteriously remained the same. For every new monkey that appeared in the cage, one of the originals was removed. It didn't take very long before all the six original monkeys had been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever tried to climb the ladder again, despite the fact that all the original monkeys had gone and none of the remaining ones had ever received the icy shower. Ignoring the bananas had simply become a fact of life. If the monkeys could have replied, when asked why they attacked anyone who went fro the bananas, their answer would almost certainly have been: "Well, I don't really know -- it's just the way we do things around here." As can happen to many of us, the monkeys had gotten stuck in their ways, and change was no longer an option. They had reframed the situation and the organisational system had gotten the better of them."

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries in The Hedgehog Effect', page 100, 101, 102, 173, 174, 176, 177. First published in 2011 by John Wiley and Sons, USA