Your Brain at Work

Your Brain at Work Podcast

In organizations around the world, leaders are facing a deluge of urgent issues: a crisis in employee engagement, the need to make workforces more diverse, and the challenge of making workplaces feel human in an era of increasing dependence on technology and remote communication. At the NeuroLeadership Institute, we believe brain science can help provide solutions. Join us on Your Brain At Work, the official podcast of the NeuroLeadership Institute — where top researchers and thought leaders share breakthroughs in brain science and industry leaders reveal the strategies behind their success. By helping them understand how the brain works, we equip leaders with the tools to transform their organizations — building new habits and changing how people work, communicate, and make decisions. Combining research and practice, brain science and business leadership, Your Brain at Work explores how insights from the lab can provide solutions that work across industries and at any scale. Season 1 guests include broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien; Dean Carter, Director of Human Resources, Finance, Legal, Shared Services at Patagonia; Deb Bubb, Vice President of Learning and Inclusion at IBM; and FD Wilder, Senior Vice President of Go-To-Market Strategy and Innovation at Procter & Gamble. Your Brain At Work. Helping make organizations more human.

From the Field: Paying Mentorship Forward with Kendrick Trotter and Joshua Berezin
Since recording this conversation in July, Josh has left VMWare to join Amazon/AWS and Kendrick’s mentoring organization “Us in Technology” has gained a lot of energy and exposure.If you are an organization looking for minority talent, or you’re an individual starting your career in STEM looking to connect with Kendrick’s network, you can learn more on LinkedIn....

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Virtual Learning in a Hybrid World
In this week's episode, NLI Co-founder and CEO Dr. David Rock is joined by Senior Vice President of Client Experience Katherine Milan to discuss the science of learning. Together, they unpack the latest research around memory and habit formation, discuss how to make learning more social, identify the five biggest mistakes organizations are making when transitioning learning to a virtual format, and reveal the five ways you can avoid those pitfalls and design better learning experiences. Hint: it’s by follow...

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Performance Management Lives in a VUCA World
This week, our panel of experts includes NLI’s Head of Performance Barbara Steeel, Senior Client Strategist, Rob Ollander-Krane, and CEO and Co-Founder Dr. David Rock. Together, they discuss the latest trends and research in performance management; they share illuminating insights on giving, and receiving, feedback; and they reflect on the six critical conversations employees and managers should be having to perform at their best....

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The Neuroscience of De-escalation: What Organizations Can Learn From First Responders
Joe Smarro, one of the two police officers featured in the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary, “Ernie & Joe, Crisis Cops,” is helping create a more human society. In the season three premiere of YBAW, Joe joins NLI CEO and Co-founder Dr. David Rock, Senor Director of Neuroscience Research Dr. Kamila Sip, and facilitator Davie Floyd to discuss bringing science-backed de-escalation training to police officers. Together, the panel unpacks how the science of social threat and reward can help us better understand an...

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How Allies Take Bold Action with NLI Consultants and Solutions Experts
This week, our panel of experts includes NLI’s Head of Consulting and Research Khalil Smith, Senior Consultant Paulette Gerkovich, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Solutions Marshall Bergmann. Together they discuss the latest research on the importance of taking bold action; they share illuminating and inspiring case studies from organizations who have embraced acting boldly; and they reflect on the series as a whole to offer leaders the best strategies to show up in the best way possible for the peop...

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Use Brain Science to Bring Your Teams Together with Social Psychologist Dominic Packer
Along with Dr. Kamila Sip, NLI’s Senior Director of Neuroscience Research, and Khalil Smith, Head of Research and Consulting at NLI, this episode features the insights of Dr. Dominic Packer, social psychologist at Lehigh University. The group discusses how we determine who’s “one of us,” the consequences of doing so, and how we can expand our perceived boundaries to create larger ingroups....

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The Art (and Science) of Listening Circles with NLI Scientists and Consultants
In a discussion on listening deeply, host Barbara Steel, Head of NLI’s Performance Practice, is joined by Paulette Gerkovich, a Senior Consultant at NLI, and Dr. Michaela Simpson, one of NLI’s Senior Scientists. Together they talk through what listening circles can look like in organizations, the science of psychological safety and perspective taking, and the potential pitfalls of getting it wrong....

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Turn Empathy Into Your Superpower with Stanford Psychologist Jamil Zaki
Jamil Zaki, Stanford Professor of Psychology and the author of “The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World” joins NLI’s Head of Consulting and Practices, Khalil Smith. Jamil shares some of his biggest findings from studying empathy, and offers fascinating insights that anybody can use to build the muscle of empathy in their personal and professional relationships and create a better, kinder world....

