The Four Methods You Need for a Brain-Friendly Organization

Neuroscience experts, practitioners, research and methods for making brain-friendly organizations and healthy individuals. Listen to Mind Your Noodles!

This is the 41st episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast. In this episode, Tripp introduces the four methods you need to build a brain-friendly organization. Two downloads on how to build a brain-friendly organization are available at and

Show Notes

Mind Your Noodles – Episode 41

Theories@work – Methods

Theories @ Work Discussed so Far

The 95 Method – Focus on the System

The 95 Method Elements

Aim – Construction – Requires Knowledge

1. Innovation Method

2. Customer-In Design

3. Decision-Making Method

4. Data to Knowledge

Next Episode



Tripp: [00:00:06] Take care of the brains that take care of you with the Mind Your Noodles podcast. We keep you up to date on the latest neuroscience research and practices to keep your brain healthy and strategies to help your organization be brain friendly.


Tripp: [00:00:27] Hi, I’m Tripp Babbitt, host of the Mind Your Noodles podcast. This is episode forty one, and this week we’re going to go back to some of the download documents, the Mind Your Noodles dot com forward slash overview and the Mind Your Noodles dot com forward slash system assessment and talk about theories at work in more detail. So the overview document is kind of the larger document we’re talking about.


Tripp: [00:01:01] We begin with the system assessment. We go to the construction of an aim once we get enough knowledge from our assessment. And then the third component is system progression, which will be broken out into a number of pieces.


Tripp: [00:01:19] But let’s just take a look at some of the things that we have talked about and our theories at work. So this is basically looking at your organization and understanding that there are different theories that are being used and companies and most companies use the same ones. It’s you know, it’s it’s in our culture, it’s it’s how we learned in our educational systems that these theories are the way that we run organizations. But we do it kind of unconsciously. So we have to be conscious of what those theories are that we’re using in our work place so that we can be critical thinkers about how they operate in our systems. So the first one that I want to cover is the system versus the individual. And there’s a whole episode on this in episode twenty eight. We also an episode 27 talked about organizational structure and size. And there we’re talking about that once we our organizations get to about 150 people. This is where the control mentality comes. We’ve got to control people. We’ve got to have procedures, we can have rules, we’ve got to have things of that sort. And this becomes very brain unfriendly, creates stress. And individuals create stress to the system that you’ve put together.


Tripp: [00:02:53] In Episode 26, we talked about incentives. We also talked about goals, targets and objectives in episode twenty. We also looked at some non-monetary brain rewards in episode 30. And so for using rewards, what other options might we have associated with the theories that are at work? And then in episode thirty one, it’s proactive versus a reactive organization, which is your organization when you begin to assess how the theories at work and your organization are. Is the theory that, boy, we just got to get the stuff out and very reactive?


Tripp: [00:03:36] Or are we proactive about what we’re doing and have an overall aim? Do we have direction, things of that sort? And then Episode 32, we talked about this psycho politics, which is the polytech politics that go on and anorganization and assessing that and how difficult it may be in an organization that’s full of political shenanigans that you get when you get to organizational structure size that are very large and very bureaucratic. And so the politics begin. So in this episode where I want to go back to theories at work around method and there when I originally started down the path of consulting,.


Tripp: [00:04:29] I came up with something called the 95 method, which just means that ninety five percent of the performance of organization comes down to the system that you work in. And the other five percent is special causes. And we’ve talked a little bit about you may not believe ninety five percent comes from the system. That’s perfectly OK as long as it’s over 50 percent. These this method, this system I’m putting together to make a brain friendly organization is for you. There’s plenty of other people out there working on the individual neuro leadership, neuroeconomics. Most of this stuff is focused on analytical type thinking versus synthetic thinking. And what we’re going to be focusing on is the system and not the individual persay. Now, that doesn’t mean that these. Training sessions are going to be oriented towards the individual to help them because you have to change the individual in the way that they go about thinking. So if you’re an analytical thinker, great, everybody is. That’s what we’ve been taught in school and our education and that’s what naturally comes to us. What doesn’t come easily to us is the ability to think synthetically or look at things as a system. And this really is the difference between the ninety five method or the Mind Your Noodles podcast and everything else that that is out there. So I want to be very clear about that.


Tripp: [00:06:03] So when I first built the 95 Method, I put down that there are five things that I felt that every organization need to have. They need to have an aim. They need ahead of innovation. They need to have a customer in design or mindset. They need to be intentional about their decision making. And they had to have a method for taking data and knowledge. Now, the aim construction comes from the system assessment and in a matter of fact. All of these things I’m talking about in the episode numbers and everything are in the system assessment document that I mentioned at the beginning of this episode. And so you can download that and see the different episodes. I’ll be adding this episode to it since I’m talking about it again and it’s a dynamic document, right? So I’m going to be updating it as I not only build the training and come across new things, those will then give me new episodes to talk about things with regards to the theories at work about doing the system assessment and things of that sort. So when I built the ninety five method, the aim then comes from the knowledge you gain and doing the system assessment.


