Changing Minds By Howard Gardner

Satisfactory Essays
Changing Minds

From Principle to Practice

Caron Van Stroe


In today’s ever changing world it is important that both organisations and its people are able to change and adapt to meet the needs of its consumers. As leaders, we need to create ways to shift a person’s mental representations to create changes in behaviours and thoughts. “Changing Minds” by Howard Gardner discusses three factors of mind change, the four entities, the six arena and the seven levers. This paper will identify the key messages within the book and provide examples of how Gardner’s seven levers can be used in real life situations.

The world today is one of constant and rapid change. Organisations need to be able to quickly adapt and change to meet the needs of its consumers and the environment. In order for organisations to change, the people within the organisation need to change. This involves identifying ways to replace one frame of mind with another in order to create a change in behaviour. Howard Gardner’s book “Changing Minds. The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds” (Gardner, 2006) explores techniques and principles which can be used to facilitate successful change. This paper will review the key messages as well as provide examples the seven levers used in real life situation.

Gardner (2006) suggests that changing minds requires three elements; mental contents, the arena and the use of levers. Changing minds involve altering a person’s mental contents not only by spreading the ideas of change through stories but providing the theoretical basis for the change, the key concepts of the change and ensure the skills needed to implement the change are supported and developed. The second element talks about...

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... way of providing care and struggle to understand that there are better ways of doing it. When ask why they do something a particular way, the common response is “because that is how we have always done it”. Alternately, when a change has been attempted, we are constantly faced with “oh we have done that before and it didn’t work” which tells us that the intended change is destined to fail. Perhaps when attempting to implement change with this group of people we could get but in from them, to minimise this resistance.

It is believed that mind change is a result of slow almost unidentifiable shift in view point. A key to changing minds is to produce this shift in a person’s mental representations. To inspire change in others, you must present the idea with enough frequency and variety that they will understand it, remember it and most importantly, embrace it.
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