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The Allyship Journey at Microsoft, with Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre
Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Chief Diversity Officer at Microsoft, sits down with with NLI CEO and Co-Founder Dr. David Rock and NLI Head of Research and Consulting, Khalil Smith, for a discussion on allyship. Learn how Microsoft has been working for the past two years to develop a culture of allyship and how leaders can develop tools to make allyship come alive in their organizations....

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How to Build a Growth Mindset During Crisis, with Chris Boruff of Morningstar
Chris Boruff, Director of Operations at the financial services firm Morningstar, sits down with NLI Co-Founder and CEO Dr. David Rock and NLI’s Director of Industry Research, Andrea Derler, to discuss growth mindset—what it is, how it works, and and how Morningstar has made the most of the COVID-19 crisis to transform the entire organization’s approach to learning, feedback, and growth....

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How to Use Data to Drive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with Splunk Chief Diversity Officer Suzanne McGovern
Suzanne, together with NLI’s Khali Smith and Dr. David Rock, explore the many ways Splunk has designed and deployed a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. The conversation also delves into Splunk’s thoughtful response to the ongoing human rights movement and calls for racial justice....

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Heads of Talent at Zoom and P&G Create Clarity in a Noisy World
At a time when the noise of the world seems to drown out any sense of clarity, Lynne Oldham, Chief People Officer at Zoom, and Tracey Grabowski, CHRO at Procter & Gamble remind us how to follow what’s essential—not just in the services they offer, but in how they’ve cultivated a calming, yet innovative, spirit through intense disruption, and in so doing, set an example for other leaders to follow....

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The Science of Allyship and What Leaders Should Do Now
A panel of NLI experts, including CEO and Co-Founder Dr. David Rock, VP of Consulting and Research Khalil Smith, and Head of D&I Ester Neznanova, walk us through the science and importance of listening deeply, uniting widely, and acting boldly. Along the way they address challenges leaders have been facing and offer science-based solutions to keep teams feeling heard, included, and empowered to effect change....

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The Mindset Organizations Need Right Now with Ford and Comcast
Shawna Erdmann, SVP of Learning at Comcast, and Melanie Davis, CLO at Ford, work for companies that have embraced growth mindset over the past few months, shifting from one set of expectations and roles, into brand-new operations. Their stories show how keeping an open mind benefits not just individuals as they work to adapt, but entire organizations looking to transform....

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Learning to Lead Better with Gilead and Merck
Jyoti Mehra, CHRO of Gilead Sciences, and Doug Shupinski, Head of Leadership Development at Merck are today’s guests. The discussion focuses on how Gilead is creating a culture of empathy, through leadership forums and developing a common language, and how Merck is meeting people where they are to keep learning and development going strong....

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Look Forward to the Future with Bob Johansen and Amy Edmondson
Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, and Amy Edmondson, Harvard professor and expert on psychological safety discuss what we can do today—for ourselves and for others—so that tomorrow, and the days after that, we’ll all be in the best position to stay healthy and successful....

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Inclusion Matters More Than Ever with IBM and Gartner
Brian Kropp, Group Vice President at Gartner, and Deb Bubb, Head of Leadership, Learning, and Inclusion at IBM, discuss the growing importance of inclusive habits at work: respecting people’s capacity to get things done, the challenges of playing multiple roles, and helping teams see that they really are in this together....

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Netflix and DTE Energy on Leading with Trust and Empathy
Amy Schultz, Director of Organizational Effectiveness & Learning at DTE Energy, and Rebecca Port, VP of Talent at Netflix, represent two essential services during a crisis—perhaps in their own way. In this episode, Amy and Rebecca touch on their approach to giving employees a sense of certainty, autonomy, and relatedness in the way leaders focus their teams....

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At HP and Patagonia, a Crisis Means People Come First
Tracy Keogh, CHRO at HP, and Dean Carter, Head of Finance, Legal, and HR at Patagonia, are dealing with different challenges at their organizations these days. But what you’ll hear from each leader echoes the same point: During a crisis, it’s people—not business goals or numbers—that need to come first....

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Creating More Human Organizations with Arianna Huffington and Dr. David Rock
Modern working life is overrun with distractions, obligations, and burnout. Arianna Huffington, author and CEO of Thrive Global, has made it her mission to infuse more humanity into how work gets done. In this week’s episode, Arianna sits down with Dr. David Rock, NLI Co-Founder and CEO, to explore the problem of being “always on” and offer leaders strategies to make their own organizations more human....

