Productivity and the Y Generation

IQ we know…EQ….we know but now we need to be considering OQ …Organisational Intelligence!

We are pleased to announce a new association with Dr Zoe Douglas-Judson of and we are seeking Directors to be involved in working with us to explore how to best equip their businesses to capture the strength of their Y generation employees with their organisations structure. Success will mean more innovation, productivity improvements and reduced key staff turnover. Interested? please email us at

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 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 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!


Libby Purves in the Times yesterday was saying how the diagnoses of ADHD in school children has rocketed, and with them the use of Ritalin (methylphenidate). What started in the US in the 1960’s has risen in this country from 3,500 prescriptions in 1993 to over 610,000 two years ago.

Libby Purves includes a checklist in her article of symptoms of ADHD and of its sibling ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder. These include: short attention span, carelessness, forgetfulness, being unable to stick at tasks that are tedious or time consuming, ignoring rules and instructions, unwillingness to sit still, fidgeting, impulsiveness, interrupting conversations and having too little sense of danger.

She goes on to say that “Boys are diagnosed most, but the NHS website suggests they’re closing in on girls too, with the mainly inattentive form of the condition, which may make them quiet and dreamy. Don’t look out of the window or doodle hearts, Suzie or they’ll get you with the chemical cosh”

This unease about the wide acceptance of the drug solution to this problem is something Sir Ken Robinson highlighted in a talk he gave at the London Business Forum a couple of years ago and it’s been something which has concerned me for a long time too.

I’m not saying that there is no such thing as ADD, ADHD or ODD I’m saying that some children are misdiagnosed. Reading the above checklist you could be describing someone who is a strong R1 or very right brain dominated in their thinking. Sir Ken Robinson writes in his book ‘The Element’ about Gillian Lynne who helped create some of the most successful musical theatre productions in history, Cats and Phantom of the opera. Gillian describes how when she is taken to a dance school for the first time “I walked in to this room, and it was full of people like me. People who couldn’t sit still. People who had to move to think” Sir Ken says “I think now they’d say she had ADHD and they’d put her on Ritalin or something similar. But the ADHD epidemic hadn’t been invented at the time. It wasn’t an available condition. People had to get by without it.”

Again in Libby Purves article “Professor Tim Kendall who chaired the NICE guideline committee cites “reliable reports of children in nursery being medicated” He went onto say that “There are two reasons why parents go shopping for a diagnosis. The first is to improve their child’s performance at school, and the second is to get access to benefits”

A few years ago I walked into my local bank and I got talking to the foreign exchange banker who was helping me send some money abroad. I told him about NBI brain profile and I predicted he was an L1 R1, a cerebral thinker and I described what that meant. He confirmed I was correct and wanted to know how I could read him so well. I explained that he was fiddling with his pen continuously, tapping his foot, he was easily distracted, had made a mistake on the form but was obviously good at Maths because he was working in a bank all these pointed towards a strong L1 R1 thinker. He then went onto explain how he had been put on Ritalin while he was at secondary school as his parents wanted him to get good GCSE’s.   Once he had got through school he came off the drug. If he had really been ADD, ADHD or ODD he would still be on the drug surely.

This isnt the only story I have personally heard and it’s the reason I am passionate about getting the NBI Brain profile into more schools.

Let’s get more parents understanding their children better rather than putting them on medication.

Whole Brain Leadership

Saturday 12th March, 2011

Is it a factor of the tough economic climate, the classic ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going’ type scenario?

Well something is certainly happening as the last three proposals we’ve been asked to provide have all been related to the above subject. What is it and how do you know whether you’re doing it?

Well what it isn’t is ‘leading’ by only measuring, controlling, being directive etc. this is much more aligned to simply ’managing’.

A clue was gleaned from an ex-professional footballer who had been observing Tottenham Hotspur’s rise to the heady heights of the last sixteen in the Champions League. He said that in the  800 days of his reign Harry Redknapp has not only applied great tactics in the games but he is forever encouraging players, celebrating their individual successes and team successes. Team spirit a much talked about goal seems to be the result the ‘whole’ becomes greater than the constituent parts. This is in essence is what whole brain leadership is about: the use of BOTH sides of your brain to understand what is needed in a particular situation with your team.

We are working closely with one of the country’s top rugby sides to support their coaches further improve their coaching techniques with the squad. The project is still in the research phase and we are keen to develop a complete coaching process using the Rugby Profiles the players have completed with the management team. We will be continually assessing how to support the coaches in maximising the success of the coaching interventions.

New association

Monday 21st February, 2011

We are pleased to announce that we have formed a new association with IIR one of the worlds largest training providers. Joint marketing activities will include the promotion of ‘Whole Brain Selling’ to organisations to improve Relationship Management, Sales Presentations and running Effective Meetings.

How we helped the young Americans from Serve Nazareth

Last week we met a great group of students from the US, Hannah,  Payal, Josh, Greg, Jamie, Kayla, Bradley and Temitope are part of the Serve Nazareth cohort.

They have been raising funds in order to go out to Israel to serve the people of Nazareth; they were in Chelmsford as part of their preparation for their three months of service.

Before landing in the UK the team didn’t know each other apart from Facebook introductions so our brief was to get the team and their two leaders, Derek and Christine to understand themselves, each other and unify them as a team. First of all Neil took them through their Brain Profiles and from then on Neil was known as the Brain guy!!.

As Kayla said “It was really interesting. Great for getting to know a team really well and seeing how it’s going to work as a whole and through different individuals”

 In the afternoon the training consisted of some team building exercises when they had to build an escape helicopter in the jungle and later to survive on a rocky beach in Northern Minnesota after their canoes tipped!!

I’m glad to say all ten survived the experience!

We greatly admired the teams commitment to serve others and wish them well in Israel and may they be mightily blessed.