Innovation Brainpower in Opposites

Has your workplace sunken you into a quagmire of broken practices, cranky managers, or a shrinking public purse?

Few deny that frustrations follow from spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.  Stress that increasingly bombards workplaces, also lowers brainpower.  If that watch-your-back syndrome consumes your  time and talent, you are not alone.

Innovation Brainpower in Opposites

Polls show that less that 25% of people find their work satisfying anymore – an all time low. Problems follow when people bring poorly wired reactions to challenges, and it may appear impossible to resolve issues or embrace growth. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Not that you’ll change an entire organization overnight, but  your own courage to listen and to act, can create a climate to change and grow. Did you know that good listeners get inside your head?

Create new neural networks – available only to those who act on opposites. Those who act counter to conflicts, for instance, fuel new engines to drive curiosity and offer calm solutions.  Tone skills skip over problems, to regain lost brainpower through cultivating a language and caring climate.

Imagine a workplace that builds more on people’s strengths, and you’ll be staring down problems that prevent growth.

For example:

  • Support one innovative or working wheel where you work, and watch brainpower kick in to drive growth in other areas. Serotonin chemical fuels and sustains added brainpower when people laugh easily, give often, support deeply, and care about other’s progress at work. How much serotonin will you spread where you work today, by supporting what works and building on strengths?
  • Propose one plan to solve a problem together in spite of politics that stop progress.  At meetings, for instance, innovation turns negative events into challenges to chase as teams. Suggest tactics to help others avoid political game playing or strategies to run from gossip that puts down peers. Brain based language and tone can stop the cortisol chemicals that fuel and sustain anger, fear and frustration to limit brainpower at work. Willing to nab an extra shot of dopamine from your brainpower to take that risk for a win?
  • Ask, what if …,  which stands opposite the words, it can’t be done. Than name a silly alternative to get folks laughing.  Humor moves people past problems that tend to hold back talented employees. New research reminds us that venting creates neuron pathways for more of the same, and limits innovative brainpower.
  • Invite another’s wisdom which some say never happens to them where they work. Highly developed interactions create the impetus for shared adventures, and move people past passivity that  follows from talking at folks. Work with rather than against listeners’ brainpower, and you also increase innovative opportunities. Intelligent questions go a long way to help you act on people’s novel ideas.  Sound better than steaming over workplace toxins?
  • Build relationship across departments to move away from exclusionary traits that follow from isolated silos. Hebbian workers rewire daily through doing the same things the same way, so as to kill incentives, limit focus, or even shrink their brains.
  • Build goodwill with people who differ and you’ll also engage brainpower for the wealth that lies in opposing views.  Rather than suggest, here’s why your idea won’t work, tell people what you learned from their different perspectives.  Diversity training tends to work against innovative benefits when you come from differences in a deficit model approach. Act opposite what diversity training fails in, and expect brains to rewire for goodwill.

With each negative act or gloomy prediction you wire brainpower for that action in you and others! Imagine its opposite! Can you see new possibilities at work?

Acting opposite of flawed approaches works because the outside world reshapes the human brain.  Whether  online, where faces remain hidden, or in face to face interactions, we rewire daily for workplace satisfaction, or growing gloom.

Expect amazing takeaways. The brain offers an extra bonus to  those who lead the way with opposites at work. Research  shows that every normal brain comes equipped with mirror neurons, so people mimic your healthy practices. Only deliberate acts, on the opposite side of problems, will  improve personal and collective brainpower for innovation and growth. Willing to start the trend?


  1. […] every spark of progress, the grown sons of Bah-y-Rita persisted more to help their papa do acts on the opposite side of his weakness and loss. Little was known until recently about how the brain changes itself whenever you act […]

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks Dan, and thanks also for the amazing YouTube. What a perfect example of the brainpower in humor and also of mirror neurons that have us mimicking others! Think I will write a post on this topic.

    You are onto something at this moment in your research and which holds answers for all of us! I am watch with keen awareness to see its conclusions!

  3. […] you spin your wheels in ruts at work? If so you can sidestep harmful chemicals such as cortisol, by acting opposite of one setback.  Your brain will help you through, by sending serotonin chemicals with increased […]

  4. david rodriguez says:

    pffttt this is old news

  5. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by David, you are so right that this concept is not a new one – nor is the concept of using thoughtful tone to build goodwill with those who disagree with ideas, as a way to value and learn from differences.

    What is new to some, is the doing of this – with evidence that opposites are being engaged respectfully. This post really addresses the doing of these concepts, in ways that build stronger communities.

    To actually do this blog’s suggested tactics for engaging opposite ideas – literally reconfigures the human brain to build on unique and differing approaches. It shows up in people words and extends into innovations that come for alternative offerings valued.

    Hope that adds more to the notion of why this blog was posted, David, and how it works to build productive workplaces where people show respect for others who differ. Ellen

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