TedX Video: Sebastian Seung: I am My Connectome

Over the years, working with a variety of organizations and teams, I have run into many myths in business. Some myths run deeper than others, other myths have led experts to design solutions that are less effective, and some completely block organizations from achieving desired results.

One myth that I have found interesting is that people enter the work place as finished products and that managers shouldn’t or can’t influence who people are at work. There is a notion that if an individual or a team is lacking interpersonal abilities, analytical abilities, organization, systemic thinking or other such capacities, it is not the manager’s job to deal with that. In most cases changing who people are is not considered relevant in the territory of management. Teams are sent off to go acquire skills from time to time, but changing people is sometimes one of those holy cows managers dare not touch.

It’s time to break this myth. The fact is, most people need to change in order for teams to achieve desired business results. Sometimes teams need to acquire new skills, like communication, sales or planning skills, but they need to change the way they learn and apply new skills for these to be applied in a lasting way. If managers don’t get people to change, those valuable skills will simply not be applied. Other times, people need to change a deep pattern, like thinking they are always right, or control patterns that are disabling their teams. If managers don’t think it’s their role to change who people are, they simply won’t be able to give their teams access to their full potential.

Watch this great presentation by Sebastian Seung. In the clip he says: “We live in a remarkable time, the age of genomics. Your genome is the entire sequence of your DNA. Your sequence and mine are slightly different…but it’s not just skin deep…they shape our personality…” One of the most exciting things about the remarkable time we live in for us at KCI, is that it offers answers to things we had no access to before. If you agree that managers often do need to get people to change who they are in order to achieve desired results, it is time to let go of this myth and open the door to the fascinating world of brain science applications to business.


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