We now are learning through neuroscience that Survival Instincts are hardwired in our lower brain—our Reptilian Brain—while our Vital Instincts are hardwired in our higher brain or our Executive Brain. I believe that every person has Vital Instincts for greatness. We instinctually want to do well, contribute, be recognized and included on a winning team. However, the level of conversation we have with others determines whether we activate our Reptilian Brain or our Executive Brain.
Parallel Universes: Cell Behavior and Organization Behavior
My conversation with my husband revealed several parallels between Cell Behavior and Organization Behavior. First, cancer depletes life energy from a system. Cancer cells behave like they are in survival mode; healthy cells are in a growth mode. The secret to reinstructing a cancer cell to become a healthy cell again is revealed in three basic principles that also apply to changing toxic cultures and relationships back to healthy ones. These simple principles break the code on culture change.3
Principle 1: Ensure Dialogue is open, healthy and transparent. When the body is healthy, the immune system works at all times to ensure that anything that is a threat to health is attacked immediately. Immune system flags arise from cells, directing the immune system to know where and how to target their action and marshal the internal resources to restore health. When our bodies are healthy, each cell has a responsibility to the whole—and signals where help is needed from the immune system. Everyone works as a connected, healthy team. They work in a partnership. The cells and system have a dialogue and from this arises a higher level of immunological support to handle threats.
When cancer forms, normal cells lose their system flags—people avoid conflicts and don’t speak up. People pull away and hide. People act toxic in the same way cells become toxic — cancer takes over the body and the organization.
Toxic Signals: Making yourself the center of attention
Healthy Signals: Making your organization the center
This principle reminds us of the importance of healthy dialogue between each cell and the immune system. When leaders make themselves the center of attention, ignoring signals coming to them, the culture breaks down. In healthy organizations, each person sees challenges and speaks up. People come together – put issues on the table – and work with leadership and engage with the leadership team to take on the challenges together.Download Article 1K Club