Tripp: [00:07:19] I don’t believe you can construct in a mission vision values, key measures if you will, without knowledge of looking at your organization as a system and understanding the broader system that you’re a part of. So and I use the example I believe in last week or two about and if you’re in the automotive business, you’re actually in the transportation business. So you have to look at the broader system that you’re a part of in order to be able to write and aim or you wind up making buggy whips or carburetors, things that people don’t use anymore.


Tripp: [00:07:58] And then your businesses is basically gone. So you have to be much broader, system oriented thinkers to understand the system that you’re in. So that took care of the first of the five, which is the aim in constructing the aim by virtue of doing the system assessment and building the aim from it. Now, the four other methods that I’ve touched upon them maybe just briefly in different episodes, but I want to kind of address these because they’re very important and they also are what I would call leverage points within your organization to kind of take it to the next level or whatever that level might be, might be just getting off the ground.


Tripp: [00:08:44] But innovation is the first one of those. And we had Maggie Nichols and a preceding episode from Innovation Engineering or I believe they’re kind of rebranding to jumpstart your brain and it gives you an end in system. When I say in the end, I’m talking about coming up with an idea all the way to taking it to market and that you have to have something where you’re very intentional about your innovation, not just, you know, somebody comes up with an idea one day type of thing, but being intentional that you’re looking at new ideas, whether it’s around processes or new products and services or whatever it is, that being intentional about that needs to be a part of every organization.


Tripp: [00:09:36] And as I build the training, I’m going to give kind of the I don’t know, maybe the Cliff Notes version of innovation in order to kind of set it up, because primarily my audience that I’m looking for for the Mind Your Noodles podcast would be somebody that’s an executive or aspiring executive, but many other people get a benefit from it. But from an executive standpoint, you’ve got to be able to understand or have a method for innovating. And so giving you kind of the larger bullet points with enough detail that you understand how the systems put together.


Tripp: [00:10:16] And then there’s additional training to getting into more detail on the mechanics of how not only how it works, but what people can can. Learn and implement using different projects in order to come up with great grand new ideas within the organizations that people get excited about, and innovation is a huge thing.


Tripp: [00:10:38] It taps into that whole ability. Are our wanting our brain wanting to explore and be curious and do those types of things? So it really. It energizes people when you’re innovating and it gets people excited about the organization because they can see that you’re not doing it. Being reactive every day to what’s happening as opposed to being proactive and being proactive with an organization means having innovation. So what are you doing around innovation in your theories at work? Are you intentional about it or are you just kind of blowing in the wind?


Tripp: [00:11:19] And some day, you know, maybe it got an idea come up and by virtue of working and having a partner that does innovation at the level of detail that the folks at the Eureka Ranch that that run the Innovation Engineering Program or Jumpstart Your Brain program is really great because I can give you more detail than I would ever be able to give you personally, even though I’ve gone through multiple classes and move multiple iterations with them over time and seeing how they put it together. The results are fantastic. So if you’re not being intense about innovation, we’ll be giving you some cursory things in the training and then some deeper where you can go from there. As far as as training goes.


Tripp: [00:12:06] The second thing I want to talk about is the customer in design within an organization or sometimes I references the customer mindset type of design. And again, I don’t think you can do this or put a customer in design and you have a full understanding of your organization. So in other words, if you’re just doing process improvement within an organization, you’re probably rearranging the chairs on the Titanic or doing the wrong thing. Writer for use Russell a Coffs term. You’re not addressing these theories at work, which are are the bigger leverage points and the methods associated with it. So I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the customer mindset type of design that an organization go through until we get deeper in to the system assessment.


Tripp: [00:13:09] But it does give it should be give begin to give you ideas of things that you can change within the organization. And I will be providing some starting points. And that’s that’s really what they are. I’m limited to by what I’ve seen and what I’ve implemented. And it’s really the breakthrough’s are gonna come from doing things outside of those things that maybe are counterintuitive to organizations that lift you to a whole nother level. And I think innovation can do do some of this, too.


Tripp: [00:13:40] A third thing is decision making. You know, we’ve talked in terms of the way that decisions are made and organizations. One of the biggest faults is they have too few options. So in borrowing some of the information that we get from innovation, we’ll be able to give you multiple options to look at within an organization when doing your decision making. And, you know, our brains and essence are wired that to the point where decisions are made unconsciously by basically the circuitry in our brain.


