To Action: Rainbow Kangaroos & Dopamine

Earlier this week my daughter lifted the blind to my backyard and shouted “Dad, there’s a rainbow!” and then, with even more excitement, “…And a Kangaroo!” The result of which were these fantastic (and very amateur) snaps.

Of course, I promptly shared it around. Friends, family and even with strangers on Reddit. …On which it took off! With almost 1000 ‘upvotes’ as I write – social sharing is a funny thing. I can tell you, my dopamine was peaked checking each time that ‘upvote’ number grew. From 10 to 50 to 300 and now 1000.

We all know how the dopamine reward loop works. Doing something that feels good makes us want to do that thing again. It’s the basis of so many things we do as humans: exercise, social media, chocolate, roller coasters, video games.

Yet – I’m always blown away by how little I see change leaders consciously consider it as a genuine driver of action in an organisational setting. Excitement is as real an emotion as frustration – yet our workplaces seems to accept more of the latter.

So here’s this week’s action:

Find one simple way to add more regular excitement (and correspondingly more dopamine loops) into your change teams.

I subscribe firmly to the notion that professionalism should never preclude fun.