Published September 13, 2013
In her book Smart Tribes, author Christine Comaford uses neuroscience to encourage workers to work smarter and better.
“What we find is that many leaders unintentionally guide their people into what we call the ‘critter state’ – when people are in fight, flight, freeze, frustration, helplessness,” explained Comaford. “We use techniques to help them get into what we call the ‘smart state,’ where all three parts of their brain are fully engaged.”
The idea came to Comaford when she was working as a programmer and began looking at the brain as a piece of hardware.
“I think if we look at operating system compatibility, people communicate well, they get along well. The geeks communicate well with the geeks, but not with the suits. They’re on a different operating system,” Comaford told Fox Business’ Lauren Simonetti on FoxNews.com LIVE. “So how can we understand the human brain and understand what software to add or modify in order to get better performance?”
Comaford has a few simple ways to get employees motivated and into “smart state.”
“For starters, we engage and enroll people by asking questions and giving orders,” said Comaford. “Often leaders will sort of bark out orders … and people just become order receivers.”
Comaford stresses using explicit communication along with creating a culture of accountability.
“We don’t have accountability because we don’t make it central to our culture,” said Comaford. “We don’t create structures and then if people drop accountability, we don’t have consequences.”
Comaford says her method has resulted in tangible, measurable success.
“We find that we get increased revenue, increased profit … really tangible, measurable specific and that’s what we cover in ‘Smart Tribes,’” said Comaford. “We actually have clear ROI [return on investmenet] metrics so we can help the leader realize the tangible benefits of using these techniques.”