This article originally appeared in D!gitalist Magazine
Imagine walking into your office, where a hum of brain cells are working together to respond to opportunities, risk, and market demand with flexibility and speed. People in many roles and areas of expertise are not afraid to bring up new ideas for consideration; they collaborate freely and discuss ideas with no threat of conflict. You immediately sense an energy of high engagement and motivation as you walk through the reception door.
Such a workplace culture is a dream that could power newsworthy growth, and it is one of many reasons many executives choose to invest in digital technology. However, according to Dr. Jenny Brockis, an authority in the science of high performance and author of Future Brain: The 12 Keys to Create Your High-Performance Brain, technology adoption is only one piece of a much larger digital transformation puzzle.
During the Americas’ SAP User Group (ASUG) Webcast “Brain Fitness: The 12 Keys to Create Your High-Performance Brain,” Brockis explained, “If we better understand why we think and act the way we do, not only can we help ourselves perform better, but it also allows us to appreciate what might be going on for someone else.”
The connection between brain science and your digital strategy
Digital strategies have become a rigorous exercise of building market leadership and seeking protection from disruptive competitors with digital technology. For some companies, this may mean internal process changes that lead to better customer experiences and lower operational costs. Others may choose to go deeper by adopting new business models and revenue streams.
Meanwhile, the human brain is evolving along with every new innovation. We are more selective about what we learn and remember. It is even changing how we interact with each other and engage in conversation and gather information. The more we adopt and adapt, the more we modify our basic human behaviors and instincts.
Brockis suggests, “The way we used to think doesn’t serve us well anymore. The demands of the modern world requires smarter thinking with a higher level of mental flexibility, agility, and creativity.”
Unfortunately, the challenges of workplace cultures are still holding us back. This includes the problem of time poverty, low levels of employee engagement, siloed mentality, poor communication, and mismatched expectations. Even with the best digital advancements in place, all of these factors create a counterproductive environment that discourages coworkers from pulling together and collaborating effectively to achieve a common goal. In turn, the business is plagued by poor decision-making, more mistakes, limited innovation, and lost competitive edge.
Digital strategies should account for the unique, ever-evolving, highly adaptable brain
Our ability to manage distractions and demonstrate greater flexibility amid so much change is highly relevant in how we perform in a digitally evolving workplace. Underpinning all this is a fit and healthy brain that can work through these common issues and pave the way for creative thinking and high performance.
“The brain is dynamic, constantly changing, and rewiring itself in response to the stimuli that we experience 24×7,” cited Brockis. “This plasticity is available to us across our life span. This means that we are, by nature, lifelong learners – always capable of adapting, always capable of changing. And I think this is a huge relief for many of us to know that yes, we can manage to keep up with the modern world and put in place those structures and strategies that will help us truly move out of survival mode and instead choose to thrive.”
By making brain wellness, in combination with mental and physical well-being, business as usual, executives can help employees fully use their skills and talents. Brockis reports that many companies are beginning to realize that brain-wellness strategies can yield dividends not just in the bottom line, but also in how the workplace culture promotes improved performance.
“We can be very superficial in how we deal with our lives and work,” she noted. “Once people take the time to stop and make sure that they are engaging in enough face-to-face conversations, they maintain the social and emotional intelligence required to not just retain humanity, but also to deepen the conversation and get a gist of what everyone is working on at any one time.”