Whole-Brain Leadership

“C-Suite teams that proactively embrace and promote whole-brain approaches in their companies yield better financial outcome than those that don’t.” Striking Balance with Whole-Brain Leadership, Accenture

Brain power is our competitive advantage

Against the contextual backdrop of leaders needing to boost their agility, Bersin research by Deloitte confirms that today’s employees are overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. Flexibility in when, where and how they learn is increasingly important. They want to learn from their peers and managers, as much as from experts, (so using a coaching and mentoring style of leadership is even more critical). And they are taking control over their own development (so enabling them to personalise their own learning is also very important). When it comes to learning especially for experienced employees and leaders the focus should not only be on how, when and where they learn but on how and what they need to unlearn as well in order to create space for the new.

Helping leaders become more flexible in the way they use their brains will support them to become more agile in the way they operate.

Why leaders need to use their whole brain for optimum agility

A new report “Striking Balance with Whole Brain Leadership to achieve competitive agility” from Accenture, cuts to the chase. For leaders to solve complex business problems, quickly and more productively, they need to learn how to use their whole brain.

Change requires leaders to assimilate data quickly (left, analytical hemisphere dominance) whilst simultaneously having the holistic intelligence to tap into the full potential of employees and consumers (right, creative hemisphere dominance). Leaders can learn how to access both sides of their brain simultaneously by learning how to become more neuro-agile and cognitively diverse – the most important skills for 2020 and beyond.

To be fit for the future, leadership needs to be multi-dimensional to address the art and science of business. In today’s business climate, focusing on growth, profitability, sustainability and improving trust, collaboration and innovation are all important.

The Accenture report confirms that 89% of the c-suite have formal training in left-brain directed degrees. 65% of responders report that a right brain skill is their weakest (empathy, self-awareness, coaching and empowering others, creative thinking, creating an inclusive team environment, intuition etc).

Neuro-plasticity of the brain proves we can all change and grow. Many great leadership programmes focus on helping leaders understand the power of mind-set and how to change behaviours. The next step is to help leaders improve the flexibility and agility of their brains as the foundations for future growth as well as expanding their capacity in adaptability, continuous renewal requited every day. Accenture’s research shows that whilst only 8% of respondents use a whole-brain approach today, 82% intend to use a whole-brain approach in the next 3 years. Re-skilling leaders/c-suite members in whole-brain leadership, neuro-agility and transformational leadership will create more possibilities to accelerate change and growth.

Neuro-agility is about the readiness of all senses and brain regions to function as one integrated whole-brain system, being receptive and responsive to bio-chemical impulses at optimum capacity under new, and potentially stressful, conditions.

This means a leader with an agile brain can learn new skills faster and cope with stress better than a person with an unfit brain. Neuro-agility will prepare us for the future and its disruptive changes to out-think, out-learn and out-perform machines.

Find out how you can activate neuro-agility and transformational leadership by contacting executivecoach@beatakalamar.com. You can complete your own Neuro-agility Profile which provides you with invaluable insights to measure and track your performance, flexibility and agility.


Source: Striking Balance with Whole Brain Leadership by Accenture, Bersin research by Deloitte

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