Thoughts

7th March 2014

Expectation shapes reality?

As often seems to be the case we had a really great meeting this week – on Monday morning no less – that was characterised by lots of enthusiasm, positivity and creativity.  In my mind these three elements are interconnected with positivity possibly being first amongst equals.  The power of positivity is well documented; be it from John Gottman and his remarkable work on marital stability and relationship analysis; or from Barbara Fredrickson and her Positivity Ratio.  At this meeting there was a very positive atmosphere that led to some great ideas emerging which in turn almost seemed to create a virtuous […]
25th March 2014

TED @ NPR – a great leadership resource

Most people are well aware of TED and the great resource it is for ‘fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions and new ways to think and create’.  A less well known aspect of TED, I believe, is the collaboration with NPR and the TED Radio Hour podcasts.  These are 1 hour podcasts released every Friday which typically have four or five contributions that are bound to get you thinking.  Great listening to help pass a journey. NPR  
1st April 2014

fMRI validity – today’s thinking on this topic

Many people have questioned the validity of inferences drawn from fMRI studies and this very timely article, published here today helps shed some light on the topic.   The article states that: A new study has raised new questions about how MRI scanners work in the quest to understand the brain. The research, led by Professor Brian Trecox and a team of international researchers, used a brand new technique to assess fluctuations in the performance of brain scanners as they were being used during a series of basic experiments. The results are due to appear in the Journal of Knowledge in […]
15th April 2014

Leadership; but not as we know it

Although it is 4 years old now, this TED talk by Derek Sivers is still great value for getting people to discuss  leadership, change and the importance of bringing people with you.  It also lends itself to really rich neuroscience conversations about self-directed neuroplasticity, emotion and positivity to name but a few.  
25th April 2014

Five neuroscience findings that all leaders and managers should be aware of

 The brain is no longer a ‘black box’ as, thanks to the advances in neural measurement and imaging, we now have a much greater insight and understanding into how it works and the associated strengths and limitations.  Aspects of the brain that are particularly relevant to the world of work include: how the brain processes change, its’ emotional and social elements, how creativity, innovation and insight occur, and how to develop the brains stamina and resilience.  To be effective in the workplace leaders and managers should be aware of these points and how to work with them   1.   Neuroplasticity […]
18th July 2014

Yet another article about mindfulness….:-/

Neuroscience is still very much ‘du jour’ but even more ‘en-vogue’ at the moment is mindfulness which certainly seems to be having an extended 15 minutes in the mainstream spotlight.  A random selection of recent articles includes: Should we be mindful of mindfulness? (The Guardian) Who, What, Why: What is mindfulness? (BBC) ‘Mindfulness’ therapy adopted by stressed Britons (The Telegraph) And you must surely know you have arrived when there is an All Party Parliamentary Group set up in your honour?  The APPG is closely connected with theMindfulness Initiative (a collaboration of the Mindfulness Centres at Oxford, Exeter and Bangor […]
12th August 2014

CIPD Annual Conference, Manchester, November 5th and 6th

  The CIPD Annual Conference is being held in Manchester on November 5th and 6th and we will be presenting at it on both days.  On the 5the we will co-deliver a session at the exhibition that will highlight the CIPDs new report (due for publication in late October) on the application of neuroscience in the real world.  The research is intended to cut through the ‘neuro-hype’ and showcase where neuroscience can make a genuine difference, and add real value for individuals and organisations.  The report should shed some welcome, objective light on this area.  On the 6th we are […]
23rd September 2014

Warwick Business School Knowledge and Innovation Network

We recently attended an excellent session of the Warwick Business School Knowledge and Innovation Network where we heard some great accounts of how organisations are using technology to help join-up and share information.  The value of networking groups can vary to say the least but this is one is definitely a valuable resource for organisations looking to enhance their knowledge management and innovation capabilities.  We spoke about how neuroscience can inform our approach to individual and organisational learning and in particular how we can design Knowledge Management Systems to help make them more ‘brain-friendly’.
16th February 2015

Smarter people use drugs?

A good in-depth article here about the questions and challenges we will have to face in the light of the increased availability and use of cognitive enhancers. Although caffeine and nicotine have been used to boost performance for a long time the latest incarnation of ‘smart drugs’- typically in the form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) prescription medicines such as Modafinil, Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine – is surfacing as an issue within Universities and it is only a matter of time before this becomes a workplace issue that organisations will need to address. When the evidence shows that taking […]
23rd April 2015

Speaking dates

Speaking season seems to be upon us again and there are a number of upcoming events where we will be speaking or running workshops. These include: • The NeuroBusiness 2015 Conference Wednesday, June 2015 at The Renold Building, Manchester University where we will deliver a sessin on ‘How the brain informs the design and delivery of change plans’ • The Knowledge and Innovation Network (KIN) Summer 2015 Members’ Workshop in Streatley on Thames where we will be discussing ‘The Neuroscience of how the brain works and what this means for how we create, store & retrieve ‘knowledge’ • The CIPD […]
7th May 2015

Email just isn’t working anymore

The fact that email is slowly strangling lots of workplaces was recognised again recently when Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University and former adviser for the Government Office for Science about mental health in the workplace spoke at the recent British Psychological Society annual conference.  Sir Carey said that rampant email checking is damaging the mental wellbeing of employees, and in doing so slows them down and damages UK productivity.  This recognition that email may now be doing more harm than good is not a new one, but what still seems to be lacking […]
10th June 2015

Neuroscience and coaching

Who knows if neuroscience will turn out to be the fifth revolution (along with Copernicus, Darwin, Freud and the discovery of DNA) as suggested by Ramachandran but there is already plenty of evidence that it will have significant implications for many aspects of society from Social Policy, to Defence and Security and the Criminal Justice System. In the domains of Organisation Development and Learning and Development there are undoubtedly practical, valuable changes that we can make to current practices in the light of our greater understanding of the brain’s processes, strengths and limitations. However, one area that may not change […]