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Brain-Based Proof That You're More Effective Working at Home

Season 3, Ep. 5

Over the past 5 years we’ve been tracking how our clients, executives in senior leadership, sales, marketing, finance, operations, improve performance in three key areas by working from home .5 to 2 days per week.

The results are surprising.

1-Make Better Decisions—Faster

40 = the number of hours per week that companies expect people to be strong decision-makers

3-5 = the actual number of peak decision-making hours that people report

You make better decisions when you have a chance to reflect on all aspects of what needs to be considered—and not when you have the proverbial gun to your head. As we know from meta programs (see the Show Notes for more on this topic, they are essentially the lens through which a person experiences the world), if you’re on the reflective end of the Active (take fast action)-Reflective (consider, ponder, analyze THEN decide) continuum, this is even more crucial. When you are insulated from interruptions and can control your environment you make better decisions, because your brain experiences less stress.

Speaking of stress, let’s consider the massive amount of uncertainty that exists in today’s workplace. Thanks to Harvard Medical School research we now know that 75% of people in uncertain scenarios will make decisions based on fearful assumptions—they are expecting something bad to happen. The result is decisions that are risk-mitigation and pain avoiding, with little or no strategic vision in mind. Vision isn’t possible because fear shuts down the prefrontal cortex, so we have no access to our innovative, problem solving, planning parts of our brain.

Client result:

●    300% increase in hours of peak decision-making time each week- based on training their brain in managing their emotional state.

2-Design Better Strategies and Solutions--Faster

10% share of people who do their best thinking at work

39% share of people who do their best thinking at home

In the relentless pursuit to be strategic, extract and demonstrate value, and provide optimal solutions all the time, the workplace is a continuous pressure cooker. This means the brain is often in fear and disaster prevention instead of in analysis and designing the outcomes we want. What happens on our best day? How did Einstein form strategies and solutions? When asked how he created his theory of relativity he said first he felt it, then he saw it, then he could articulate it. He let his mind wander, have visions, form connections, then he formulated the visions into something he could tangibly communicate.

Einstein also said “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of coming attractions.” We need to engage the emotional brain by seeing, hearing, feeling ourselves standing in the future when the strategy is being executed. How is it going? How are people feeling? Are they embracing it? What’s working? What’s not? Now take this learning and ask yourself what you need to adjust right now, before you lock in and launch the strategy.

As leaders the more we balance the logical (prefrontal cortex) planning part of the brain with the emotional (mammalian) area of the brain the more effective our strategies will be.

Client result:

●    200-400% increase in the quality of strategies - by giving their brains space to feel into the future before a strategy is deployed.

●    73-97% increase in ability to influence outcomes/others – due to more time to thoughtfully craft communications.

3-Increase Focus and Have More New Ideas

Ever had the feeling that something isn’t quite right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? That’s the intuitive part of our brain, the insula, at work. This is why we often have great ideas when on vacation, or when shooting hoops or hiking in nature. Our brain is wandering, forming connections, resolving incongruencies, testing out theories. Working from home enables more vision time. Many of our most successful clients allocate one half to one full day per week (Fridays are best) for Vision Time. This is where they let their brains wander, and countless new products, strategies, alliances have resulted.

Our clients that allow Vision Time or even Vision Retreats (solo time in nature for a weekend) consistently crank out market-leading products, ideas competitors haven’t had, and innovative approaches to leverage assets and efficiencies. Give your brain a break and see the great insights that come from it.

Client results:

●    300-500% increase in innovation across the company when they first followed this process themselves, then taught their teams.

●    20-47% weekly increase in time on high value activities – due to reduced distractions and drama of the workplace

So working at home makes us faster and better!


