personal development

8 Facts May Not Know About The Brain: A Guide to Neuroplasticity

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1.     Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt continuously during a lifetime.

The brain isn’t fixed, but more like a muscle that strengthens and weakens over time, responding to what we do with it.

 

2.     The more we challenge the brain, the more its long-term cognitive functioning is enhanced.

When we learn something new or challenge the brain in a new way, it creates new neural pathways. If this is done regularly enough over time, neural networks in the brain are enhanced, thus improving its overall performance. 

 

3.     Unlike the heart and lungs that are mechanical organs that flex, retract, inhale, exhale in accordance with conditions imposed on them, the brain is a dynamic organ.

It moulds and adapts its performance in response to stimuli. How optimal the brain performs depends on the regularity of stimuli imposed on it, which either restricts or harnesses its potential.

 

4.     Brain training is just the mainstream translation of brain plasticity.

 

5.     The behavioural explanation of neuroplasticity is the ability to learn and memorise new things.

The brain’s level of plasticity peaks as babies, when the demand to learn new things is at its highest. As we get older, brain plasticity can be associated with the likes of reaching one’s potential over time, setting new challenges, overcoming challenges, immersion in exciting new experiences, and deciding, learning or developing. These are all continuous states of change and mental dispositions innate to human existence. 

 

6.     Striving, adapting and becoming stronger, are all offspring traits of the same survival of the fittest model that sparked our beginnings, and will determine our future.

 

7.     How able a species is at adapting to change, is the sole most important measure of its persistence into the future.

This can be determined by how malleable, dynamic and spontaneous a species’ most prominent organ or muscle is at adapting to changes in surroundings. 

 

8.     The ability for the brain to create new neural pathways that didn’t exist prior (thus changing its structure) to adapt to new experiences and acquire new habits, reveals a potential packed with promising evolutionary implications. 

 

The brain can create new neural pathways until the day we die, and the more neural pathways we create, means the more responsive we can be to change, and the more conducive we are to a life of wellness, happiness and vigorous longevity that will ensue.

For directional tips on mindsets and habits that can help you adapt in your start or scale-up, why not attend one of our events and have a 1:1 session to chat about it further? BOOK IN HERE

16 Must-Watch Videos For Insight Into Today’s Business Climate

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The areas underlining modern-day business and its culture are technology, start-up growth, leadership, productivity, innovative thinking, and flexible working.

They’re the base layer upon which much of today’s expertise – from digital marketing to IT – is built on. We scoured some of the best talks from 2 powerhouses of innovative thinking and creativity  TED and Unbound to uncover 16 must-watch videos for insight into today’s business climate. 

Why? To help navigate through a world of endless video content and information, because to see too much, is to see nothing at all. 

Data-Drive Technology

Talks on how much power data has on influencing our decisions and behaviour:

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

Tim Berners-Lee The Year Open Data Went Worldwide

Tricia Wang: The Human Insights Missing From Big Data

View our latest article on the latest insights and inventions in tech innovation here.

Tech For Good $ Tech For Transport

 Perspectives on Tech for Good and discussions concerning the data, electrification, automation, and the decrease of private vehicle ownership of the transport industry:

Unbound Festival London: Where Can Technology Take Healthcare?

Unbound Festival London: Will Tech Save The World?        

Unbound Festival London:  People, Places, Things: Making Cities Smarter with Innovation          

Tech Inventions

Food for thought by way of technological innovation, from today’s (approximately) 4 trillion pound global tech market:

At The Forefront Of Technology: Latest Inventions

For more technology, our article on the latest insights and inventions in tech innovation rounds up the latest from Unbound Festival 2019.

Startup-Up Growth & Leadership

Where are you looking to anticipate change? What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder networks? Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past? These are some of the questions Torres along with Semler, Simek, Nooriala and Wujec explore, as they pin down the characteristics that cause leaders to thrive, and various practices that enable people to reach their potential: 

Roselinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader

Ricardo Semler: How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules

Simon Simek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Amir Nooriala: How To Build A Profitable Unicorn

Tom Wujec: Build A Tower, Build A Team[The Leadership Challenge]

Productivity & Innovative Thinking

In an increasingly data-driven world, how can we not only come up with good ideas, but ensure we’re in control of prioritising the execution of those ideas over temptation from consumerist algorithmic carrots? The below talks are insightful looks at mastering our thought processes:

Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From

Mark Adams: Enter The Cult of Extreme Productivity

View the latest articles on productivity and innovative thinking through Business Psychology At Unbound Festival: 3 Tips On How to Succeed,6 Apps That Make You More Productive, or 3 Ways To Streamline Your Work Day.

Flexible Working

The below looks at what environments outside the office and practices inside the office, are most conducive to producing people’s best work:

Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

Read more about flexible working in the articles Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Co-Working Space,  Business Culture: 3 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your TeamBusiness Culture: Two Common Misconceptions Preventing Business Growth

For more information on topics shaping our business landscape today, give The Value Of Good Contenta read or other articles such as The Top 6 Biggest Misconceptions About Networking.

Looking for business support on any of the above areas? Contact CoStart Up & Go’s HQ.

