What Role Will Neuroscience Play in the Leadership of the Future?

If neuroscience was a human being it would just be starting to feed on solids. That’s how young the science is, but it is developing quickly; and with all the resources being ploughed into it, it would appear to have a very bright future.One area that neuroscience has been increasingly applied to in the past few years is leadership. We are seeing organisational change programs being driven by leaders who are being schooled in the findings of neuroscience and how the workings of the brain affect human decision-making and behaviour.The focus on leaders developing so-called “neuro-intelligence” is a taste of the future.

What is neuro-intelligence?

The skills of leaders to get the most out of their people can be sorely tested if they don’t really understand the behaviour of those people. The struggle to understand how people think and make decisions, and why they act the way they do, is the common ground between cognitive and behavioural neuroscience and the leadership of an organisation.With the brain being such a complex and sophisticated network of neurons, shaping a person’s personality, outlook, and behaviour, it is not surprising that when a collection of “brains” come together, as in team situations in organisations, frustration and conflict can arise if the leadership of the group is not in tune with these complexities. https://cyborggainz.com/f/neuro-grips-a-natural-way-to-biohack-your-brainĀ 

Those with the “neuro-intelligence” to understand the needs of the group members and to manage these effectively represent the leaders of the future.Traditionally, most business graduates and postgraduates, touted to be the “leaders of tomorrow”, have not been taught this. The skills and knowledge must be brought in to organisations from outside, delivered by the few-and-far-between sets of individuals who understand the science and can also communicate it in such a way that makes a real difference on the ground.Advances in imaging and computing has enabled neuroscience to find out more about the workings of the brain – and these findings have great potential to transform how we view the role of leadership, and go about leading teams.

Developing leaders of the future

Some business schools around the world are starting to introduce aspects of neuroscience into the classrooms of those who will, one day, be sitting in the boardroom.Ashridge Business School in the UK is one such school where neuroscience is playing a greater role on the curriculum; and at MIT Sloan’s Neuroeconomics Laboratory in the US, technology to measure brain activity during decision-making is used in neuroscience classes for MBA students.