Brain Science and Management

Our apologies for the long gap in posts.

A persistent theme for us at mercanix is trying to close the gap between what science knows about things like motivation, effectiveness, productivity, communication and teamwork and what enterprises actually do on a day-to-day basis.

To that end, we are constantly reviewing a wide spectrum of research to see how it applies (if at all) to increased performance at work. If there is sufficient, long-term, fact-based, peer-reviewed evidence that the research is credible and could be applied to create better work environments, we look for opportunities to incorporate the science into our solution.

Of course, an important caveat in all this is, "first do no harm." We won't introduce anything into our solution if it poses a threat to disrupting the environment and performance you are already experiencing.

We find the need to be as evidence-based as possible; looking for the facts and proof behind the latest research first. Then we like to reflect and ruminate to see if we, or other reputable sources, can poke holes even in the cases where the evidence is solid. In doing so, we avoid incorporating the latest fad or buzzworthy movement that isn't based on any credible research.

Interestingly, findings from from social, cognitive and affective neuroscience are being used to explain how we are motivated to minimize threats and maximize rewards which manifests itself in a number of ways.




David Rock has compiled some interesting research and created what he calls the SCARF model for collaborating with and influencing others.

S - Status
C - Certainty
A - Autonomy
R - Relatedness
F - Fairness

"While the five domains of SCARF reflect core brain networks of greatest significance when it comes to collaborating with and influencing others, understanding these drivers can help individuals and organizations to function more effectively, reducing conflicts that occur so easily amongst people, and increasing the amount of time people spend in the approach state, a concept synonymous with good performance."

As Rock says, the SCARF model points to more creative ways of motivating that may not just be cheaper, but also stronger and more sustainable. Have a look at his work at the NeuroLeadership Institute.

This is exactly the kind of thing we like to keep our eye on to see if the facts line up with what the research suggests. We'll keep you posted on this one.



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