The Leaders Engaging Brains

The leaders of today are interested in using the insights from neuroscience to more effectively shape strategy, create a powerful culture and deliver performance that everyone benefits from.

On Tuesday I delivered a keynote to around 200 leaders in Wales. Having been offered a ride on a tractor type machine to take me from the car park to the building where the conference was occurring (which I accepted!) I was really intrigued to see what other characters I’d meet there.

The noticeable thing about leaders is their commitment. The ones I meet and work with are incredibly dedicated people. They are seeking out information that will enable them to serve their followers as effectively as possible.

When we share the fact that neuroscience research has rapidly accelerated over the last 20 years and the knowledge that is being uncovered helps us better understand how humans work – leaders get excited. We now have the opportunity to start guiding our work with a real scientific underpinning, rather than just guess work.

Sometimes neuroscience adds another layer of understanding to what people have previously experienced. For example, another speaker had said that he believes that values are not just the things that organisations should choose. They shouldn’t just be the words people decide are important to the organisation. He suggested that there are some core fundamental ones that people should have. Neuroscience agrees. (Although differs on some of the values).

Organisations that don’t recognise the human component of human nature, of human resources, or of leading humans – are missing a big trick. Or in fact several tricks. Humans are not as logical or rational as most organisations still expect them to behave.

When we teach leadership teams about the different influences on people’s behaviours – even just the external environment and the internal state of their brain – they recognise how the neuroscience tallies up with what they have experienced.


Leaders, like everyone else, are naturally engaged beings. However, often organisations systems can reduce that engagement. A thorough approach, grounded in science, is key to redesigning things to reach their potential.


Do get in touch with us if you would like to start a conversation about how we could work with your leaders.

Check out some tweets from the leadership conference:

Dr Neil Roberts Emma Ackland Kevin Child Luke Young Neil Lewis Theo Joloza

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