Harvard Medical School Research: https://hbr.org/2013/09/nice-or-tough-what-engages-emp


Meta Programs blog https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2013/06/26/how-to-influence-anyone-any-time-anywhere-4-subconscious-secrets/#109a5cb61ec8

Make Your Team Smarter Overnight - 5 Brain-based tools: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2014/01/06/make-your-team-smarter-overnight-5-brain-based-tools-in-pictures-infographics/#4aa8350e460a




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2/16/2021

Resistance is Necessary for Optimal Organizations

Season 3, Ep. 14
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2/9/2021

Why Your Team Doesn't Care

Season 3, Ep. 13
Why Your Team Doesn’t Care: The 4 Ways You’re Crushing Your CultureAre your team members highly accountable?Do they have a “Thank God It’s Monday” attitude?Do they take tons of initiative?If not, you’ve likely gotCrushed Culture.It’s a disease. And it’s going to become an epidemic if we don’t do something about it. Evidence: three companies I used to love now haveCrushed Culture: Lenscrafters, Hilton hotels, and evenat times(gasp) JetBlue.It’s spreading.According to the recent Gallup poll on employee engagement:“Seventy-one percent of American workers are ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’ in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. This trend remained relatively stable throughout 2011.”What?This trend has remained relatively stable.Wow.Does this concern you?A lot?And don’t thinkCrushed Culturesymptoms are in the rank and file alone.“Our team is full of order takers.”“Why do we have so little accountability around here?”“We’re going through a lot of change. Why don’t our people embrace it?”These are but a few of the most common complaints and concerns I often hear from the C Suite. And I’ve been listening for a long time—almost 30 years. Employee disengagement, orCrushed Culture, has spread to the C Suite too.Four Steps to CureCrushed Culture:Step1: Emotional Equityis greater thanFinancial Equity.We all know what financial equity is—money—stock, comp packages, golden handcuffs. All the things we think will make people loyal to a company and keep them engaged. But this no longer works, as Gallup proves, and especially with Millennials. Nope, they, like the rest of us, want to feel like we’re part of something bigger, like we’re on a glorious mission, like our work matters, like we’ll leave the world just a little better than we found it, and we want to achieve that (in part) during our work hours.Here’s the formula:Put energy into someone by explaining why your company is doing what it is doing, what your mission,vision, andvaluesreallymean, mentor them, talk challenges out with them, pay attention to them and you’ll start to build emotional equity. That equity will now give you access to their heart, mind, Rolodex, idle thought cycles. Now they’re thinking about how to help the company innovate better, solve a specific problem, etc. as they shower and commute and whatever. That access to a person’s additional resources will enable you to influence outcomes more effectively. Now you have a shared cause, you’re on the same team, you’re safe and you belong together.It’s emotional.Step2:StopTheWhining.The C suite, management, staff, everyone needs to get off what I call the Tension Triangle. This is where people bounce from victim to rescuer to persecutor. Stephen Karpman, MD, first created this as theDreaded Drama Triangleor DDT. The DDT is comprised of three roles: Victim (the role where someone is “doing” something to them),Rescuer (who tries to remove the Victim’s suffering, often without being asked), and Persecutor (which the Victim blames for their suffering, yet the Persecutor is often feeling victimized too).David Emeraldhas extended this triangle, and I have extended it further. The net-net is Victims are complaining because they want something—so we help them shift to be an Outcome Creator. The Rescuer is just trying to end the suffering, so we help them become an Insight Creator by asking the right questions so the Victim can get what they need by themselves. The Persecutor is usually frustrated by trying to make things happen, so we help them become an Action Creator. Once everyone is trained in shifting their most prevalent role to a healthy alternative,the whining ends. Nowthat’s empowerment.Victim becomes Outcome CreatorRescuer becomes Insight CreatorPersecutor becomes Action CreatorStep3: Invest ONLY for ROI.Training your team is expensive. So only do what matters. Every person in your company needs to be trained in Problem to Outcome(to stop the Whining),LeadershipEffectiveness (so they become leaders in their own right), Influencing Outcomes and Others, Accountability,Communication, andExecution. Allthesebe neuroscience-based to get far more bang for your buck.This training willcost you about$750-1,000 per person. 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