Organizational Neuroscience: Taking Organizational Theory Inside the Neural Black Box is both the most significant and also most complex article I’ve read this month. Its a survey of key findings from the realm of neuroscience that the authors feel will be relevant to “Organizational Researchers”. Unfortunately being a research paper I find the language very stilted but it was still worth the effort.
- Implicit Attitudes: attitudes we hold that we’re not aware of – sometimes ones that are in contradiction to our explicit attitudes. Furthermore Strong Implicit attitudes are quick formed and once formed are hard to change. I’m guessing that these are part of why effective organizational change is so hard.
- Unfairness – being treated unfairly will often provoke a emotional reactions that trump monetary/economic self interest.
- Empathy with respect to fairness – when we see others experiencing pain we feel an echo of the pain ourselves. When it comes to unfairness we take a personal interest in the treatment of others.
- In many cases rationalization is an afterthought our brain uses to explain how it reached a conclusion. In reality our brains perceive a much smaller amount than we think we do. As a result we interpolate.
There has been a lot of talk about 10,000 hours of practice being what it takes to become an “expert”. This has always seemed little odd to me. A recent paper by Dr. David Z. Hambrick of Michigan State University and Dr. Elizabeth J. Meinz of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville suggest that its more complex – Practice is important predicting up to half of the differences in performance on music sight reading tasks. Yet other factors including working memory also had a noticeable effect. So Expertise is more than just 10,000 hours of practice. See: Experts Say Genes, Not Practice Make for Greatness and Study of the Day: What Really Separates The Good From Great.
Internal Coaching: “Its What We Do Around Here” makes the case for the benefits of long term internal coaching helping IAG (Insurance Australia Group) improve employee retention and employee engagement. An interesting article however its a bit difficult to drill down and find out precisely how many/which studies are being referenced here.
This is part of an ongoing series I refer to as Neuro Agile – which is my attempt to find ideas from the world of neuroscience that are applicable to world of software development.