Your Brain, Mind, and Business Transformation
Information overload is the new normal. We have too much to think about and too little time to manage the rush of information coming at us from multiple sources. The nonstop tsunami of structured and unstructured data that slams into our lives throughout our waking hours—and, for some of us, throughout our sleeping hours—can adversely affect our clarity of thought and, thus, our decision-making abilities. As such, it has become a monumental challenge for executives and decision-makers to keep themselves and their teams focused on doing the right things and on making the best business decisions.
It’s also extremely difficult to change or transform your business when you don’t know what to focus on first, where to start, and how best to view things. Organizational transformation impacts people, processes, technology, and information. It comes in different styles, shapes, and forms, whether in the guise of a merger or acquisition, a new initiative or program, a consolidation of internal departments, or a reduction of unnecessary administrative costs. Transformation may be centered on a department, a division, an entire enterprise, or across multiple companies.
But before you can begin the process of transforming your business, you and your team must develop the right mindset.
The Brain and Transformational Intelligence
What is that mindset?
In order to describe it, we need to discuss how the brain works. Certain parts of the brain are analytic, others are intuitive, other parts are social, and some are just plain anxious. The key is to realize where your own brain fits into the scheme. The rule that every individual is defined as a composite of strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others extends to all the multifarious facets of the human brain, mind, and consciousness.
How do you base your decisions? Do you consider yourself more intuitive or analytical? If you’re an intuitive decision maker, you base your decisions on “feelings” that you get. Your ideas come from bursts of creativity. If you’re an analytical decision maker, you base your decisions on historical data. You crunch the numbers that your business generates and extract patterns from them. Then you use those patterns to change course as needed.
The problem is that neither of these modalities, when used separately, will transform your business. Ideas that come from a burst of creativity, like the kind that employees spontaneously throw out in the middle of a meeting, often are not supported by data. Ideas based on data often involve doing either more, or less, of something you’re already doing, rather than being based on something new.
The best way to accomplish transformation in your organization is to use an approach that combines both intuitive and analytical thinking. This creates what I call “Transformational Intelligence.”
What makes Transformational Intelligence different from ordinary intelligence is that you use the whole brain, as opposed to using your brain only in the way that comes naturally to you. Organizations are most successful when a company culture is created where everyone works this way, not just you. Transformational Intelligence uses neuroscience, psychology, organizational behavior, and analytics to drive and transform business performance, while improving collaboration and communication. It helps decision makers and executives drive value by providing a framework to define strategic initiatives, improve financial goals, exceed customer satisfaction, streamline business processes and tools, and motivate employees to become innovative and creative.
The Four Essential Transformational Intelligences for Business
There are four core areas where Transformational Intelligence has the biggest effect. Each of these areas requires its own particular Transformational Intelligence:
- Financial Intelligence: The ability to collect and use financial data to generate insights that inform intelligent decision-making regarding items like cash flow, profitability, and growth, as well as quality and productivity.
- Customer Intelligence: The understanding of who your customers are and how to attract, find, reach, and connect with them, through the lenses of sales and marketing, customer support and services, and partner and supplier relationships.
- Data Intelligence: The creation of standardized internal processes, procedures, systems, and activities across an organization made transparent and universally comprehended through collaboration and the communication of timely visual data. This cohesive approach enables transformative, value-creating decisions.
- Mastermind Intelligence: The brainstorming of ideas and solutions in a nonjudgmental, well-respected environment. It is about empowering employees to be innovative, engaging partners and customers, and finding ways to support those partners and customers you’ve connected with.
These intelligences are all interlinked. Financial Intelligence requires Customer Intelligence, otherwise there won’t be any money coming in. Customer Intelligence requires the transformative decisions enabled by Data Intelligence in order to create the value that brings in customers. Data Intelligence needs Mastermind Intelligence in order to act on the information that is discovered by collaboration throughout the organization. Mastermind Intelligence loops back to Financial Intelligence, to assess the financial requirements of the actions created by Mastermind Intelligence, since everything an organization implements requires either money or a reallocation of manpower and resources.
These Four Transformational Intelligences were shaped by the work the company has done with organizations over the past 20 years, as well as lessons we’ve learned from our colleagues and mentors. Time and again, the solutions we helped put into place boiled down to these four aspects of intelligence. Here are a few highlights:
• The management of a $65-billion government organization was consistently given too much data and not enough usable information. This happened because no one had figured out which data was relevant. Also, when faced with legislative mandates, the organization didn’t know what the impact would be and where to apply changes. Using the Four Transformational Intelligences, this agency was able to reduce cost, cater to their internal customers (marketing, human resources, and finance), gain visual insight, and communicate effectively with their employees. They also have a process for continuous improvement.
• Because of a government mandate, an insurance risk management organization needed to merge and consolidate processes across multiple departments to respond to their customers’ needs. These changes affected many internal employees, contractors, and consultants. They were experiencing friction, misdirection, and costly rework before I became actively involved. After working through the Four Transformational Intelligences, there was clarity, structure, organization, and collaboration across the board.
• The CEO of an international software company needed to expand business into a new industry. By using the Four Transformational Intelligences, the company successfully broke into the new niche.
Applying the Four Transformational Intelligences to a wide variety of businesses with a plethora of different needs caused those organizations to have tremendous breakthroughs. Using the Four Transformational Intelligences, you will learn how to declutter, simplify, collaborate, communicate, and strategize better. You will change the way you look at your processes, patterns, behaviors, and thinking habits so that you make better business decisions, where the transformation process becomes less painful and more productive.