Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Great news or bad news these are the responses some students will have been experiencing in the last week. Some have met their targets, planned their next step and will move gracefully on to the next stage of their education.
Others like members of our own family have been derailed somewhat!
The big questions can include what will my passes allow me to do now? Which courses are still available and will it help in my career? Which career path or direction do I want to go in?
At this critical time we have helped many students to look at their thinking preference profile and using this information support them in discovering the type of course that would best suit them.

In his recent blog see http://www.richardgerver.com/blog/ Richard Gerver talks about the index created by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute. The index ranks nations in terms of the contribution entrepreneurship makes to their overall economic output. A friend of Neil and I is working in China and she tells us that China is changing to a ‘designed in China’ culture backed by new laws just passed. Of the 17 out of the 65 factories set up to target key Western markets she is helping them be more innovative.
My concern is that in this country we are looking back to what worked in Education before and not forward to the future. We seem fixated on how standards are dropping and how the exams are easier. (front page of Daily Mail Wednesday 2nd May 2012 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137939/A-Levels-GCSEs-HAVE-got-easier-decade-says-qualifications-watchdog.html)’. Well maybe we don’t need young people to learn the same things as we did. Young people need to be able to think on their feet, be creative, develop interpersonal skills. We need to prepare them for a changing future because they won’t be in the same job for 40 years!

I went to a talk by Richard a few years ago, I remember him saying 80% of the jobs available when our new school starters reach adult age do not yet exist because of the rate of technological change.

Most people retiring this year are likely to have been employed by 3-5 organisations. By the time our new schools starters retire it is predicted that they will have been employed by 18-25 organisations.

In that same talk Richard talked about a visit he made to China

He ended by telling of his experiences in China. Students attended school 6 ½ days a week and had 5 hours homework a night, classes had 60 -65 students. At the beginning of every lesson students would bow to their teachers and thank them for what they were about to hear. At the end of the lesson they would again bow and thank the teacher for teaching them. There was very little interaction between the students and teachers apart from one lesson where one very elderly teacher came in and he bowed down to the students and thanked them for coming to his class and expressed his hope that they learnt from him. His class by Chinese standards was very interactive. At the end of the lesson the teacher again bowed before his class, Richard asked the teacher why he did that and he explained that he in one of his classes there might be someone who could be the next president, an Olympic champion, a scientist who finds the cure for Aids and he expressed the honour he felt to impart what knowledge he had.

Isn’t that why we are so passionate about Education? Who knows who will be in our class and that is also the reason why we all should be interested in Education.

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village . The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a 100 euro note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the e100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the e100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the e100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the e100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the e100 note. The hotel proprietor then places the e100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the e100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.

When Neil and I run courses we are often asked “What profile makes the perfect partner?”

I’m afraid there isnt a perfect partner profile! It’s a pity as we could have made a lot of money selling it!

What the NBI brain profile does do is help couples develop a better understanding of each other.

In doing so tolerance and excitement is enhanced instead of criticism and a constant battle of trying to change others to be more like you!

So is the secret to a long and happy marriage a whole brain marriage? We can certainly see evidence of Prince William using whole brain thinking. He has delayed marrying Kate to give them both time to get to know each other and to give her time to come to terms with her exacting role as future Queen. She has had advice from ‘protocol experts’ with tips on how to wave and engage with the public. As Tom Bradby says in the Times today he has an “aching determination to make sure he never gets anything wrong” and so far neither of them has made any significant errors of judgement. As Alison Pearson said in Newsweek to be a good royal wife you have to “combine the aura of a silent movie star and the discipline of a Cistercian num” and Kate is “perfect for the role”. So planning, preparation, perfection all these are signs of left brain thinking.

Then the evidence for Prince William using his right brain, he certainly surprised her with his proposal in Kenya and it was evident from their first interview together that he is affectionate, caring and loving. I especially liked the way he reassuringly patted her hand and told her she would do very well when she was asked about becoming a member of the royal family. There is also the way he rushed out to New Zealand after the earthquake yes to pay his respects but I think to show the New Zealand people that he really cared about their loss.

When we are courting we are often marketing ourselves and creating a facade of maybe someone who we aren’t. They say love is blind and is this why some marriages fail in the first two years?

