The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the very front of the brain, located right beneath the forehead .It is responsible for the executive functions, which include mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong or good and bad, predicting future events, and governing social control like losing one’s temper or getting overly flustered. It is the brain centre most that primarily anchors ones sentience, human general intelligence, and personality.
David Rock in his book Your Brain at Work explains the Pre-fontal Cortex to be like the “stage with a director”. At any given point in time there are a limited number of actors who can be on stage for the audience to see them clearly and focus on what they are doing. Should the director be out of control and allow too many actors on stage, the stage will be chaotic. The whole focus here is to keep making your director stronger so that you are clear about who will stay on and who will stay off stage at any point in time.
When I work with Senior Leaders who need to manage a transition (moving to a senior role/new business/new country) I help them build a very strong “director” and help them understand that the stage cannot be overcrowded at any point in time to effectively manage this transition. In any transition there has to be an ending and a beginning (allowing new actors with new scripts onto the stage and ensuring that old actors are off stage). The other important aspect in a transition is the first 90 days. A leader has to be focused on his deliverables to earn his or her credibility – which means the director not just ensures that the stage is optimal and the actors are the right number but decisions on who to keep on and off stage at what time, when to pay close attention to something that needs more focus, when to take a step back and reflect to see what impact he/she may be having, or what one needs to “unlearn” in this new environment.
Therefore the 90-day transition plan must build in aspects to help a leader strengthen focus, impact and enough reflection time to help be successful.
Kalpana Sinha is a Leadership and Organisation Professional. Her blog has reflections from her work experiences of over 20 years.