Over the last decade neuroscientific research has continued to provide invaluable insight into brain function. Recently Forbes magazine quoted: ‘Companies that effectively match emerging knowledge about the brain with profound human needs have a shot at striking gold’. Of significance is research into the area of mind-body influences and the effects that thoughts and feelings have upon body function through altering body chemistry.
But what implications does this have for the world of big business? Hanlie van Wyk, Executive Coach & Research Psychologist at Cycan, a business acceleration, transition and agility solutions practice, believes it can be game changing.
“The science of psychoneuroimmunology or PNI is the study of the interactions between psychological factors, the central nervous system and immune function as modulated by the neuroendocrine system. In essence what it means is that we can induce certain changes in brain and body chemistry by changing our way of thinking and feeling.
Most individuals live their lives unaware of this and do not attempt consciously engage these fundamental neuro-psychological processes. This means that they do not fully capitalize on this chemistry in terms of work engagement, leadership potential, wellness, performance, and quality of life,” explains van Wyk.
Through its NeuroAlchemy offering Cycan are bringing the science of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) into the workplace together with a diagnostic framework created by Johannesburg based neurosurgeon, Dr Ian Weinberg. “This program allows us to bring about sustainable and positive change in people, work engagement, team dynamics and leadership styles,” she says.
The model consists of five archetypes of behaviour: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Alpha-Bravo and Alpha-Charlie. Each archetype is indicative of personal health potential, level of work engagement and leadership potential. Through establishing an awareness of the three archetypes and their traits van Wyk says that non-resourceful and damaging PNI chemistry can be avoided and “The Triangles Model has evolved to become a basis for accurately determining engagement levels, stress profiles, as well as PNI resilience in terms wellness and performance. Following the completion of the online diagnostic appropriate intervention to enhance the chemistry of wellness and performance can be facilitated. As the diagnostic is fully quantifiable, the impact and effectiveness of intervention can be evaluated on an ongoing basis,” she comments.
For van Wyk the beauty of this particular model is that its application is not merely restricted to personal coaching at an individual level. “Within an organisational context the model provides a comprehensive framework for the implementation of multiple modalities of intervention. Leaders looking to sustainably enhance leadership, build motivated teams, effectively re-structure management, or boost staff wellness in general can now benefit from a science based model that produces accurate, quantifiable and sustainable results,” she concludes.