25 Ways to Reboot Brainpower & Add Innovation

If you’ve seen on this TED video how education had clobbered creativity – you’ll likely be ready to rewire for another go at innovation. And business too clobbers innovation daily in at least 10 areas, if you believe  Stefan Lindegaard at Business Week.

Here are 25 words to reboot  brainpower and zap your innovative plans with a few jolts from brain sciences

1. Invent and share a refreshing solution to a stubborn work problem – solve a  difficulty that leaves you bored or in a rut at work. Brain fact: Boredom is more a habit formed in brains, and shaped by daily choices,  then stored in brain as a reality.

2. Uplift your work area with natural lighting.  Brain fact: Environments influence brainpower, and a healthy workplace inspires people to transform problems into solutions.

3. Thank a fellow worker for a personal accomplishment.  Brain fact: Well being comes partially from and is fueled and extended by serotonin chemical hormones.

4. Give somebody the gift of forgiveness, and let go of a grudge. Brain fact: Anger, fear, and frustration  are fueled and extended by cortisol chemical hormones.

5.  Propose alternatives to an observed annoying habit.  Brain fact: Venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to much more of the same.

6. Act the person you want others to see in you, and that you’ll become. Brain fact: Dendrite brain cells use the outside world and  take shape, or grow based on what you do.

7. Vary your background sounds and add music for more motivation. Brain fact: Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter productivity.

8. Stir curiosity and engage others.  Brain fact: Lectures and talks work against listener brains and benefit speaker intelligence while neglecting  listener insights.

9. Shift routines up daily. Brain fact: Hebbian workers rewire their brains to kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains with sameness.

10. Include differences as assets.  Brain fact: Diversity training commonly fails people  mentally  because it shows inclusion as a deficit model – rather than as assets.

11. Sleep well in order to perform well. Brain fact: Brain waves can bring either sleep or peak performance, based on how you activate and manage them.

12. Research and open mentally to new and different ideas daily.  Brain fact: Hook even difficult facts onto one thing you know and learning increases in less time.

13. Change on regular basis.  Brain fact: Your brain’s basal ganglia stores old facts and creates ruts, while working memory holds few new facts and leads change.

14. Survey and engage more strengths. Brain fact: Multiple intelligences are common to all, used by few, and can be cultivated daily with regular use as mental tools.

15. Create rather than criticize. Brain fact: Cynical or critical mindsets literally block creativity, limit talent in you or others, and stomp out innovation.

16. List key facts as guides and reminders.  Brain fact: Memory can be outsourced to help you remember more, and to free your mind for  focus on the moment.

17. Inspire novel young ideas. Brain fact: Plasticity enables people of all ages and backgrounds to rewire the human brain in ways that keep it younger and more agile.

19. Encourage you and others often.  Brain fact: Encouragement changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, and ratchets up tone for profitability.

19. Communicate with care, openness and honesty. Brain fact: Meta messages destroy relationships through implications different from message spoken.

20. Integrate from ideas and people across many fields.  Brain fact: It often takes an integration of  hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind.

21. Relax and practice letting worries go.  Brain fact:  Stress literally shrinks the brain, and tone in communication acts as a silent killer.

22. Seek genuine and lasting relationships. Brain fact: Greet  colleagues through speaking people’s names, to offer spike in well being or awareness in person’s brain.

23. Risk innovation one step at a time.  Brain fact: Inspire creativity and invention through teaching others at the same time you also learn and create yourself.

24. Collaborate to propose solutions. Brain fact: Create new neuron pathways collectively and add  solutions to workplace  problems  encountered.

25. Celebrate those who differ mentally. Brain fact: Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually, for instance,  in ways that few optimize.

How could these few applications from facts about your brain increase workplace brainpower and toss more innovation into 2010?

14 Comments

  1. Great list.

    So many of these items relate to self-awareness and the injunction for us not to get lost in thought, but to use our brains actively. Wonderful advice!

    Martin

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks for your generous and encouraging comments Martin, and for the wonderful work you are doing at http://mindsparke.com/ . You make an interesting link here to intrapersonal intelligence – which certainly is at the seat of decisions we make for brain health.

    I spoke to scholars at Roehampton Research Center in your area, on this topic and affirm with you that there is new interest in amazing but often unwrapped gifts within the human brain. To open, value or use these as lived experience? That could change lives:-). Again thanks, Martin.

  3. Dr. Dan Bird says:

    I liked #15 so well I made a poster to put in my office. If half the complainers would look for a creative solution rather than simply drop to the lowest common denominator (easiest) tactic of whining it would be a marvelous world.

    Thanks for the great list, Ellen!

    Dan

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  6. Hi Ellen….just picked this one up so a little late, but the great thing about your posts is they are always relevant, they never age because we talking about the brain and how we use it…..Love the brain fact with each point, it’s almost a features and benefits list for marketing the use of the brain to businesses.

    I have in the past watched the Ken Robinson video many times re education killing creativity, I guess in the hope that things will change, which they are in small pockets. Unfortunately at the other end of the spectrum we have parents showing there 9 month old kids flash cards, and sending them to EQ lessons at 4yrs old, what happened to playing !!!….Parents education is a big issue, certainly here in Asia…

    Please continue the great posts Ellen, always interesting….

    Stu

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