This week’s article is provided by Dr. JJ Walcutt, scientist, innovator and author, and Jason Armendariz. It is a companion to JJ’s interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Building a Culture of Brain Health, Growth, and Effectiveness that aired on Tuesday, August 31st.
SEEKING PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT
Recent years have passed without the typical fanfare of annual celebrations of reflecting upon the sunsetting year and looking forward to the new year with goals, resolutions, and a vision of what a person wants to achieve in the new year. Each new year enters with a renewed focus on challenges and building a road map to accomplish them. For instance, if the goal is a new body weight, learning a new sport, or even setting the goal of running a marathon, one might expend resources on a training plan, gym membership, or a trainer to strengthen their bodies in preparation for their goal. As common as these are, unfortunately, a lot of these lose steam, gym memberships go unutilized, and visions go unrealized. And no one bats an eye. It is a societal acceptable failure.
According to US News report, Americans have spent more than $60B on trying to achieve this goal of losing weight. Tom Van Riper points out in this 2012 article that the cost to train Olympic athletes can cost a range of $13K-$25K per year, monies that do not see a tangible financial return on investment. Corporations, less focused on Olympic athletes, are focusing on the health and wellness of their employees paying for gym memberships or installing smaller health clubs in their offices.
Have you found yourself or your company seeking, similarly, how to gain the next competitive advantage? Like many, searching for an edge when it comes to reaching their physical goals hiring experts or coaches, has your business sought a workshop to hone and sharpen skills? Have you found a gap in your knowledge or desired to gain momentum in an area that may not be your strength? If so, you’re not alone. However, there is an angle that most do not know about nor consider when it comes to self-improvement or improving individual performance. Training the entirety of the person – mind, body, and brain.
The skills that tomorrow’s workforce needs to thrive in uncertain, changing, and chaotic situations will not be met by the installation of a health club, but by a deliberate focus on training the most important organ in the body – the brain.
Meet the Accelerate program which combines the latest and emerging trends in cognitive psychological research, developed by Dr. JJ Walcutt. Dr. Walcutt combines her experience from academia, industry, and the US Government to concentrate training for businesses, teams, and individuals to gain the most out of personalized training and accomplish a higher level of performance.
The foundation of this elite-level training centers around the findings of cognitive psychology. Educating participants on the cognitive processes and how the brain system works to process information and understanding choices can drive toward optimal performance. Working to understand resilience can enhance your ability to recover from stressful moment’s compartmentalize, and function with clarity. This can help productivity as well as work towards innovative solutions by enhancing your ability to clearly analyze the problems at hand. The current workforce faces challenges and deadlines which often force personnel to juggle multiple tasks. Accelerate discusses agility and leads participants to improve their ability to switch efficiently and effectively between tasks. These focal areas of training are unprecedented in today’s corporate training but will be key for those corporations, teams, and individuals who want to be ahead of the curve of tomorrow’s challenges. In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink points out the importance of developing skills and the mind for skills in which the future will require a human in the loop.
Preparing an individual to be this human in the loop leverages the training that Dr. Walcutt has developed for the accelerate program. Like the algorithms that suggest the next song on your chosen music platform, personalized learning will help corporations, teams, and individuals achieve greater success through optimized training.
Accelerate spends time honing the understanding of information processing as individuals and across teams. As a foremost expert in cognitive load theory and unmatched experience in team dynamics from her time doing DoD research, Dr. Walcutt transfers the understanding of working memory to participants. This allows program participants to learn how to harness the information, increase their ability to hold it, and be able to enhance the speed and accuracy of applying that information. Having pertinent information at hand may then translate to the ability to process information more rapidly and allow teams to exponentially collaborate on issues.
Part of any corporate success is the ability to get ahead of competitors. The same may be true of individuals looking for that promotion, edge, or gain that will put them in the driver’s seat for their career. Getting ahead means being able to make sense of information, connect the dots, and ultimately make decisions that will be impactful for the future. Dr. Walcutt’s design of Accelerate will allow participants to learn how to best anticipate, assess, and then act to make key decisions efficiently to achieve desired outcomes.
Most organizations, whether corporate, military, private, or even academia have goals that translate across domains. Accelerate is the one program that delivers elite-level training that deliberately addresses these. 80% of leaders feel they are “time poor” and wanting more hours in the day to accomplish duties and tasks. Accelerate will demonstrate methods that will allow a reduction in time to do tasks, improving efficiency. Once time is mastered, the next logical step is to then master the ability to work through multiple tasks and learn specifically how to switch more effectively between skills and settings. Finally, quality is the concern across all domains. Through Accelerate, increase your quality of output, learning to accomplish more tasks at a higher level. Increase the number of good decisions of your corporations, teams, and individuals.
Many Americans spend countless hours exercising the body. Accelerate wants to know – do you exercise your mind?
Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.
About the Authors
Dr. J.J. Walcutt is a scientist, innovator, and learning engineer that specializes in strategic development and reform across education, military, and government. Her current work focuses on optimizing human cognition and performance across a wide spectrum of learning programs that promote optimization. Dr. Walcutt has served in the U.S. Government as a Director of Innovation for distributed learning optimization and as a Human Innovation Fellow. In her role at the Pentagon, she also served as a U.S. Delegate to NATO, Partnership for Peace, and as a national and international keynote speaker. Dr. Walcutt has over 20 years of experience in research and development for training, education, and human optimization.
Jason Armendariz is a cognitive scientist with a lifelong learner attitude and a true passion for training, education, and leadership. Jason started his path in learning as a high school educator prior to joining the military. During his time in the military, he rose to serve as a trainer in tactics, communications, and leadership. He has experience in research and development efforts to improve cognitive skills, learning, team dynamics and human performance. Jason has studied cognitive science, human systems interaction, and adult education and strives to build the capability of others to succeed by integrating research into programs and plans to improve learning.