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psychology of change

Psychology of change.

your key to successful change management

1 day  I  Incompany Training of Virtual Learning Journey

Why Psychology of change?

Our context is changing faster than ever before. As they say: "the only thing constant is change". 

At the same time, the figures are stark: about 70% of all change projects fail. Framed differently: about 30% are successful. How do we ensure that our change trajectory is among these successful 30%?

The answer is, you can significantly increase the success rate of your change trajectory by using brain and behavioural insights.

Because let's face it, change is hard! And so it is both predictable and normal for our brain to go into resistance. Luckily, when something is predictable, you can learn to anticipate it. That is what this course on "the psychology of change" can help you with.

Dan & Chip Heath use the metaphor of the Rider, the Elephant and the Path.*

  • The Rider (= our rational thinking) is convinced that he is in fact in control, leading the way. However, it doesn't matter how hard a change manager is directing the rider. As long as this huge animal below, the Elephant (= our emotional thinking) doesn't move, nothing will happen.
  • This is why any successful change project will not only "direct the driver", but also "motivate the elephant".
  • Finally, as a change manager, you can shape the context (= or "shape the path") in such a way that both the Rider and Elephant experience less obstacles going into the desired direction. 

By proceeding in this way, i.e. incorporating both rational as well as emotional thinking and by explicitly shaping the context, change managers can preserve our employees' willpower (which is finite). So that it can be used where it is needed most: in forming new habits for behaviour change.  is not needlessly lost, but is used where and when we need it most: for adjusting one's own behaviour and forming new habits.

* Heath & Heath “Switch. How to change things when change is hard”


Type: Possible as

In-company training

1 day, in your organisation

Virtual Learning Journey

2 half days (each 3 hours), via Zoom

max. 12 participants

Dates open training

no dates at present

Prefer to contact us by phone? No problem. Simply fill in your details below or call us at +32 494 75 10 62.


Your results

At the end of this training:

  • you will understand how our brain responds to change and how to take this into account

  • you will know the main pitfalls of change processes and how to avoid them

  • you will understand the SWITCH model for behaviour change and be able to apply it to your own cases

  • you will have developed an initial action plan to apply the SWITCH model in your own work context


Block 1: Change and the brain

  • How does our brain work? System-1 and system-2 thinking.

  • Why our brain often perceives change as a threat.

Block 2: The pitfalls of change processes

Change managers tend to:

  • put excessive focus on rational, analytical thinking of employees (system-2 thinking)

  • overly rely on motivation and willpower

  • neglect how change impacts on our brain and fail to adapt their methodology to take this into account

Block 3: Successful change. Apply the SWITCH model

The metaphor of the Rider (rational thinking), the Elephant (emotional thinking) and the Path (context).

  1. Direct the rider. What appears to be resistance is often instead a lack of clarity

  2. Motivate the Elephant. What appears to be laziness is often instead exhaustion.

  3. Shape the Path. What appears to be a problem of the person is often instead a problem of the situation.

Block 4: Your own cases and action plan

  • We will work on your own cases, in small groups

  • Personal action plan: How will you translate what you have learned into your own practice?


"Very fun and interesting workshop! Clear explanation and a really nice trainer.


Sara Moors,Communication Manager, Uitmuntend Limburg

"A really useful workshop. What I liked most about it was that the workshop was tailor-made to fit our needs.

Because we were working on our own cases, I got to apply the new tools and techniques in a very hands-on way. I can now take these tools and insights back home with me."

Andrea Dohle,Communication Correspondent,

Enterprise Europe Network Germany