William and Kate have known each other for quite some time now and have lived together too; they have given themselves the best chance of making this marriage work. 

What is clear is that for any relationship to work it’s not a question of giving 50/50 but 100%.

I personally love a wedding and even if you aren’t a royalist I’m sure you will join me in wishing Prince William and Catherine Middleton a long and happy marriage.

But what do you think will it be a long and happy marriage or will it all end in tears?

The Secret to Happiness?

Monday 11th April, 2011

Politicians want to measure our happiness, but they need to distinguish between fulfillment and fleeting feelings so says Libby Purves in today’s Times. She goes on to cite Ken Dodd’s song “Happiness! Happiness! The greatest gift that I possess”   and the fact that at 84 he is still honing new jokes, touring six-hour shows and bathing in giggling applause. She ends her article by saying “ Work, achievement, an answering echo from humanity: all you need”. In that last sentence has Libby hit the nail on the head? Is the secret to happiness all about doing something you love doing? In 2007 Des O Connor was honoured with a CBE and is quoted as saying “I haven’t done a day’s work in my life.” “I’ve done a day’s effort but not work, because it’s something I love,”

Could the secret to Ken Dodd’s happiness be the fact that he loves doing what he does? If you are doing something you love doesn’t that have an impact on everything important in your life? Your health and your family and aren’t you a better friend if you are personally fulfilled?

This is also the essence of Sir Ken Robinson’s book ‘The Element’ and I quote “we need to create environments – in our schools, in our workplaces and in our public offices- where every person is inspired to grow creatively. We need to make sure that all people have the chance to do what they should be doing, to discover the Element in themselves and in their own way.

So this takes us back to schools, how many young people do you know who leave school not knowing what they want to do and then go onto university still not knowing? Or start courses and then realise it’s not for them!

This is another reason why we are passionate about the NBI Brain Profile. It’s great when you help someone find their talent and a sense of who they are. Like Karen who says “The Brain Profiling had a big impact on my personal life as well as professionally.  I had been going through that mid-life review of “how did I get here and am I heading in the right direction for my future?” Karen saw her profile and decided to go to do a part time textile course at college. “I have increased the amount of personal satisfaction I feel and I love telling people I am a textile designer”

It also begs the question if businesses were more interested in the personal development of their people would that make them more successful? In one if his talks Sir Ken told of how the company Pixar actively encourages their staff to pursue personal development as they recognise the value in doing this.

Is this the real direction David Cameron should be heading in? Isnt this what makes us ‘flourish’ as Martin Seligman puts it?

I don’t know what it is about Libby Purves and her articles but she always strikes a cord with me. Her article on Friday “If you play the cheap fares game, follow the rule” is a case in point.

Under that headline she wrote “There are rich rewards for anyone with broadband and a brain” In my opinion that should have read “There are rich rewards for anyone with broadband and a left brain”. All these offers, cheap fares etc favour the more organised among us i.e. more left brain in their thinking. So if you want to plan your trips in advance and book tickets weeks ahead then you are rewarded with cheap fares but if like me your preference is to be more spontaneous and see how the mood takes you then you have to pay over the odds. It’s not just train tickets it’s the same with Tesco vouchers. If you save up your vouchers you can make bigger savings. Many of my friends brag about ‘free’ weekends away and one acquaintance had pulled off a ‘free’ holiday in the Caribbean just by buying everything from Tesco. I stand in admiration.

My latest vouchers came from Tesco and I had £12 worth of vouchers and these were worth up to £36 with Clubcard rewards. I have to swop these vouchers for tokens by going onto the Tesco web site. But this means I have to think ahead about dates and where I want to go or what I want to buy/eat and basically be very structured and organised all of which doesn’t come naturally to me!

I guess one company who does favour the right brain is lastminute.com and we have had a few bargains from them. But why can’t more companies favour right brain people. Why can’t there be last minute train tickets for those people who want to risk it? Train companies could sell off cheap train tickets at the last minute? 

Why can’t we use our Tesco card to buy things with our points we just have to tell companies our Tesco card number and they can see how many points we have and what that equates to? Don’t tell me that’s too complicated because when we can get computers small enough to be put into someone’s eye and I quote

“A team of computer engineers and scientists at the University of Michigan has made a prototype of what they believe is the world’s smallest computer. It’s a solar-powered device that’s just one cubic millimetre in size, and is designed to go inside the human eye”

Then they must be able to do this. No I believe they are forcing us to be more left brained in our thinking and it won’t do!

