Okay friends, I’m officially in a learning wormhole and haven’t found my way out of it yet. Of late, I’ve been fascinated by the human brain. Specifically, how the brain compensates for limitations and even loss of skills over time. So what does this have to do with emerging trends, technology, business innovation or design? I’ll get to that in a moment.

First, allow me to share the impetus to this post. It’s called, “neuroplasticity”.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s natural ability to form new connections in order to compensate for injury or changes in one’s environment; also called [brain plasticity], brain malleability.

There are several posts on youtube worth watching that help explain this type of cognitive ability including one in particular about brain fitness. The basic theory here is that our brains are not fixed in their physical and anatomical organization after early stages of development that end in childhood. On the contrary, our brains are pliable, malleable and plastic throughout our life span regardless of our age or genetics. I recently wrote a post, Cosmic Consciousness vs. Individuality, in which Jill Bolte Taylor regained all of her faculties after surviving a severe stroke and lived to tell about this life changing ordeal at a TED conference.

So, how does this apply to business? 

What if more businesses started to adopt a ‘plastic’ mindset? What if organizations started to believe 5, 10, 15, 20 years into their tenure that they could still make radical changes to their products and services?

Under this scenario, businesses would actually allow different aspects of their organizations to die over time (especially during crisis) and reorganize around innovation and the birth of a new S-curve. They would redistribute labor based on consumer need rather than models and factories that were built two decades ago to address different people and populations. While this might be costly for larger organizations in the short-term, it could also prove to be incredibly profitable and enduring for others in the long-run.

This logic is not dissimilar from the formula I posted several weeks ago…A,B,C,D and Skip to R (my madness is beginning to make sense now) which stands for:

A = Architect – Architect the blueprint for change.

B = Build – Build the business model and infrastructure to support this change.

C = Create – Create the products, services, culture + community to succeed in this new landscape.

D = Destroy – Interrogate and destroy the parts of your business that no longer work.

R = Repeat – Repeat this cycle every 6-18 months.

I’ll continue to think ‘plasticity’ through as a change management tool and, more specifically, how we might be able to apply it to larger organizations, but I wanted to share the thinking with you now. Who knows, maybe someone else out there can start building on this logic.