Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 11

SRINI PIL LAY, M.D.

SCIENCE OF
LEARNING

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
STRATEGIES AND SOLUTIONS
FOR THE MODERN WORKPLACE:
PERSPECTIVES FROM BRAIN SCIENCE
The modern workplace differs from
workplaces of yesteryear. Workplaces
are experiencing unprecedented change
and a heightened level of stress and
anxiety. In lieu of these changes, how
can brain science inform leadership
development in the modern workplace?
UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE
Cognitive dissonance: When continuous
change is present, a state of brain chaos -
referred to as cognitive dissonance - can
occur. In this state, the brain will be tempted
to revert to old habits to restore order, and
people may become stuck in old ways.
As Campbell and colleagues pointed out
in Harvard Business Review, even good
leaders will make bad decisions if they
rely too heavily on the past.
"Transformation culture" strategies:
The basic need is to design leadership
strategies for a transformation culture and
ensure a clear path within the organization.
While this may sound like the same old
practice, people should learn how to
have existential confidence rather than
just ordinary confidence based on data
and certainty.
Existential confidence: Jim Selman and
I have discerned: Existential confidence
requires switching from "knowing" to
committing to possibilities with a sense
that one is sufficient to deliver on the
potential present but that is not yet
reality. This is a more proactive kind
of leadership, where leaders lead
from problems worth solving rather
than reacting by trying to put out fires
every day.

On any given day, there are more fires to
put out than we have time for. However,
a discerning modern leader will decide
which problems are the most pressing,
inspiring and worth solving. Navigating
unknown landscapes will require skills
such as imagination and intuition to develop
feasible hypotheses and solutions.
Combine new brain-based competencies
with strategy meetings: Build a capacity
for imagination that sets them up for
fruitful strategy meetings. Without this
capacity for existential confidence, and a
structured exploration of possibility and
imagination, strategies will be fall short of
adaptive and competitive.
MANAGING STRESS IN A MODERN
WORKPLACE
Talk the talk: For years, I have taught
organizations brain-based strategies to
reduce stress. For instance, mindfulness,
reframing and refocusing can all be
applied to mitigate the stresses facing
the workforce.
Managing anxiety, depression or
addiction in the workplace can be
challenging. There's often not enough
time to go through lengthy discussions on
these issues, but a simple video series
distributed to an entire organization can
communicate that the company cares
about people getting the help they need
as quickly as possible. In the modern
workplace, there is an immediate need for
stress reduction.
Walk the talk: During my time serving as
chief medical officer of a virtual reality

(VR) company, we designed brain-based
strategies for VR immersion that can
reduce anxiety in real time.

THERE IS AN
IMMEDIATE NEED FOR
STRESS REDUCTION
IN THE MODERN
WORKPLACE.
For instance, a VR paradigm that uses
nature-based scenes can relax the brain's
anxiety processor, as well as scenarios
that directly address disengagement
habits that can lead to mind wandering
and anxiety.
In a modern organization, having a space
to reduce stress in the moment is crucial to
reducing anxiety and hopelessness while
simultaneously increasing engagement.
We call our corporate program "Walk the
Talk" to imply that it's not enough for a
modern organization to simply talk about
stress reduction. We must be able to
solve issues with mental health as they
arise in the workplace.
Overall, the brain-based message is that
we must prepare the brains of leaders in
real time. And building a transformation
culture with existential confidence and
active workplace stress reduction can
go a long way.
Dr. Srini Pillay is the CEO of NeuroBusiness
Group. He is also assistant professor
(part-time) at Harvard Medical School
and teaches in the executive education
programs at Harvard Business School
and Duke CE. Email Srini.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - MODERN LEADERS 2020 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020

Do Leaders Skills Need to Evolve
Table of Contents
Developing the Next Generation of Talent Through Rotation Programs
Leadership Development Strategies and Solutions for the Modern Workplace
Leaders are Learners … Especially When They're Teaching
Developing Leadership Goo
6 Developmental Conversations Bosses Should Have with their New Managers
Driving Sales Training Results Through Manager Coaching
The Significance of Executive Presence
What People Want in a Leader: How Do You Measure Up?
Ditigal Communication Skills: Is Your Message Getting Across?
Creating a Culture of Agility with Character Development
Building Leadership: Scaling Effective Development Alongside Hypergrowth
Fast-Tracking Psychological Safety: This Is Not a Drill!
Teaching Empathy: Driving Leaders to Success
Train Forward: Results From an Emerging Community of Practice
Three Reasons Why Virtual Teams Are Different
Leading in the Age of Technological Disruption
How to Choose a Training Supplier for Leadership Development
New Leader, New Skills
Ernst & Young's Investment in the Modern Leader
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 1
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Do Leaders Skills Need to Evolve
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 6
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Developing the Next Generation of Talent Through Rotation Programs
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Leadership Development Strategies and Solutions for the Modern Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Leaders are Learners … Especially When They're Teaching
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Developing Leadership Goo
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 6 Developmental Conversations Bosses Should Have with their New Managers
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 17
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 18
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Driving Sales Training Results Through Manager Coaching
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 22
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - The Significance of Executive Presence
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - What People Want in a Leader: How Do You Measure Up?
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - CT1
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - CT2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Ditigal Communication Skills: Is Your Message Getting Across?
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Creating a Culture of Agility with Character Development
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Building Leadership: Scaling Effective Development Alongside Hypergrowth
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Fast-Tracking Psychological Safety: This Is Not a Drill!
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 42
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Teaching Empathy: Driving Leaders to Success
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Train Forward: Results From an Emerging Community of Practice
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Three Reasons Why Virtual Teams Are Different
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 52
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Leading in the Age of Technological Disruption
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - How to Choose a Training Supplier for Leadership Development
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - New Leader, New Skills
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Ernst & Young's Investment in the Modern Leader
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2020 - 60
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