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Create Cultures of Speaking Up with Dr. Mona Weiss and Khalil Smith
The most dangerous sound in any organization is silence. And yet, for many of us, speaking up is one of the hardest things to do at work. In this week’s episode, Assistant Professor of Management and Diversity at the Free University of Berlin Dr. Mona Weiss discusses her research around “employee voice.” She explains why personality alone can’t explain why some people keep quiet and why others make themselves heard, and offers research-backed tips to get everyone more engaged....

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Stop Using D&I to ‘Fix’ Employees with Mastercard CIO Randall Tucker & Khalil Smith
No one wants to be told they need fixing, and yet this is the impression so many diversity and inclusion programs leave on employees. According to Randall Tucker, Chief Inclusion Officer at Mastercard, the smarter way to gain people’s buy-in is to frame D&I as an extension of an organization’s business goals. That way, Randall says, leaders can help people see D&I as a tool for building their skills, not correcting their flaws....

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Feedback Thrives at Microsoft with Liz Friedman and Dr. Heidi Grant
It’s among the most heart-stopping questions a person can receive at work: Can I give you some feedback? But research shows it doesn’t have to be so dread-inducing. Done right, feedback can spark transformation. On this week’s episode, LIz Friedman, Senior Director of Global Performance & Development at Microsoft, shares how America’s most valuable company is learning to make self-improvement an active effort through smarter feedback....

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How Do Humans Fit into the Future of Work? With Lynda Gratton and Dr. David Rock
Lynda Gratton believes the human experience is fundamentally shifting. It’s moving away from the three-stage life of education, career, and retirement, and instead moving into what she calls a “multi-stage life,” whereby people learn, work, and relax over many decades, well into old age. On this episode, discover how Lynda sees the future playing out in discussion with NLI’s Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. David Rock....

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Killing Ratings and Making Performance Come Alive with GAP’s Rob Ollander-Krane and Dr. Andrea Derler
No one likes to feel like a number. And yet, so many organizations use rigid, ratings-based approaches for tracking employees’ performance. Rob Ollander-Krane, Director of Talent Planning and Performance at Gap Inc., has for years decided to take his teams in a different direction — namely, by killing performance ratings. In this episode, discover how Rob’s bold decision has ushered in a brand-new world of work....

Inclusion and the Reskilling Revolution, with IBM CLO Deb Bubb and Dr. David Rock
To help employees learn new skills, IBM knows those people need to feel connected to their work. Which is why for the past few years, Deb Bubb, IBM’s Chief Leadership and Learning Officer, has sought to create more tight-knit communities within the company. That means more women. More people of color. And more cohesion overall. Listen in as Deb shares her progress and philosophies in adapting to this reskilling revolution. Our host Chris Weller is joined by Deb Bubb (CLO of IBM) and David Rock (Neuroleader...

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Put Storytelling to Work with Soledad O'Brien and Dr. David Rock
For thousands of years, humans have used storytelling to share their truths and connect with others. And yet, as so many of today’s organizations continue to diversify, leaders still struggle to include a range of perspectives, even for critical decisions. Award-winning journalist and Executive Producer Soledad O’Brien believes organizations can do better, starting with the basic acknowledgement that everyone has an important story to tell, so long as leaders are willing to listen. Our host Chris Weller is...

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Can Patagonia Change the World? with CHRO Dean Carter and Dr. David Rock
Patagonia, the clothing company beloved for its mountain-ready apparel, has for the last few years been embarking on a journey of its own. Rather than simply avoid doing the planet harm, Patagonia wants to regenerate and protect Mother Earth through its environmental practices. But one day Dean Carter, Patagonia’s CHRO, had an idea. What if those same regenerative practices were brought internally, so that the company put as much into its employees as it took out? Might the company also flourish? Our host ...

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The Great Learning Transformation at P&G with FD Wilder and Dr. Heidi Grant
As digitally native retailers like Amazon and Alibaba begin to nibble away at legacy brands’ market share, companies like Procter & Gamble have started rethinking the way they approach new product lines. For FD Wilder, Former Senior Vice President of Go-to-Market Strategy and Innovation at P&G, that new approach requires being the fastest learner in town - and shifting our mindset to roll with the uncertainty along the way. Our host Chris Weller is joined by FD Wilder (formerly of Procter & Gamble) and Hei...

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