Applying Neuroscience in Business

It’s something of a “buzz” word out there and it has been used in connection with many areas such as the law courts and the military, as well as business. It is gaining more traction and there are several fields where the term “neuro” precedes a common business term – like leadership, coaching, teaming, economics and marketing.

What do these terms mean – and should you be using them in your business?

Neurocoaching

This is the term used by business coaches who incorporate elements of neuroscience into their training and coaching programs. Often these programs are aimed at executive leadership as these people are usually the key decision makers and are in charge of large teams of people.

Neurocoaching essentially shows leadership how an understanding of how the brain works can help them in their business.

Now, the brain is incredibly complicated and scientists still finding its workings hugely challenging, but there is now a wealth of information out there to use. This is mainly thanks to more advanced imaging and scanning techniques which can highlight more about what’s happening in the brain as it performs certain functions.

Being so complex, it does require experts with a thorough understanding of the science to be able to apply it effectively to business; otherwise misrepresentations and wrong conclusions can be drawn.

It’s often difficult to find business coaches with the necessary depth of understanding of the science – or scientists with the necessary understanding of business – so it’s important to vet your neurocoaches and ensure they have the necessary experience and qualifications.

Neuroleadership

Neuroleadership is a term used to describe how neuroscience relates to leadership. It doesn’t take too much to see how a better understanding of how the brain works, and therefore a deeper understanding of human behavior, could be beneficial to leadership.

When managing large teams of people, it helps to know the response that a particular stimulus will create; generalisations, of course, are always dangerous, and people are complex organisms, but certain behaviours can be more manageable if we understand why they occur and when they are likely to occur.

Neuroleadership frameworks are detailed, complex and multi-layered for all the various levels of leadership within an organisation. Courses often take many days to cover all the necessary ground.

Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is emerging more into the spotlight. Large advertising and marketing companies have long used behavioural sciences to help their clients tap into the buying habits of their customers and to be more persuasive in their advertising campaigns.

In fact nothing motivates marketers more than the belief that they can read customers’ minds!

With neuroscience starting to uncover possible reasons for patterns of behaviour from fMRI scans of the brain, it should be no surprise that the marketing companies have latched on to this and created another “neuro” field, all of their own.

Market research firm Nielsen recently bought a firm called NeuroFocus, which is a multinational neuromarketing company – indicating just how close the relationship has become.

Neuroeconomics

Neuroeconomics is another emerging area of study; it looks at how the findings of neuroscience can guide economic models, using research methods from neuroscience, experimental and behavioral economics, and cognitive and social psychology.

It generally focuses on areas like decision making under conditions of risk and loss aversion – how we can understand these better and improve the outcomes.

As you can see neuroscience and business cross over in many areas. Most of these disciplines will continue to develop in the years ahead – and more will be added. We haven’t even mentioned Neuroteaming, which is another field of development.

If you are looking for a deeper understanding of how neuroscience might be able to make a positive impact for your business, ensure that you hire neurocoaches that understand both the science and your business.