More than 20 years ago, the NeuroLeadership Institute began as an insight — a wild hunch that there just might be untapped energy in bringing neuroscience to leadership. In 2007, we held our first summit: 50 people gathered on an Italian mountaintop, united in their excitement about applying brain science to improve human interactions.
Today, 15 years later, the NeuroLeadership Institute has impacted 13 million employees across 500 organizations in 96 countries. By following the science of how the brain works, we’ve achieved extraordinary innovations in talent strategies and driving behavior change across the globe under the motto, “change in weeks, not years.”
Last week, we held our 18th NeuroLeadership Summit. Scientists and business leaders gathered virtually from around the world to explore new concepts, learn new science, and share new insights — and some of the world’s leading companies, including Boeing, Genesys, and Procter and Gamble came forward to talk about how the NeuroLeadership Institute has helped them succeed.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the most exciting insights we learned at the Summit. For now, here are a few highlights.
To succeed, P&G needed a growth mindset
David Taylor, Executive Chairman of the Board of P&G, explained how his team used the science of growth mindset to rejuvenate a 185-year-old company that’s only grown more complex over time. “We switched from being encumbered by the past to being empowered by what’s possible,” Taylor said. By doing so, P&G was able to shift from being in the bottom 25% of their industry to the top 33%. Having a growth mindset also helped them in markets they already dominated. “Before it was ‘Well, we’re already the leader in the category,’” Taylor said. “Now it’s, ‘Let’s grow the category!’”
A culture of safety at Boeing meant prioritizing inclusion
After the tragic 737 MAX crashes, Boeing partnered with NLI to build a solution that helps employees feel safe to speak up—successfully moving the organization from a place of grief, fear, and worry to a place where people feel empowered to be transparent, be humble, and demonstrate care for each other. “Our CHRO has said that Seek Speak & Listen is the most significant culture effort in our company’s history, ” explained Sara Bowen, the company’s Vice President of Global Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – and the company is 106 years old. Bowen also explained how the company used the program as an opportunity to increase inclusion. “If you think about what you try to achieve through inclusion, it’s about caring to hear from each other, listening to other people’s perspectives, and actually valuing those perspectives such that you consider them when making decisions,” Bowen said. “We talk on our team about Seek, Speak & Listen as being a Trojan horse for inclusion.”
There’s an urgent need for cooling conflict
In a world on the brink, one question on everyone’s mind is how to bring down the temperature. When employees are on edge, what can leaders do to turn down the heat and help people perform at their best?
They can use the science of social threat and reward to de-escalate and reduce tensions and aggression. In the presence of social threats, the brain enters a fight-or-flight state that interferes with the ability to think clearly. But this year, NLI has developed a new product,
CALM: The Neuroscience of Deescalation, to help people perform at their best. Like our other solutions, CALM is built around three core habits:
- Label threat intensity
- Interpret the source of conflict
- Defuse the situation
By reducing strong emotions and aggression to a manageable level, these habits allow workers to regain control and return to a place of calm and productivity.
Stay tuned for more highlights from Summit and more insights about how to drive behavior change at scale.