Why neuroscience matters in business: Focused attention helps build new habitual pathways
Business is about people and relationships.
Why neuroscience matters is because it is based on hard research, adding science to the ‘soft skills’ human element. Most managers have been trained (through business-schools) to give more weight to research and tend to look at the bottom line before people. Why neuroscience matters is that it appeals to our analytical and rational natures demonstrating the need to pay attention to our people. Most of us struggle to understand our own brains, so learning what drives us and enables us to perform more efficiently is immensely valuable in business. Too much focus on the bottom line can lead to disengaged employees as they feel they do not matter. Managers now have the hard science to support development of our most important asset, our people while developing engagement. Passionate engaged workers translate in to a healthy triple bottom line (people, profits, planet).
We need to produce results, but this is only achieved though the people that make up the organisation.
Key Neuroscience findings:
- Focused attention changes the brain over time creating new habitual pathways.
- Attention is limited, and requires energy, so should be carefully applied.
- Excess stress creates brain noise which can impair our ability to pay quality attention.
- Feeling threatened, a perceived lack of fairness, or a threat to our status can also create brain noise and reduce the ability to pay focussed attention.
- Our brains work best when our minds are quiet, so find ways to reduce brain noise.
In a knowledge economy most of us spend our days thinking, trying to influence other people’s thinking, and attempting to inspire behaviour changes. Neuroscience offers insights that enable us to be more effective in this process.
So why neuroscience matters in business is that it gives us understanding about why certain behaviours work, and others don’t.
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