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Why Most Business Change And Transformation Efforts Fail – And How To Up Your Odds Of Success

Written by: Nina Szewczak, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


“The brutal fact is that about 70% of all change initiatives fail” (HBR, 2020) and this very high failure rate is often attributed to a number of factors, including resistance to change.

Businessman Stop Domino Effect

Change and transformation within businesses often focuses predominantly on systems and structures and completely misses the point that for change to be successful and sustainable, it needs to be led by a behavioural change. And behavioural change is a neuronal change, which means that our brains need to be rewired in order to change. Without this, any change efforts will have a similar impact to ‘New Year, new me’ and everything will go back to the way the organisation and people within it are used to operating as soon as the initial enthusiasm (if there even was any initial enthusiasm) wears off.

This is where neuroplasticity and having a good understanding of it comes in. Neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to change, adapt, and reorganise itself in response to new experiences or stimuli is key in the process of change and transformation and offers a way to address these challenges and improve the chances of success. In order to lead behavioural change, people need to adopt new behaviours, and when they do, they are essentially rewiring their brains to support these changes. This process requires the formation of new neural connections and the strengthening of existing ones, which is facilitated by neuroplasticity. In the context of business change and transformation, behavioral change is crucial for success. Employees must be able to adopt new ways of working, new processes, and new technologies in order for transformation to be successful. By understanding the relationship between behavioural change and neuroplasticity, businesses can design change initiatives that support employees in adopting new behaviours and rewiring their brains to support these changes. Rewiring of the brain requires the formation of new synaptic connections. Synapses are the connections between neurons in the brain, and they play a crucial role in transmitting information from one neuron to another. When you learn a new skill or adopt a new habit, you are essentially forming new neural connections in your brain, which is a result of the creation of new synapses. Over time, these new synapses become stronger and more efficient as they are used repeatedly, which is why practicing regularly is so important for rewiring your brain. The more you practice, the stronger the neural connections become, and the easier it becomes to perform the task or adopt the habit.

By leveraging neuroplasticity, businesses can design change initiatives that are more likely to succeed by taking into account the ways in which the brain responds to new stimuli and support employees more effectively in the process of change, which is critical for successful business change and transformation. Change can be stressful and challenging, but through neuroplasticity, individuals can build resilience and better handle change. This helps employees to stay focused and motivated, even when faced with challenges and setbacks.

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Nina Szewczak, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Nina Szewczak, MSc, CMgr, FCMI, (She/Her) ‒ The Midlife Revolution Specialist

Nina’s experience and expertise combine over 17 years of work & study in the realm of transformation and change, leadership and management, coaching, mentoring and HR and revolutionizing lives.

Nina completely transformed her own life twice and is helping people to overcome adversities, turn situations from tragic to magic, get better ‒ not bitter, and make life great again.


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