Humans are described as rational creatures. When making a decision, we gather all the necessary pieces of data in order to make the best decision and move forward. Despite this rationality, we continue to make choices that could be described as unhealthy. Even in the midst of admitting the habit as bad for us, we struggle to change.
Countless books and studies have been devoted to this very topic, and still change is hard. Are we change averse? According to author Luca DellAnna, the problem lies much deeper than that. Our brains are wired at a subconscious level to lie to us about change, and the mechanism to resist is control.
The Control Heuristic, as DellAnna writes, is a simple model for rationalizing the subconscious decision our brains make. By doing so, it ensures we will be as emotionally comfortable as possible at all times.
Come explore this topic with me as I present my findings. Skeptics are welcome, because as I read this book I was one. By discussing control and the reasons we exercise it, I believe we can understand better ways to help teams be more comfortable with change.

Outline/Structure of the Talk

  1. Intro - 5 min.
  2. Good and Bad Habits - 10 min.
  3. How does rationality factor into change? - 10 min.
  4. What is the Control Heuristic? - 150 min.
  5. Control through a new lens - 5 min.
  6. Three steps for change - 10 min.
  7. Putting it into practice. - 10

Learning Outcome

  • Describe science behind control.
  • Quantify happiness and the Control Heuristic.
  • Understand why colleagues use control as a weapon to increase comfort.
  • Put into practice the three steps for subconscious change.
  • Apply the Control Heuristic to Agile Transformations.

Target Audience

Anyone who has struggled to understand why change is hard.


schedule Submitted 3 years ago