Our brains, the processors on which we depend, developed in the Stone Age. For 150 - 300,000 generations our ancestors lived (or not) by cooperative exchanges. Over those 3 – 6 million years, larger brains and increasingly complex tools, language, and social systems evolved.

With hindsight we can see that journey, but our forebears saw little technological or economic change in their lifetimes. They knew their entire ecosystems well by puberty. After that, the living system didn’t benefit from energy allocated to employing new information. The adult brain evolved to use what it already ‘knows’.

In the last 10 generations, the speed of innovation is such that we have little visibility to what will be required of us in coming years. Our brains are not naturally suited to Business Agility: calling on us to employ new information and generate new value as the marketplace gallops along.

We can create the environments that cultivate plasticity and build ongoing skills and practices when we understand what we're working with. Several examples we’ll discuss are based on a multi-disciplinary cocktail (Social Neuroscience, Game Theory, Philosophy of Language, Ecosystem thinking) I’ve employed to help leaders move beyond what they know.

Business Agility is an infinite game: it’s never done. Such games are not won; they just keep going. We play as finite creatures in an infinite game. The best of us invest in steadily expanding our abilities to engage each others' wisdom and experience. A bit of NeuroPhysiology helps.


Outline/Structure of the Keynote

We're working with processors developed in the Stone Age

How brain physiology challenges Busness Agility, and how to optimize the required skills and practices

Stories from the trenches with big and small businesses

How and why they worked

Brief review of factors that enable/disable systemic Agility

Learning Outcome

Attendees will leave the session with new distinctions about what's required to spark and sustain systemic Business Agility, and what gets in the way.

These bits of NeuroScience will help leaders, coaches, and consultants understand what the brain requires to leverage new information in the face of modern stresses for which it is not naturally suited.

Target Audience

Leaders, coaches, learners

Prerequisites for Attendees

Attendees may want to read this whitepaper Agileā“ ≠ Business Agility and this article.

schedule Submitted 3 years ago