We need leaders more than ever to bring back our humanity into this world. Even if you are not in a leadership position or see yourself as a leader, you can certainly become one.
At the About my Brain Institute, we develop brain-friendly leaders, teams and cultures through transformational experiences, digital tools and practical leadership training.
We propose the notion that leadership capacities can be nurtured by everybody. Long gone are the days when leadership was the responsibility of only a few individuals at the top of an organisation and the brain was a mystery.
Expecting people in leadership positions to solve all the challenges we face in the world today is largely futile. Sharing the load with others and helping people awaken their personal leadership has a higher probability of success when attempting to create the right solutions to the wicked problems of this century.
People are keen to use their thinking and ideas to drive growth and change the status quo. They are also starting to understand that flexibility and brain-friendly environments are critical to support them in this new way of working. After all, our capacity to think and our ideas emerge from our brains, which necessarily demands the wellness of our bodies.
Businesses and governments, with a few exceptions, are still lagging in adapting to this new reality. It is imperative they start applying the mindsets, systems and processes that can attract and retain the talent needed to drive societies towards a more sustainable future.
“We are witnessing a brave new world in the making. In the next 10 to 20 years, we will have to re-design practically every industry on the planet. We need new cities, new mobility, new sustainable energy, a new supply chain infrastructure, food, education and welfare for 9.5 billion people.”
Davos Conference, January 2019
This is why we believe that democratising leadership and developing a new set of abilities based on biology is so critical for business to thrive in the 21st Century. This is the core of the i4 Neuroleader Methodology, a science-based method created in 2013 that aims to develop the human behind the leader.
Our vision is to create a brain-friendly world, one where everybody understands how to improve brain function & wellbeing, and its connection with leadership performance, collaboration, innovation and agility, the 4 key competencies of the Imagination Age.
I invite you to join me in this quest!
Founder & CEO
Being ‘brain-friendly’ means understanding how the brain works and learning to implement practices that can support and optimise its function for better living.
The brain does not work in isolation and it is connected to other major organs in the body such as the heart and the gut. The brain and the body operate together and any strategies.
Being ‘brain-friendly’ is important because when the brain/body system works at its best, people feel more balanced, confident, productive and happier. Living life in an optimal state creates healthier family and work environments and it improves society as a whole.
A brain-friendly leader is someone who understands how the brain performs in an optimal state and is able to create an environment that supports it.
A brain-friendly workplace is an environment that fosters an optimised performance for every brain working within it. This increases engagement, trust, collaboration, productivity and wellbeing.
When people and/or leaders are not conscious of how the brain works best, multiple issues can emerge: increased levels of stress, information overload, poor decision making, resistance to change, disengagement, loss of productivity, staff turnover, bullying, increased sick leave days, lack of trust and team work and limited or no innovation.
Achieving a brain-friendly culture is important because when people realise the impact they can have on other people (or their brains), they can correct the course of their actions, behaviours and decisions, improve the culture and how people feel about it.
The field of leadership development started to change when the term ‘neuroleadership’ was coined in 2007 (D. Rock). Since then, the interest of learning more about this discipline (which is basically learning about the brain and its application in an organisational context) has increased amongst consultants who work in this area.
In light of this transition, a new opportunity arose to build an easy framework that could guide the application of brain science to the development of leaders and cultures. Our research and prototyping started in 2009 when the About my Brain Institute was founded.
In 2013, the i4 Neuroleader™ Model & Methodology was born and the term ‘brain-friendly cultures’ was coined in Silvia Damiano’s book ‘Leadership Is Upside Down: The i4 Neuroleader™ Revolution’ (read our story here).
We can now say that this methodology that helps create brain-friendly leaders, teams and cultures is one of the most cutting-edge, comprehensive and practical leadership development & wellbeing methodologies in the marketplace.
Creating a brain-friendly culture is the 21st Century imperative when it comes to training and retaining the talent of an organisation. This term resembles the popularity of the ‘emotional intelligence’ concept which was at the core of leadership training in the 90’s. As the world changes, leadership practices need to change too. Incorporating the science of brain, mind & body in any leadership offering is the future.
Culture has been defined as “the way things are done around here” (Deal & Kennedy, 2000). If the focus shifted towards understanding how the brain works and what causes certain behaviours, ‘the way things are done’ would also change.
Some examples: Transforming a language that is threatening to the brain to one that is inspiring, providing a quiet space at the office to relax when people feel stressed, creating flexible work practices, encouraging people to exercise, rolling out mindfulness programs, changing the format of performance conversations, etc.
Becoming brain-friendly starts by educating people on the role of their brain and understanding how an unbalanced state can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
The more knowledgeable people are in regards to the strategies they can use to promote brain health, the more resilient and psychologically safe they will feel.
Learning how to be ‘brain-friendly’ can be done in the following ways:
We are on a mission to create a brain-friendly world by providing our human-driven and scalable technological platform to assist corporations and their people to become more balanced, authentic, confident, productive and happier. We do this by building brain-friendly leaders, teams and cultures through transformational experiences, digital tools and practical leadership training.