Your Career Management Resource Centre

Category: Neuromanagement

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Bringing Neuromanagement to the Business World

“We are not thinking machines that feel, but emotional machines that think.”
– Dr. Antonio Damasio

Having spent many years as a coach, I could not agree more with Dr. Damasio’s quote. I have worked with incredibly talented people who have great skills to offer but are not as successful as they could be because beliefs and emotions get in their way. As a result, no amount of data analysis, artificial intelligence and/or training can help unless the non-productive ways in which they think and react are addressed.

What is Neuroscience and Neuromanagement and why is it important?

By definition Neuroscience[1] deals with the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, or molecular biology of nerves and nervous tissue and especially their relation to behaviour and learning. To address this branch of science, Neuromanagement [2] uses cognitive neuroscience, among other life science fields, and technology to analyze economic, behavioural, and managerial issues. It focuses on exploring human brain activities and mental processes when people are faced with typical problems of economics and management.

Why is this important? The reality is that if an organization has human beings leading or performing work, emotions are present, and those emotions will influence business outcomes – for better or for worse. By learning about neuromanagement and applying its insights, organizations can manage the ways that emotions  influence their business.

As a trailblazer in Leadership Neuromanagement Dr. Carlos Davidovich of Optimum Talent and a thought leader for the Harvard Institute of Coaching, explained the benefits of using a scientific-based approach to help individuals and leaders understand the impact that our emotions and behaviours – and the behaviours of those around us – can have on our individual success as well as the success of an organization.

Below is an excerpt of our conversation:

Patricia Polischuk: How is neuromanagement making an impact on businesses?

Dr. Davidovich: Applying the fundamental insights of neuroscience to business is a breakthrough in improving organizational performance. By helping individuals to better understand what is going on in their brain and provide practical insights and approaches that can help them to be more effective in dealing with people at all levels of an organization, we’re able to create sustainable change at an individual and organizational level.

PP: How do individuals benefit from neuromanagement?

CD: There is a correlation between influencers, neurological activity in the brain, behavioural responses, and practical benefit to an organization. The application of neuroscience creates better relationships at all points on the compass – leaders, employees, peers, and teams; and this leads to better collaboration, idea generation, and implementation of initiatives.

Additionally, leaders become more adept at mentoring, coaching, and developing talent. In the end, these changes manifest themselves in better customer relations and overall business performance.

PP: Some critics have said that this all seems to be too emotional with not enough logical thinking involved. How would you respond to that statement?

CD: This is exactly the reason why we have to be interested in these topics. We have the delusion that we are logical and rational beings most of the time. This is far from the truth. The reality is that if an organization has human beings performing work, emotions are present, and those emotions will influence business outcomes – for better or for worse.

Additionally, with the rapid advancements in technology, employers are placing greater value on soft skills over hard skills when making hiring decisions because artificial intelligence can’t yet replicate emotional intelligence. So leaders who possess an aptitude for self-awareness, collaboration, and connection are really tending to their future employability.

PP: So for many, the question is “Why do I need to know about how the brain works? Don’t I just need to be more aware of my behaviour?”

CD: Yes, we need to be more aware of our behaviour. But with an understanding of our brain and how it is wired, with each passing day we can have access to very precise factual information of the brain´s circuits that drive our behaviour. We can now better understand the road map of our behaviour. The dashboard keeps us aware, through specific signs, how I, my team, and my peers are performing and how I can improve myself as a leader, and support the improvement of my team and colleagues in pursuit of more effective business activity.

PP: It has long been known that during periods of change and more specifically during job loss, it is normal to experience a “roller coaster of emotions.” How does the application of neuromanagement influence career transition?

CD: By sharing the latest research and information in brain studies, individuals can understand the challenges and influences that are affecting their mind-set, emotions, and attitude. Through a better understanding of their reactions to stress and change they can see the need and learn techniques for effectively managing through times of uncertainty, which then enables them to be more effective in their job search.

Those individuals who know Dr. Davidovich or who have attended one of his many presentations around the world, can feel the passion he has for helping individuals and organizations thrive. To hear Dr. Davidovich explain the concepts of neuromanagement in greater detail or to learn more about the numerous solutions offered through Optimum Talent’s Neuromanagement Centre For Business, please visit

Interesting Statistic: According to a study done by Gartner Research Group, the implementation of neuroscience into the ways business is conducted and the way in which companies are run will expand its market share from one percent (in 2011) to 20 – 25 percent by the year 2025.




