For this we are reliant upon the science

It’s firstly important to know who you can trust when it comes to applying neuroscience. Much of the science is inaccessible to most of us, hidden in research papers that few of us read. On our own we certainly cannot interpret the images from studies or understand how these translate into behaviour. For this we are reliant upon the science being interpreted and presented in a way that the ‘average’ person understands – or at least a way that leadership understands.Even then there are dangers of the message getting ‘lost in translation’. So in order for neuroscience to be applied meaningfully in our organizations, we need specialists who understand the science, are able to identify what it means in terms of our organizations, can communicate information clearly, and can help implement the ideas on the ground to ensure that they have been properly understood.Such authorities are few and far between, but they are out there.Below I highlight a few areas where the findings from neuroscience have already started to have a positive impact on the way organizations operate.

Leadership and teamwork

Getting the best out of our people requires leading them well. That, in turn, requires leaders who understand their people’s needs, motivations, and goals. Neuroscience is helping to shed light on some of these areas so that leaders can understand the team environment, team dynamics and the needs of individuals within those teams better. Not only does this make meetings more productive, conflict less likely and creative solutions to problems more likely, but it can be the catalyst to drive change across entire teams, departments and organizations.


Neuroscience is also helping us understand how people make decisions. There are two distinct thinking systems: a primitive system in the emotional brain and a more rational, higher thinking system. Both are needed at different times, and being able to recognise when they are needed is one of the keys to successful decision-making. If we are aware of our own thinking processes – and the limitations of these – we are more likely to be able to improve decision making. Improved decisions mean better outcomes; and better outcomes mean better organizations.