How can the findings of modern brain research be used for business decisions? Participants of a seminar with Roland Ullrich and Axel Esser (both from HGS Concept) found out by means of a practical example.
Roland Ullrich and Axel Esser of HGS Concept led a two-day seminar, tagged 'Leading with the Brain', for executives of a financial firm which operates nationwide. The agency hereby continues its long-standing training activities in the field of neuroleadership.
Initially the event made the participants familiar with basic principles of cognition and emotion. Afterwards the executives used those new skills during a collegial consultation with regards to a case suggested by the group. A presenter, a member of the group, first described the current situation and the desired objective. The other participants then developed ideas for solutions and the presenter critiqued them. The presenter then decided on which approach he or she would take.
The example: a new, tiered commission system was introduced in the company, the highest level of which could only be achieved by one employee. Although designed as an incentive, such a system could nevertheless cause the exact opposite by generating fear-activating mechanisms. If employees deemed the winning spot to be unattainable, they might react aggressively, back down completely or freeze in fright.
Therefore, the solution proposed by the participants was aimed at a different brain structure: the reward center, which motivates us to repeat a positive experience. By communicating the attractive aspects of all placings, the company's management assured the staff that nobody would come away empty-handed and every effort would be worthwhile.
"The newly acquired background knowledge helped us to avoid cognitive distortions in the collegial case consultation, and to better manage ourselves," summarized the participants. "Even in our daily work, we will benefit from this experience."