How Neuroscience Changes Learning at Work #SHRM17

The field of neuroscience for leadership and the workplace is a growing one. Research is connecting past behaviors and experiences to employee engagement, learning and also your ability to adapt to workplace change. That’s a skill we need, because it seems we are moving at a faster pace at ever before.

Episode 117: How Neuroscience Changes Learning at Work with Britt Andreatta (@brittandreatta)



Dr. Britt Andreatta is the CEO of 7th Mind Inc, a TEDx Speaker and a best-selling author who focuses her research, training and consulting on the subject of neuroscience in the workplace. Dr. Andreatta says that neuroscience is the study of the structure or function of the nervous system and brain. New neuropathways are being built in our brains and nervous system every day whether it’s through reading a new book, traveling by car to a new destination or trying your hand at a new physical activity. All these experiences create chemical and neuro reactions, and links to new and old experiences. Dr. Andreatta’s work focuses on workplace neuroscience, specifically in the areas of leadership, learning, change and culture.

Neuroscience research shows that our ability to learn, adapt and change never stops, which I think is important in the context of the workplace. We can learn, grow, adapt and change in all aspects of our life, including our work. This is good news when it comes to workplace changes or the ability of teams to learn how to better collaborate with one another. Dr. Andreatta talks us through some examples of how organizations and employees are adapting using the field of neuroscience as a guide to make it happen.

Managers Are Critical to the Success of Your Business

Dr. Andreatta says that managers need to be held accountable. They are critical to the success of your business and because of that need more resources, training and guidance at their disposal. They are the biggest influence in terms of the individual employee’s success or failure in their role. Their relationships with teams and how they help influence positive or negative change trickles downward.

How Neuroscience Helps With Organizational Change

When it comes to organizational change, Dr. Andreatta says that it is important for organizations and their leader to understand where each employee is on the change journey. She says that leaders who are involved in creating and building new organizational strategies have had time to adjust to the new change while employees often have not been given the time to consider, learn about and adjust to those same changes. This is one of the many situations where workplace neuroscience and leadership can help.

Dr. Andreatta says that there are three categories of people who take part in the workplace change journey. They are 1) expedition designers, 2) guides who are most often managers, and 3) travelers. She says that people throughout the organization will fall into these different categories depending on the change processes taking place and what part of the organization they work in.

As I talked to her during the podcast, my own mind was moving a million miles a minute thinking about how her work, methodologies, and research can help HR and workplace leaders socialize new ideas, collaborate with other business leaders and help drive meaningful and successful change and communication across the organization. I think neuroscience methodologies can be applied to help gain buy-in, build relationships and make strategic change.

The topic of neuroscience in leadership, change and the workplace is a fascinating one and I’m very excited that Britt is investing time not just in the learning community but also in human resources and recruiting. I can see a million ways that her research and methods can be applied. I’m excited to dive into her work and book more. I’ve included a link to her book and her SHRM session information for those who are attending the SHRM Annual Conference in NOLA. I’m looking forward to catching Dr. Andreatta’s session(s) at the 2017 SHRM Annual Conference.

Connect with Britt Andreatta on LinkedIn.

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