At Diageo, the world’s leading spirits producer, an enthusiastic visionary, Kate Lanz began her leadership journey as the first female and youngest international general manager. While driving the growth of her organisation, she experienced first-hand, gender-based psychological differences at work. Back then she was unaware of some of the neurobiological mechanisms underpinning these differences. But she went on to find out…
Understanding from the Grassroots
Having formally trained in psychology and worked as a leadership coach internationally for a decade (mostly the U.S. and Latin America) she was in a unique position to unravel the subtleties of gender difference in our brains. She found her answers in the many years of doctoral research examining gender-based differences of the brain and how they show up in the workplace. Kate observes that “there are differences between brain sexes but they are not simple binary differences between male and female brains.” In fact, every human brain is like a mosaic where the tiles are available in thousands of shades between pink and blue”.
Latent but so often Lost Brain Power
Kate noticed that most businesses fail to unleash the full potential of the human mind. Many organisations rely on structures, processes, and cultures that are built around pure ‘blue’ brains, which is typically less than 20 percent of the brains in the business. Such a one-dimensional approach inadvertently blocks organisational progress to true diversity and certainly to inclusion through effective access to brain difference. The risk to such businesses is that they end up continuously producing the same solutions, the same processes, and the same results. Kate believes that to mitigate this risk, “a different type of agility is required in the current landscape.” Kate’s vision led to the inception of Mindbridge, an organisation dedicated to enhancing business outcomes by combining applied neuroscience with coaching interventions.
Cutting-Edge and Science-Based
Driven by Kate’s doctoral research and 20 years of leadership consulting experience, today, Mindbridge is delivering ground-breaking programmes, workshops, and masterclasses on brain gender differences across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The organisation comprises an international network of highly-experienced leadership coaches and facilitators with considerable expertise in business, neuroscience and psychology. “We help clients to establish brain-friendly work cultures, and thus, light up the brilliant mosaic of diverse and inspiring brains” says Kate.
Notably, Mindbridge is not a run-of-the-mill diversity and inclusion training organisation. Instead, it ‘bridges’ the gap that diversity training cannot fill. The company takes an in-depth approach, including models, frameworks, and technology, to tackle the nuanced issues underpinning the persisting organisational challenges in fully harnessing diversity and accelerating gender balance at all business levels. Kate explains that while many large organisations are good enough at hiring diversity at the bottom of the organisation, they can be weak at retaining and inspiring diverse talent. “These can be brain gender blindness or dominant mindsets locked in by long-standing habits,” remarks Kate. Although this is not ill-intentioned, it can affect the overall productivity and performance of the business.
We help clients to establish brain-friendly work cultures, and thus, light up the brilliant mosaic of diverse and inspiring brains” says Kate
Mindbridge supports individual leaders to look deeply at their own relational and emotional patterning. The company uses its own bespoke interview to uncover the leader’s Trustprint™, which provides insights into their individual brain’s patterning in respect of important leadership behaviours. “We combine this with uncovering a leader’s own brain sex, gaining insights into the mix of male and female brain characteristics for the individual,” explains Kate. Brain sex is only part of the enquiry but helps leaders to see where their own Trustprint™ might be inadvertently making them blind to other’s ‘thrive and survive’ responses. This helps them to see where they might not be fully tapping into the latent brain potential in others around them in their key teams.
A case in Point
A large financial services institution that recently worked with Mindbridge had been facing challenges in retaining the senior female employees due to the cultural shortcomings in the workplace. The Mindbridge team carried out a careful, confidential assessment to identify the root issues and designed customised Neurosmart™ workshop series. Through applied neuroscience and corporate expertise, Mindbridge developed personalised models of communication, followed by brain friendly meetings and performance measures using real examples. Through Mindbridge’s continuous support, the client steadily developed a sustainable workplace that was conducive to all genders and created real change.
Committed to driving dynamic change, Mindbridge now intends to team up with key business partners to accelerate diversity through the inclusion of all brain genders. Using the latest neuroscience and company specific research, the company is enabling its clients to inculcate this knowledge and build optimal workplaces for the future. With the new challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mindbridge is focused on helping big businesses build an environment that unleashes the power of different brains in their organisations. “We are poised to be a friendly yet disruptive force that supports leaders in creating sustainable change,” concludes Kate.