Cells that fire together wire together

This is an oft-quoted phrase to explain the power of habit. Now a new book by New York Times investigative reporter Charles Duhigg explains the three phases of habit formation and how smart business leaders use this to create organisational success.

He refers to the cue, routine and reward phases of habit formation. (From the perspective of the chemistry of neural networking,  Martin Lindstrom’s two-phase approach of dream and routine makes sense, whereby the insula response during the induction/dream phase is linked to the quicker and stronger hardwiring associated with the routine phase.)

Duhigg, interviewed on CNN last week, impressed with the range of his application of this concept to success. E.g. Alcoa CEO’s use of “keystone” habits (worker safety) to transform an entire range of positive success habits, propelling Alcoa to Dow Jones top performer status. (See Alcoa website for Alcoa’s Values Endure – A Letter from CEO Klaus Kleinfeld to Employees, February 2010)

Duhigg relates the power of habit across the full range of human endeavours from sport to civil rights to commerce. (This resonated during the recent TV One Sunday interview with Aussie hero Ben Roberts-Smith VC – the influence of deep/midbrain beliefs on action under fire.)

Understanding the structure of habit and the anatomy of the mind puts people and organisations in the driver’s seat for personal and commercial success.


About Cherri Holland

Fascinated with business, brains and how to use the brains on the payroll to make business buzz.
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