25 Signs an Organizational Model is Broken

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Signs of broken business model

Does innovative brainpower fuel your business model?  Is your organization moving forward with the fast shifting economy of the 21st Century, or is it mired in broken practices?

Check out 25 areas that reinvigorate broken business models, and you’ll also agree that tired systems can be mended to grow mindful again.

  1. Workers show disdain or apathy for their work,  and express lack of concern for others’ efforts.   Brain Fact: Boredom is more a habit formed in brains, and shaped by your choices, than a reality.
  2. Dark, uncomfortable work areas abound.  Brain Fact: Environment counts, and a healthy setting helps people transform problems into solutions.
  3. Communication appears cold, inconsistent and cynical. Brain Fact: Well being comes partially from and is fueled and extended by serotonin chemical hormones.
  4. Conflicts predominates over calm. Brain Fact: Anger, fear, and frustration are fueled and extended by cortisol chemical hormones.
  5. More  problems than solutions appear evident. Brain Fact: Venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to much more of the same.
  6. Change is short-lived and unexpected and valued. Brain Fact: Dendrite brain cells use the outside world and take shape, or grow based on what you do.
  7. Music selections work against focus and innovation and growth. Brain Fact: Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter productivity.
  8. Knowledge comes with unreasonable demands, and is  delivered. Brain Fact: Lectures and talks work against listeners’ brains and benefit speakers’ intelligence mostly.
  9. Tenure is used as an excuse to stop learning and or stomp on growth. Brain Fact: Hebbian workers rewire their brains to kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains.
  10. People are excluded because of backgrounds and beliefs at all leadership levels. Brain Fact: Diversity training commonly works mentally against benefits because of its deficit model.
  11. Little or no variety exists between exercise and quiet reflection.  Brain Fact: Brain waves can bring either sleep or peak performance, based on how you activate them.
  12. Knowledge appears irrelevant to many. Brain Fact: Hook even difficult facts onto one thing a person already knows and learning increases in less time.
  13. Ruts appear constant – while  invention appears rarely. Brain Fact: Basal ganglias store facts and create ruts, working memory holds few facts and leads change.
  14. Multiple approaches are discouraged while people must reach prescribed standards from one required approach. Brain Fact: Multiple intelligences are common to all, used by few, and can be more developed daily.
  15. Peer pressure diminishes creativity,  innovation is limited while cynicism is rampant. Brain Fact: Cynical mindsets literally block creativity, impact talent, and stomp out innovation.
  16. Learning approaches are top down and easily dropped or forgotten. Brain Fact: Memory can be outsourced to help people remember, and to free the mind for focus.
  17. Senior workers teach all yet rarely learn from others. Brain Fact: Plasticity enables people to rewire the human brain in ways that keep it younger, smarter, and alive through interactive learning.
  18. A spirit of discouragement supersedes consensus and team building for profitability.  Brain Fact: Encouragement  changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, criticism tears down all through spreading cortisol chemicals.
  19. Distrust is evident through lack of transparency in communications. Brain Fact: Meta messages destroy relationships through implications different from what is said.
  20. Self-serving exchanges build traditional silos and departments refuse to pull together for the greater good. Brain Fact: It often takes an integration of  hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind.
  21. Negative tone predominates so that few people tend to take risks to achieve new heights. Brain Fact: Stress literally shrinks the brain, and tone in communication acts as a silent killer.
  22. Leaders know few people by name, or address others by name. Brain Fact: Greet a person through speaking that person’s name, for a spike in personal awareness.
  23. Creativity and invention get stomped out rather than shared, through lack of teaching others at the same time people learn. Brain Fact: People retain 90% more through teaching others at the same time they learn a thing. So wisdom and invention spreads and grows in this way.
  24. Curiosity is rarely cultivated by the entire workplace community. Brain Fact: Create new neuron pathways each time you add a solution to any problem you encounter. The opposite is also true – as a focus on problems leads to more of the same.
  25. Little value appears evident for both women and men at all leadership levels.  Brain Fact: Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually in ways that few optimize, but ways that jettison innovations forward.

What brain based strategy would begin to turn your broken organizational model in a new direction to become an innovative learning model as GE and others became. Take a risk to launch that one strategy and your innovation could spark sustainable growth and profitability. What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “25 Signs an Organizational Model is Broken

  1. Pingback: Plasticity’s Pathways to Innovation « Brain Leaders and Learners

  2. eweber Post author

    Thanks for stopping by Kate, and for your encouraging words!

    Glad you raised the problem of naysayers. They can set the tone at meetings as they are often first to speak out and loudest to criticize.

    Sadly we have not learned at college, tactics for engaging ideas on opposite sides – so that rather than beat down another person to win, we practice adding insights from many angles to build new ideas! Those brain based strategies really do rewire a brain for more innovative brainpower – and with great results:-).

    Yes, I agree with you and Louise’s insights on empathy. That is also able to be developed as we give folks strategies for engaging more interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence. It’s cool when people move others forward with strategies that emulate empathy! Can you not see the innovation that generates in such a community! Yes — let’s do it – and support one another for the same!

  3. Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

    This is an outstanding post for it delivers tangible signs for tactical improvements leading to strategic success. I will RT it this week for all to read. Your blog is a gem.

    Very interesting factoid you noted! “Boredom is shaped by habit & choices – not a reality.”

    Of all the points you made #21 “Negative tone predominates and is a silent killer” — is THE point that leaders should say every day and work to overcome. There are many blogs that minimize the value of positivism AND claim it is detrimental to success. Negative cynics claim basically claim that “groupthink” takes over when positive attitudes abound. What rubbish. Creativity, positive risk taking, and innovation flourish when the org. is functioning with spirit and participation.

    Lastly, I must echo Louise’s thoughts about empathy. It is a very positive force inside of orgs. and a surefire winner when applied to customers.
    Here’s a post that expands further:

    Many thanks again for your post. Love it.

  4. eweber Post author

    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind encouragement, Louise!

    You build a good case for renewal in today’s workplace, and I sense that because of thoughtful work of folks like you and others – people will become more and more aware of how brainpower goes up or down based on what we do.

    Love your focus on empathy – which is really a core function of a person’s well developed intrapersonal intelligence. What specific approaches do you use to enhance empathy at work that inspires folks most?

    Again, thanks Laurie. Great blog – by the way!

  5. Louise Altman

    A really well done post – and thx to Jeff Hurt’s tweet for bringing it to my attention!
    We work a lot of the neuroscience into our consulting interventions – unfortunately much of the biz world still not too aware (or interested?) in the reality of what their brain processess are doing in terms of their work. Too many neurons on auto -pilot.
    If I could add another point it would be something to do with developing the powerful practice of empathy into the work place. Few people understand we’re hard-wired for it and the potential to benefit self and others is enourmous.
    Thx again!

  6. eweber Post author

    Thanks for your kind words and for the great addition Jeff! Couldn’t agree with you more — about the kind of competition that stands in the way of progress for the organization.

    Makes me wonder how we have rewarded that quality – and what we can do to turn team work into the same high values now – to move past the cut-throat.

    Is that problem also connected to a few % only now controlling most of the money and power in US? These questions will need to be addressed as a new order takes it place to place us back at the cutting edges.

    What do you think?

  7. Jeff Hurt


    Great list and right on target!

    Here’s #26 – Staff competes with each other for resources, visibility and online retail space. Brain fact: Fostering an environment where everyone works together for the mission stimulates creativity and collaboration.

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