 

Business Psychology At Unbound Festival: 3 Tips On How To Succeed

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It’s not often 5,000 start-ups, scale-ups, investors and industry leaders, gather to discuss the latest tech trends that are shaping our world. Unbound Festival London covers six pillars of innovation from the front lines of the tech industry:

immersive experience, smart cities, investment and scaling of start-ups, Tech For Good, AI and finance. Technology is the engine room of modern society and leaves an industry brimming with seasoned expertise and fresh young talent, on track to be worth over four trillion pounds. How to succeed then, in this competitive, lucrative, rapidly growing market, is down to not only innovative tech, but innovative mindsets, facilitating the tech.

Here are 3 tips from Unbound Festival on business psychology, to help you succeed in an industry that’s moving faster than us.

1.     Business Psychology

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Psychological traits considered crucial to the survival of a business today, are less focused on adventurous inventions and bold ideas and more focused on adaptability, re-invention, and the relentless execution of a bold idea. There’s a surprising amount of businesses still running on regulations and methods that are 10 years old or more.

Considering the rapidly evolving landscape where product updates, upgrades and brand transformations are regular, nothing lasts 10 years anymore, you’d be lucky if they even last five. So to keep up with the blistering pace that digital tools, designed to speed up communication and the sharing of information, have accelerated, companies must re-invent their cultural values and branding regularly.

This way, employees are kept engaged, old customers are kept coming back, recent customers interested, and new leads’ attracted.

2.     Productive Psychology: Critical Brain Vs. Experiential Brain

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Re-calibrating our decisions to choose what’s best for long-term critical interests over what’s best for short-term gain, is what Mark Adams, Chief of Innovation at Vice and Martin Adams, CEO of AI tech company Codec, call the continuous intrapersonal war between our critical and experiential self. The case in point, is through the ferocious acceleration of big tech companies and the reliant consumption of online stimulus, algorithms –laden with systems and data designed to understand us better than we understand ourselves– are in a dangerous position of control over the decisions we make. Most of these decisions are not in our best interest, they’re of the interest of any typical business model: money. ‘Psyops’ (psychological operations) is the military term for weapons-grade communication tactics, used in modern warfare where research is collected and used to influence the decisions of hostile groups. The problem is, that it’s been dipping its toes in public mainstream territory, and has been accused of exploiting average Joes’ online information to influence decisions, both on mass and individually, for financial business and political ends. 

We as humans have a unique balance of experiential processes: actions that are preconscious and mediated through experience, ‘feel’ and emotion; and critical processes: actions that are conscious, intentional, and mediated through consideration of future interests. Outlined at Unbound, were some practical (albeit radical) ways to take control over prioritising the critical self over the experiential, to ward off increasing effects of technological intelligence, looming in the midst of an increasingly data-driven world. 

Innovation is largely psychological, with the focus shifted away from external ventures like inventing and acquiring academic knowledge, and more towards the likes of self-awareness and radical changes in lifestyle, as a result of that self-awareness. In order to reach true innovation, according to brothers Mark and Martin Adams, some key stages need following:

1.    Firstly, identify your critical needs, which are the things that bring real value and meaning to your life. Critical needs are what make you want to get up in the morning or happy to work long days for because it’s in pursuit of a critical ambition personally or within family. Once you’ve identified this set of needs, you have a unique blueprint for your own success.

2.    Identify what triggers experiential urges, for example, what makes you feel good now such as postponing that creative project until tomorrow, launching that startup next year instead of this year, or buying more, eating more, smoking or drinking more at the times when more pressing matters need your attention.

3.    By restricting your environmental triggers accordingly, it will become easier to do what you critically need and harder to do what you instantly feel like over time. 

4.    Radical methods such as making irreversible decisions that contractually bind you to pursue your critical goals even if weeks or months later you don’t want to, were also explained. Many of the most pioneering people in history have harnessed radical approaches to getting what’s most valuable done, and generated remarkable success from it, which Mark stresses is where true innovation lies.

Innovation starts in the mind, after an individual accurately identifies their unique set of critical goals, radically changes their life’s set up to reach that goal, and diligently turns these goals into material outcomes*. Only then is a larger potential is uncovered, and with it, a deeper level of satisfaction and accomplishment on fulfilling it.

3.     Leadership Psychology

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Leadership is another word for good team management. And a mindset malleable enough to cater to different ways employees feel most empowered, relaxed and valued, is the measure of a good leader. The happier employees feel, the more enabled they’ll be to do their best work. Ways to achieve this include (but are not limited to): re-thinking how current working methods in your business contribute to productivity, implementing flexible and remote working environments, and looking at how different environments can maximise productivity.

Unbound Festival celebrates tech innovation across a wealth of industries and is crucial for its insight into the future of digital. The latest innovative trends in tech are not just products, services and inventions; they are mindsets, dispositions and diligent states of self-analysis. Before external success can come, internal innovation must inform and action it. And with the tech industry trailblazing the markets forming the foundations of our future society, it’s never been as crucial to adapt, fine-tune and innovate our ways of thinking. For more in-depth information on innovation and productivity, watch talks from Unbound Festival 2019 or the additional talk on extreme productivity By Vice Innovation Chief Mark Adams on Tedx.

For directional coaching and initial assessment of your business and mindsets, feel free to get in touch here

*The ‘relentless pursuit of an idea’ from 1. Business Psychology