Organizations that do not offer training in the neuroscience of business (NOB) risk losing ground to their competition. Attention to this topic has grown significantly, according to the Harvard Business Review, which reported that “using applied neuroscience, leaders are able to generate data about critical moments of decision-making, and then use this data to make confident choices to navigate an initiative.” The study reported 76 percent more engagement and 74 percent less stress in those organizations educating their associates in NOB (https://hbr.org/2019/02/neuroscience-is-going-to-change-how-businessesunderstand-their-customers).
In applied neuroscience training, “participants learn how to make better decisions, control their emotional responses, increase sales, develop more effective marketing campaigns, achieve better training results, build leadership competencies, manage unconscious bias, motivate and influence, raise productivity, and increase trust,” explains Cynthia Milani, Global Dynamics, Inc.’s neuroscience expert.
Programs such as “Change Your Brain, Change Your Game” delivered by Professor Milani, cover the science behind neuroscience for non-scientists; the latest findings and applications of neuroscience; and, depending on the audience, how this applies to leadership, sales, training, branding, inclusion, and management skills.
THREAT AND REWARDS
The fundamental premise of NOB is understanding how the brain is wired for threat and rewards. The threat part of the brain developed early in our biological and social evolution. It impedes our ability to make the best business decisions that would result in the rewards we wish to attain. The good news is that there is evidence of continual neuroplasticity—we can rewire our brains to make better decisions by learning techniques to override our emotions with logic.
For example, programs for a sales group discover how neuroscience reveals what consumers really think and pay attention to, and what motivates them. Neuroscience helps sales teams to better understand their clients’ needs, create more effective sales pitches by asking the right questions, make changes in vocabulary, pick up on what their clients are thinking, and adjust the message to each client. The goal is to associate clients’ needs with your product and learn the fundamentals of neuromarketing to better target your products.
Programs on talent development focus on how neuroscience enhances talent identification, improves teamwork, inspires onboarding, and reduces implicit bias. Trainers who study NOB learn how to engage all parts of their participants’ brains to create positive, new thoughts and behavioral patterns.
Understanding neuroscience is critical for leaders, managers, and teams. In a program on “NeuroLeadership,” leaders learn techniques that will enable them to work best with others, build effective teams, overcome bias, and more.
NOB TRAINING CHALLENGES
NOB only really started garnering attention in 2007, when David Rock (co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute) first introduced the expression, “NeuroLeadership.” Many claim to have expertise, so organizations should be wary of trainers who lack significant training in this field. Because of its complexity, trainers who lack in-depth understanding of the brain are condemned to repeat the same popular facts without a real grasp of how the brain works.
In this quickly evolving field, trainers must be prepared to learn something new every day before their clients get ahead of them. Trainers must be prepared for complex and politically charged issues such as gender politics, racism, unconscious bias, and cultural vs. genetic determinism. There is great interest in this field, and organizations are scrambling to get the information out to their employees.
IMPLEMENTING NOB TRAINING
An introduction to neuroscience in business can be as short as one hour, while skill building on this topic can last one or more days, which can be spread over time in a virtual classroom.
Programs certifying trainers in the field of NOB and the brain are offered by universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Wharton. Certification also is offered by teams of practitioners such as Professor Milani.
Topics for certification include:
- Understanding the anatomy of the brain
- A self-awareness or other brain profile
- The unconscious brain and bias
- Building trust across the organization
- Understanding diseases of the brain, neurodiversity spectrums, hormones, and brainwaves
- Becoming a NeuroLeader
- Mind+body+culture basics
- Applications and demonstrated skills in neuroscience for business
Attendees of Professor Milani’s programs report improved confidence, better listening skills, a willingness to empower employees, and decreased stress.
Neuroscience training for business teaches employees to:
- Recognize excellence—top performers.
- Choose the projects they work on and successfully delegate and work more autonomously.
- Share information and visions in town halls.
- Use storytelling and illustrations to stimulate different parts of the brain and increase memorability.
- Intentionally build relationships.
- Understand the importance to set aside personal time and identify locations for creativity.
- Have a sense of mission and higher purpose that increases oxytocin, the hormone for bonding and trust.
Please send any questions for Professor Milani or examples of business applications of neuroscience to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org