While attending ATD 2016 last month I had the chance to sit in on two sessions facilitated by Dr. André Vermeulen, CEO of Neuro-Link and an expert in the area of neuroscience in the workplace.
He said that if companies want to be better than their competitors, they’re going to have to out-think, out-create and out-learn them, and fostering a culture of learning – applied, behavior-changing learning – is central to doing that.
“Information without application means nothing,” Vermeulen said in a TEDxJohannesburg presentation he delivered in 2014. In the presentation – it runs about 15 minutes – he said the most powerful form of development comes from learning by example, or imitative learning.
Here are some highlights from the video:
- Our brains produce electricity – what’s more, we generate and conduct electricity.
- People can feel the energy you’re emanating just as your subconscious mind registers the energy of people around you.
Essentially, our energy influences other people and ultimately the environments we work in. That energy can either create an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning and productivity, or it can create one that is negative and stress-inducing – causing our brains to release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Vermeulen said these chemicals block electrical transmission, sap our energy and make it hard to think and to learn. When it comes to nurturing a culture of learning, people need to look at their mindsets, and begin making conscious decisions to be constructive and positive – positive even in the face of negativity, he said.
I’m curious what this looks like for learning leaders, particularly as they’re developing their strategies. In what ways are neuroscience principles shaping your efforts to create and promote a culture of learning in your company?
Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.