Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn’t Work and Other Surprising Lessons from the Latest Brain Science
How brain science is transforming the way we manage
Why is it so hard for managers to get the results they want? According to the latest brain science, it’s because most of what they do produces the opposite of what they expect. Appeals to reason fall short, for our decisions are made emotionally, and logic is at best an after-the-fact justification for what we’ve already determined to do.
That’s just one of the many amazing discoveries that explain why management is so challenging. but as Charles Jacobs explains, once we understand the lessons of neuroscience, we’re able to create more powerful strategies, inspire people to maximize their potential, and overcome the biggest hurdle to improving business performance-making change stick.
Jacobs, founder of the Amherst Consulting Group and managing partner of One Eighty Partners, debunks management myths in this provocative, counterintuitive volume, demonstrating how relying on emotions—rather than logic—leads to better business decisions. Jacobs draws on the latest research showing that positive and negative reinforcement don’t improve performance, quantifiable objectives cause workers to fixate on the short term and sacrifice long-term focus and certain common management practices produce the opposite of the intended effect. He examines the limitations of current organizational strategy in light of brain science, using layman’s language to map out how the brain interprets experience and responds to feedback, reward and punishment. He asserts that organizations that are able to apply brain science to their businesses will have a decided advantage over the competition, and he shows how his findings can enhance performance at every level of a company. Well argued and substantiated, this book turns prevalent management theory on its head and will have lasting impact on how it is taught in business schools and implemented in organizations. (May)
Jacobs suggests that the latest developments in brain science transform our understanding of the way people think and behave, contending that emotions rather than logic lead to better business decisions. Each of us sees the world differently, with a wide range of views about everything, and hence direct actions do not create the desired results sought from employees. We learn “the management revolution is about no longer forcing people to do things but encouraging them.” Stories affect change and the transformational leader creates a story about the kind of change necessary to align the needs of employees with those of the organization. With that story, individuals understand that the changes are necessary to meet their personal desire to be part of something bigger than themselves and realize their fullest potential. Not everyone will agree with Jacobs, but he presents thought-provoking insight from new developments in brain research combined with his broad experience as a consultant to major corporations. It is a must-read for managers and aspiring managers. –Mary Whaley