The March edition of HR Magazine has an unintentionally hilarious cover article on ‘The Brain at Work’ which informs us that we can ‘squirt’ neurotransmitters into each others’ brains, tell us how we can reboot dendrites and is strangely obsessed with the basal ganglia.
It’s full of fantastic howlers and misplaced metaphors which you’ll have the pleasure of discovering for yourselves, but the stuff about the basal ganglia is just plain odd.
Tired of listening to her employees vent, she told them, ‚ÄúNo longer will I listen to a problem unless you submit at least a portion of the solution.‚Äù
Weber explains what happened next in neuroscientific terms: ‚ÄúThe next day, the basal ganglia were at work continuing to vent about the problems with no solution.‚Äù One employee went to the HR professional‚Äôs office. He didn‚Äôt have a solution, so she sent him away.
‚ÄúAbout three days later, workers realized she was serious. So, a different person went into her office with a solution to the problem. The HR professional agreed to and supported the solution put forward with slight revisions to keep it under budget.‚Äù
That simple change transformed the employees‚Äô dynamics ‚Äî and their brains ‚Äî by turning control over to them. ‚ÄúThe conversation in the basal ganglia went from problem-focused to solution-focused,‚Äù says Weber. ‚ÄúWhen people in that department went to sleep at night, they rewired their brains for the new behaviors.‚Äù
Let’s just pause there for a moment.
Nope, it doesn’t help.
The curious thing is that the article is generally full of quite sensible advice for managing employees but its just wrapped up in this bizarre alternative universe neurobabble.
Somehow we’ve got to the point where people feel they can’t give good advice without waving poorly-understood neuroscience around like it was a recently enlarged willy.
Link to ‘The Brain at Work’.