March 2017 Business SCAN
Cutting-edge research in neuroscience is highlighting the mechanisms underpinning decision-making and corporate performance. Neuroscience is an exciting, expanding field providing valuable insights into how the mind operates. The big question is: What are the practical takeaways for executives and great leaders?
An organisation’s competitive advantage resides in their executive team’s ability to see and create valuable opportunities that the competition can’t perceive. However, breaking the addiction to repeating the formulas for past successes is a difficult undertaking for the brain.
Five practices businesses could immediately institute for improved performance:
Power of inquiry: Enhance individual and organisational awareness by architecting dialogues within organisations to highlight both hidden limitations and untapped opportunities, e.g. “If constraint X were removed, what impact could it have on the turnover?”
Future outcome thinking: Working backwards from the desired business outcomes can reveal a multitude of different pathways to deliver on the business intent.
Perspective taking: Strategically adopting the position that existing and new competitors could take to undermine an organisation’s strategic direction could reveal and highlight flaws and gaps in current logic and approach.
Framing/Storytelling: Altering the context of key change initiatives so that the organisation sees the possibilities as being bigger than the emotional threat. This can motivate employees to think new and do new.
Enhance personal awareness: Identifying those “hot buttons” that set you off and developing practices for self-regulation. This can, for example, be useful in trying to oppose split-second judgements.
Sources: Vyas, V. and Doughty, S. (2017) Hidden Neural Patterns Could Be Limiting Your Performance, IK, Jan 30; Enterprising Oxford, Entrepreneurship 101 (2017) What does it mean to be Entrepreneurial?, Oxford University [Online], Available: http://www.eship.ox.ac.uk/what-does-it-mean-be-entrepreneurial [1 Feb 2017]
Embrace your entrepreneurial mindset and exploit your knowledge to create new opportunities. Consider how you can break from your own patterns of thinking. For example, asses how you process information and identify your own ‘hot buttons’.
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