Creating Brain Friendly Culture with Leaders for What’s Next

Amrop continuously expands the portfolio of its Leadership Consulting Services and brings the most up-to-date and edge services.

(Source: Amrop)

Two years ago, Amrop added to its portfolio of leadership services the Talent Dynamics programme – a business development pathway for accelerating trust and flow. It complements the existing portfolio of services in the form of Context Driven Leadership Assessment, Executive Coaching and Organisational Consulting. Amrop is known for integrating the latest findings in cognitive social neuroscience into the leadership field to reflect what science can tell us about how to improve the performance of a leader, and therefore we are happy to bring another exceptional programme, i4 Neuroleader developed by Silvia Damiano, Leadership Expert and Founder&CEO of The About my Brain Institute.

Entering Imagination Age

The truth is that the economic landscape and work environments have changed and become more complex than we ever imagined. The new model of leadership is developed for our organisations faced with the challenges of the VUCA WORLD – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. After the Industrial Age followed by the Information Age, we are now moving into a new era that we call an Imagination Age. And this has a tremendous effect on leaders and the qualities they must have to succeed in the changing world.

(Source: Amrop)

Existing leadership models have not kept up with these changes, thus the need to adopt a renewed perspective on leadership. The i4 Neuroleader Model proposes a novel approach to leadership and a more cost-effective way to reawaken the leadership powers within us, by first identifying our inner abilities and then learning how to use them more effectively.

The i4 Neuroleader Model

The i4 Neuroleader Model is named after four of its pillars: Integration, Inspiration, Imagination and Intuition – it equips leaders with the challenge that leadership development must be more than the cognitive behavioral changes that we have been teaching for generations. We must also learn about the biological processes of our brain, our gut, our heart and the way we integrate our minds with the health of our bodies. By doing so, we can perform more effectively, collaborate with others instead of achieving by ourselves, innovate and execute with an agility never pondered by our Sigma Six/Kaizen/Lean project manager, argues Katharine McLennan, Chief Talent Officer at The About my Brain Institute.

The i4 Model is a personal leadership model based on neurobiology and made up of four key organisational competencies and sixteen underpinning pillars. The model takes into account brain and body processes that have been relegated and in many cases forgotten when it comes to leadership and management practices. The model shows how a leader can develop their mental fitness to Perform, create the Collaboration framework to get the best from constantly changing groups, spark the Innovation required to determine where growth can occur and encourage the Agility to weave strategy and implementation together in interacting experiments of learning.

The world has evolved and the secret to developing 'great leadership' is now within our reach. No matter who we are, i4 will help us discover how others perceive us so we can expand our potential. The i4 Neuroleader Model is a simple and easy framework that was created for people who want to enhance their self-awareness and develop themselves as both individuals and leaders in order to adapt to our changing world.

In our view, the elements of this model are essential for anyone who wants to meet the challenging demands of the new era of work and lead successfully in the 21st Century.

(Source: Amrop)

Creating Brain Friendly Culture

For many years, the focus of how to change the culture of an organisation has been about reshaping people’s behaviors so that the organisation could transform. Now, with the emergence of brain science, there is enough evidence to suggest that the brain has a lot more to do with reshaping behaviors that we may have originally thought. For example, when the brain is stressed or under pressure, it simply can’t perform to its full potential, no matter how much we try.

On the other hand, given the right conditions, the brain is able to do some incredible things, sometimes beyond what we believe is possible. Once we understand how the brain works in its optimal state, then we can start looking at behaviors and ‘culture’ through different lenses.

A brain-friendly organisation could then be defined as an organisation that aims to improve the performance of all the brains working within it, in order to increase business productivity and employees’ well-being and engagement.

To create a brain-friendly organisation, we need to first understand our own brain – is it healthy or is it in trouble? How it works, what triggers our behavior and the effect that our behavior has on others. Understanding the impact of our actions can be done by seeking feedback (in an appropriate manner) as well as learning to receive feedback from others. Only through self-reflection and feedback can the brain understand what it needs to do to perform at its best, and self-correct if necessary.

The other thing we can do to create a brain-friendly organisation is to learn how to manage and create the environment in which the brain can do its thinking in a relaxed state. We know for example, that looking at a computer screen for 10 hours, doesn't actually make the best use of your brain. Instead, it makes people overly-stressed and the brain starts to function in a chaotic manner. If we can provide an environment where people have enough opportunities for chilling out, even amidst a busy schedule, they will be more productive and in a better mood.

Successful companies such as Zappos, Atlassian and Google pay attention to providing the proper environment to their staff. They are the pioneers, the innovators, who know that most of today’s organisational practices still reflect the patterns of the industrial or the information eras.

Creating a brain-friendly workplace where people can become creators or co-creators of how they want to handle their work-flow, so their brains can offer their best thinking, is what will differentiate the best organisations from the average organisations in the years to come, says Damiano.

Go for Neuroleaders!

HR professionals can certainly assist in the development of a brain-friendly culture by learning how our brain and biological system functions so they can then assist the business in applying this to their current realities.

The Imagination Age has arrived. Yet many of our organisations are relying on leadership models and methodologies of development that still belong to the Industrial and Information Age. We’ve reached a tipping point – we now need Neuroleaders.

Prepared by Igor Šulík, Managing Partner, Amrop
Certified The i4 Practitioner
For more information go to

Amrop Slovakia

Amrop celebrates this year the 40th anniversary of its global presence. We advise the world’s most dynamic organisations on identifying and positioning Leaders for What’s Next – adept at working across borders, in markets around the world. Amrop is a leader in Executive Search &Leadership Consulting in over 50 countries. It is a member of AESC and is its longest active member and continues to remain the only member with a fully-fledged office in Slovakia since 1990. Our unique Context Driven approach to executive search helps our clients find Leaders for What’s Next – top talent, adept at working across borders in markets around the world.The firm approaches consulting projects using its own model of Amrop 3DPractices based on a combination of sector knowledge, functional expertise and ownership specificities of the client organization that enables our consultants to effectively address even the most difficult challenges and problems of Boards, C-suite managers and highly skilled experts. Amrop delivers consulting solutions in the following business areas:

  • Executive Search
  • Professional Search
  • Board Advisory
  • Leadership Services
  • Executive Coaching

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