This week neuroscientist Amy Brann shares her thoughts in L&D QuestionTime:
In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?
Congruency. This may seem like a strange one. The problem we see time and time again is that L&D work isn’t as effective as it could be due to gaps between what leaders think and do, what the systems of the organisation look like and nudge behaviour towards, and what L&D is offering. So the reality often is that L&D isn’t able to make the huge impact it could because things aren’t lined up well enough to make it possible.
Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?
That’s easy – for us it is always neuroscience. Having just finished my third book sharing the game changing insights from neuroscience specifically for HR and L&D (and important for leaders shaping organisations too) we’ve seen the value time and time again.
What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?
We’re less impressed by excited innovation and more keen on solid strong foundations. I’m not aware of the latest trends so much as the core that underpins a strong organisation. While novelty is really engaging for the brain, unfortunately constant innovation that doesn’t get fully embedded often isn’t as effective as it could be.
What “game changers” would you like to see and why?
I would like to see organisational leaders trained in the basics of how we work, so the neuroscience and behavioural science that underpins a lot of the decisions we make. I believe together we can make organisations places people really enjoy being, and subsequently work more effectively in. Many of the game changing insights we share through keynotes, workshops and by partnering with organisations give different options – you can really shake up the core of the infrastructure, you can polish up one area or just help a group of people do something better. We’d love to see the alignment within organisations improve.
What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2020?
I think more organisations will be on the way to being places where people wake up excited on Monday mornings to be going to and feel fulfilled on Friday afternoons having been. I hope L&D will be fully part of its organisation – so the question may by then be ‘What do we think the world of organisations will look like?’.
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Well I left medical school at 21, bought a bottle of champagne and was feeling excited and nervous about the future. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made so I’d advise myself to relax and enjoy the decade. Do you know what my 41 year old self would advise me today?!?
Since leaving medical school Amy has focused on practically applying the latest research around how the brain and mind work to help people achieve goals that are important to them.
According to the article by Lee, Butler & Senior “The brain in business” states that ‘There is no doubt that application of neuroscientific tools, and more importantly a neuroscienfitic way of thinking, to business problems will have a major impact on the way we understand marketing and business in the near future.’
Amy’s professional goal is to contribute to the fields that bridge the gap between neuroscience and business through collaborative research, case studies, training, writing books and speaking.
The aim of Amy’s book ‘Make Your Brain Work’ published in January 2013 is to support individuals and companies to increase their productivity, efficiency and effectiveness to achieve their objectives.
‘Neuroscience for Coaches’ published in 2014 is designed to equip anyone in a Coaching role to understand a little more of how the brain works specifically in the way they are working with others. We also run a public programme by the same name for people who want to deepen their understanding.
The third book, ‘Engaged: the neuroscience of creating productive people in successful organizations’ was written in response to our work with organizations. It includes bold ideas based on the neuroscientific research.
Specialties: Leadership training, management training, senior leadership facilitation. Keynote speaking. Executive Coaching.