SuccessFinder and Your Behavioural DNA

From Pathfinder to SuccessFinder

It’s in each and every one of us to be successful in the work world.  For individuals the question comes down to what type of work will speak to our potential, offering an engaging and rewarding career?   For organizations, the question is how to source, develop and coach their human potential into profitability?  The answer to both these questions is SuccessFinder!


SuccessFinder is the premier psychological assessment that interprets an individual’s behavioural traits against over 500 job roles to determine that success and engagement.   Learn more about your behavioural DNA and predicting career and organizational success from our colleagues at SuccessFinder.

Diversity equals profitability

Shareholders! Are too many male Canadian board members costing you money?

This post is co-authored with Normand Coté.

Is the homogeneity of Canadian corporate boards costing shareholders money?

On September 28 the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued a report indicating that women board membership on TSX listed companies had increase by 1% from last year to 12% in 2016.

That’s pretty underwhelming, but unfortunately not surprising. For over 25 years there’s been talk about women advancing into senior executive and board roles, but it’s largely talk. There appears to be a self-fulfilling prophesy that ensures women of skill, ability and endurance are held back.

“Again this year, the most common explanation given by issuers that do not consider the representation of women in executive officer appointments was that their selection is based on merit.” (p 8)

Selection based on merit seems to be a stumbling block for corporations. Women are being left out of consideration for high potential development and succession planning. In our experience they are under-represented in the selection process and consequently corporate Canada isn’t growing enough women leaders. This behaviour extends to other under-represented groups as well.

There’s enough research indicating that boards offering diversity, and by this we mean broader perspectives, innovative approaches and richer discussion, result in better financial performance. While boards are conservative by design these short-sited hiring and development practices can no longer be considered a viable pretext for the status quo. So why is corporate Canada short-changing itself and its investors? Is it possible that the biases which excluded women from becoming magistrates and senators found a cozy home in Canada’s boardrooms?

The key to overcoming this limitation is to confront the biases and the egos maintaining the status quo. Begin by acknowledging that they exist: in the corporate environment, in the boardroom and in the board members themselves. Diversity in the leadership and succession planning pipelines needs to be tied not only to the “merit” boards say they are seeking, but also in seeing the “people potential” within their organizations. Tools and external objectivity provide meaningful interventions that focus on clear data and rational decision-making – in other words they eliminate the unconscious biases that the people involved in the selection process poses. For example, external consultants who understand board and industry contexts can ask tough questions designed to illuminate how members think about key issues such as merit. They can also help to establish clear criteria for sourcing candidates based on merit and diversity. Rigorous psychometric assessments target behavioural traits that mitigate stereotypes formed over a life-time of professionally biased leadership perceptions.

The key function of a board member is to balance stewardship safeguarding the prosperity of the company with shareholder interests. This job cannot be done effectively if existing board members are afraid of working with and for women.

Diversity on Corporate Boards

Board diversity: Why what you see is what you get

Do you want the best person for the job? Perhaps subconsciously what you really want is the person who makes you feel the best about yourself, someone who reflects well on you. The type of person who will reinforce what success looks like, sounds like and most importantly, manages like. Since you are successful and you are in the hiring seat, this person will look a lot like you. Welcome to the very special tribe called Status Quo.

According to a recent article in Canadian Business, there continue to be too many corporate boards that have diversity issues. This is puzzling as there seem to be a number of reports that show board diversity has a direct impact on profitability:

Don’t corporations exist for the pure economic purpose of making money? Don’t they want to be more profitable? Or perhaps the better to ask is what these boards and their members have to lose? No matter how flat corporations become, they’re still hierarchical. Hierarchies allow some people to engage in assigning relative values to others based on perceived status and power. When you derive your self-worth from your corporate status then you’ve fixed the ‘ideal candidate’ for similar roles very narrowly.

In cases where board members are blind to how their power and influence place limitations on hiring and consequently profit-making abilities, corrective action in recruitment practices might be the key. According to Stefanie Johnson, David Hekman and Elsa Chan if there’s only one woman in your candidate pool, there’s statistically no chance she’ll be hired! Apparently when “one thing is not like the others” it signals that you’re different from the norm, that you’re different from the tribe. Instead the board needs a new norm, one in which a different candidate cannot be discriminated against so easily. This quick video explains how inclusive hiring can be facilitated:

So what do the boards of companies in which you hold shares look like, sound like, and manage like? Is there room for more diversity and consequently more profit?