The human brain is geared toward pattern recognition and develops criteria and assumptions based on experience. However, when an experience falls outside of expectations, the brain's pattern recognition mechanism goes into overdrive. Once the brain has experienced a shock, it becomes more aware of and open to different ideas and ways to accomplish goals. This is the ideal mindset for a change recipient.
With a focus on making employees receptive to change, APQC's 2015 Process Conference keynote speaker Nick Tasler discussed pitfalls of change initiatives and how to overcome them through three decisions. Tasler is an author, thought leader, management columnist for the Harvard Business Review, and the Strategic Thinking blogger for Psychology Today, as well as a frequent guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business.
This is APQC's overview of that keynote presentation. You may view the slides here.