Last week we spoke at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE), or, to be more precise we spoke at it twice: firstly at an ‘Ideas Exchange’ session in the Exhibition and then at a Conference workshop. Our Ideas Exchange session was called ‘Neuroscience at work – from interesting to useful’ and in it we give a very brief account of four client case studies where we have explicitly used latest neuroscience findings to help bring about change. The case studies covered: a major change programme, stakeholder engagement, coaching, and L&D curriculum redesign. The neuroscience we referred to was: neuroplasticity, the change-averse nature of the brain and the finite capacity of the pre-frontal cortex for executive operations. In contrast to our preferred facilitative mode this was primarily a ‘broadcast session’ but one of our few pieces of audience interaction was a ‘show of hands’ of how many people were familiar with the term ‘neuroplasticity’. We were very surprised that out of the 100+ people in attendance fewer than a dozen or so raised their hands. Maybe others were afraid that we would test them on their knowledge 🙂
The Workshop session (An introduction to the neuroscience of leadership) was much more in keeping with our preferred approach i.e. lots of activity to help participants ‘join the dots’ for themselves. We had our EEG kit with us (see below)
which is a fun way of helping people to look inside the ‘black box’ and realise that there are real, physiological processes taking place that they can take deliberate control of. The session was really enjoyable and the feedback was that as well as giving participant’s plenty to think about, we had given them some ideas of how to take neuroscience in to the leadership arena in a practical and credible way.
Overall the two sessions seemed to go well and we are delighted to have been invited to present at the CIPD Learning & Development show in April 2014. Maybe we will see you there 🙂