Maybe one of these days I will take a holiday into my L2 quadrant and surprise everyone with how organised I can be!! Oink oink there goes those flying pigs again.

Libby Purves’ column in the Times today headlined with “Less flair, more care.  We urge creativity in our children, but as recent police errors show, attention to dull detail matters as much”

She goes on to say the Independent Police Complaints commission has made public exactly what went wrong for 17 years in the hunt for the “Night Stalker”, Delroy Grant who robbed and raped old people. She claims that individual officers had not been dotting their i’s and crossing the t’s and criminals have been free to carry on committing crimes when they could have been behind bars.

This Libby feels opens a wider theme.  ”Outside Science and engineering the virtues of nit-picking accuracy and fussy care have become less valued than they were. Modern children are more likely to be urged towards creativity, freedom and questioning the status quo. All good stuff but care and precison matter too and should not be dismissed as “anal”, joyless or borderline obsessive – compulsive disorder”

Of course Libby is correct and this is just what we advocate at www.wholebrainthinking.co.uk Analytical, logical and detailed thinking is just as important as being imaginative, flexible and thinking about the people in any situation. This is why we suggest people use their whole brain in any situation. Most people have a dominant preference and I think you can see what Libby’s is when she talks about early parenthood and how she checked utensil sizes every few weeks after one of her children got its head stuck in a saucepan!! She also sought babysitters with a ‘fussy awareness’ of hot pans, plugs, string and marbles! When mine were little I was just glad of a break and accepted anyone who looked half sensible!

I think you wouldn’t be wrong in describing Libby as being left brained in her thinking so what’s that?  Well she has an eye for accuracy and perfection and gets terribly upset if someone points out a mistake and says she feels sick for an hour or two! Someone who was more right brained in their thinking would just be grateful someone had noticed and wouldn’t be bothered about being wrong. She also has an eye for detail describing her weekend at sea and how she notices that nearly every problem has its origin in someone’s lack of punctiliousness. People who are more right brained in their thinking generally don’t go looking for problems they live in the moment and enjoy it.

But thank goodness we have people like Libby and thank goodness for free spirits too.

I would like to take up her point about creativity and children but that is for another blog!

Its true this is what happened in the groom Peter’s own words…..

‘Lorenza and I were just friends when we both went to a brain profiling workshop run by Heather France. But it turned out that we had rather similar brain profiles. This meant that we were put in the same small group for a fun exercise. We enjoyed working together on this and started to realise how much we had in common. Soon after this I asked her out. Our understanding of one another’s brains was very helpful as we built our relationship together and learned what made both of us tick. Within months we were engaged, and less than a year after the brain profiling we will be married’.
That was a year ago now they are happily married and after spending time in Tuscany (where Lorenza was born) they are planning an extended holiday touring North America…a proper honeymoon…we wish them both a fulfilled and happy life together.

 

The Happy Day....

The Happy Day....

Aim HigherAim Higher is a successful government scheme which aims to widen participation in higher education by raising the aspirations and developing the abilities of young people from under-represented groups in our society. Whole Brain Thinking has been working with these young people in York and North Yorkshire for five years in support of these aims. We are proud to sponsor the 6th Form / F.E Learner achievement award at the forthcoming ceremony on Thursday 17th June at the C4C Chapel York St John University.

The awards are to be presented to the winners by Richard McCann the No 1 Bestselling author of ‘Just a boy’ and ”The boy grows up’ . Richard McCann’s mother was the first victim of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. His books document the inspirational journey he has walked since that horrifc crime to his mother.

TLT SolicitorsWe were very pleased to receive this confirmation from one of our clients TLT Solicitors of Bristol

 

“As a law firm working for some of the UK’s largest financial institutions we want to continually develop the services we offer. Neil France from Genesis introduced us to the concept of Whole Brain Debt Recovery training and we got together to create a bespoke training package that suited our needs. It has proved to be a real success in developing our capabilities and we are very happy to recommend Genesis. “  Sarah Vance TLT Mortgage Enforcement Team Manager