In this blog, Deborah Hulme discusses insights from our colleagues in the neuroscience community and how the brain is revealing the secrets of sustainable behavioural change, performance, motivation, and engagement.
COMBINING KNOWLEDGE OF BRAIN FUNCTION WITH BUSINESS INSIGHT HELPS TO SHIFT THE DIAL ON PERFORMANCE, MOTIVATION AND ENGAGEMENT
By understanding more about how the brain functions, synthesising this with what we know in business and applying the learning at individual, team and organisational level we can really start to understand the secret of sustainable behavioural change and move the dial on performance, motivation and engagement.
What we think we know about behaviour and what it is to be human is constantly evolving thanks to neuroscience. Knowledge of the brain, how it functions and how that influences behaviour is something that I find personally enlightening and, for someone who works in the space of culture and engagement, both invaluable and exciting.
DESPITE HIGH LEVELS OF INVESTMENT, LONG-TERM SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE WITHIN BUSINESS CONTINUES TO ELUDE MANY OF US
In business we have struggled with improving employee engagement and motivation for years, not to mention embedding strong vision, values and culture. Collectively we have invested many different combinations of money, time, processes and effort and yes, we have improved what we do, however, the results, as evidenced by numerous surveys, are really not that great. Long-term sustainable behaviour change within business continues to elude many of us.
LEADERSHIP CONTINUES TO SHAPE ITSELF AND TRADITIONAL STRUCTURES ARE UNLIKELY TO WORK IN FUTURE
On top, leadership is still a contested concept. No-one can really define it. It continues to change in shape and texture dependent on the given situation at any point in time. What we do know is that traditional hierarchical power structures are unlikely to work in future.
We live in an age of collaboration, relationship and network where agility, flexibility and self-awareness matter and can make the difference between success and failure. Understanding at least the basics of how behaviour originates in the brain and the role and regulation of emotion in the workplace (and in life) is essential if one is to be effective, and indeed thrive, in our modern world.
SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE BECOMES POSSIBLE WHEN WE UNDERSTAND HOW THE BRAIN RESPONDS TO UNCERTAINTY
For the past several years I have immersed myself in the science of the brain, studying the findings from our colleagues in the neuroscience community to us here in business. I am not and will never claim to be a neuroscientist. However, I do understand the principles of neuroleadership and can learn from the detailed research and apply the findings and insights to what we do day-to-day.
By understanding more about how the brain functions, how it responds to change and uncertainty and synthesising this with what we know about managing change within business, we can start to apply the learning at individual, team and organisational level. Right before our eyes, the brain is revealing the secrets of sustainable behavioural change. Building our knowledge enables us to pre-empt responses amongst our teams and plan our change, engagement and communication strategies accordingly.
It is this depth of understanding of human behaviour which allows us to really start to understand the secret of sustainable behavioural change and move the dial on performance, motivation and engagement.
GOOGLE’S SLEEP PODS ARE NOT JUST FUNKY NICE-TO-HAVES
Google lead the field in this area, they regularly bring in the top neuroscientists to inform what they do and invest in many brain friendly activities. Their sleep pods are not just ‘funky nice to haves’. They exist for very solid wellbeing, business and performance reasons.
Neuroscience is shining a light on the importance of emotion and emotional regulation, the hidden impact of stress on individual and organisational performance, the importance of cognitive strength, self-awareness and self-control and the way we can build and sustain trust over the long term. All things essential to organisational health and wellbeing as much as personal health and wellbeing.
Slowly but surely, the brain is revealing the secrets of sustainable behavioural change. It is very exciting and offers many opportunities for positive and sustainable change and growth at an individual, team and organisational level.
Is it worth the time to understand a little more about neuroscience and its application to business change? Simply, yes. The payback is huge.
Deborah Hulme, Neuroleadership, Engagement and Communication Practitioner, Minerva Engagement
All of the learning programmes we offer are informed by neuroscience and grounded in real life, with easily applied practical examples and insights.
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