Tripp: [00:14:25] Decisions are being made 10 seconds before we even aware our brain has this hardwire thing in it, and so we continue down repetitive paths and that could be something good, you know, for Steve Jobs and you got some innovative thinking in there anyway. That’s awesome. But if you’re making the same types of decisions with the same type of thinking over and over again. Einstein had plenty to say about that. It’s basically insanity. So we have to be able to look more broadly. And the things that that that stifle this are things like confirmation bias that we come up with an idea. And because it’s our idea, we look for things to support it within our organization, we get caught up in the emotion of things. You know, I’ve mostly made that decisions are going to boy, I’m going to push that through. And this leads to overconfidence that I can’t tell you how many times executives get very overconfident about a decision. And because they and a lot of this has to do with another theory at work, which is the hierarchy where the hierarchy has the power and the people do the work, do the work and the people in the hierarchy tell the people that do the work. Yeah, you do this and they don’t. It stifles not only creativity but but compromises your ability to make good decisions. Now. You have to be able to have a method for this. You’ve got to be able to go through and be able to pivot on idea. And so when you make a decision, it’s not final, it’s it’s final for the moment temporarily. But you may have to pivot on that idea. You may have to scrap that idea. And I don’t see enough organizations going through and having that kind of mindset associated with maybe having to turn back on an idea or, you know, say, hey, we’ll start here and then we’ll see how it goes.


Tripp: [00:16:27] And then we may have to scrap it. But what’s let’s give it a shot. Let’s let’s let’s let’s move forward with the idea that we have with that mindset. And this gets into we we talked in the podcasts also about a plan to study at the process of scientific scientific method. As far as planning an experiment, you do it. Study the results and act on those results. And that may mean scrapping it, but just the mindset of I made the decision and we’re gonna go ahead and, you know, if even if it doesn’t work, we know we got to go with it. No, there aren’t too many decisions that have to be made that way and you shouldn’t make them in that particular manner.


Tripp: [00:17:13] Then the fourth thing and these are necessary in order of importance or anything. But the fourth thing is day to day knowledge is how do you go about using the data in your organization? Is it something that many organizations believe? Boy, that’s if we don’t have the data, then, you know, we can’t make decisions. Well, there’s going to be a lot of things you can’t make the decisions on then, because data is not always available or at least the exact data that you may need to make a good decision. So you have to be creative about the data that you collect to see if if something may touch on it or cast a shadow from it as opposed to actually seeing what the object is from a data perspective, because you can’t get that exact data. So, for instance, you might say, you know, customers are unhappy.


Tripp: [00:18:09] Well, how do you measure that? Well, you can measure some things, right? You can measure the amount of turnover or turn that you have with your customers. You might do some type of assessment, like maybe the system assessment that I talk about. And you have a document for to go through to understand how you’re performing in the eyes of the customer. It’s never going to give you a perfect understanding, but it’s could give you a better one then you’re probably using today. And as I’ve mentioned before, surveys, which was last week’s episode are not reliable. We can’t rely on surveys because of the way that we go about them. We send them out and whoever responds, we go with those answers. So and then there there’s manipulation associated with it. But you can go back to the last episode to get more on that. But the big thing about data, the knowledge to me is and that’s missing. And I’ve talked to these episodes and I certainly talked about it on the Deming Institute podcast. Is the fact that most organizations are not using statistical process control or some people call them process behavior charts. They don’t even understand the fundamentals associated with them or they’re being misused. It’s not being trained. And Six Sigma Black Belt classes are lean or things of that startup Puja Gap in organizations. And I would say I think I’ve mentioned it for probably less than one percent. So if you’re looking for a competitive advantage, dig in to statistical process control and understand how it works and how to use data and a way that can help you get from just having data to getting knowledge from that data. And I think that’s that’s something definitely that will be in the training as well as the decision making was the customer mindset or the customer in design and innovation. Those are all things that we’ll have some training on.


Tripp: [00:20:17] And then for those that want to go further, or maybe you’re an executive and you want your organization to go further with it, then we’ll always have something for you to take it to the next level. And I think that that that is important, that we just don’t have, you know, go out and give you a few sing a few bars for you, but then don’t give you the whole song in order to move forward and expand what we’re doing with the Mind Your Noodles podcast and the ninety five method.


Tripp: [00:20:52] So that was it for this. Week. I’m still working on building the training. It’s going to be, you know, I’ll be releasing some pieces here hopefully by if not the end of February and March, and I’ll start to release a few segments of the training.


Tripp: [00:21:15] Some of it will be free. And as I’ve mentioned before, there’s always going to be a free element. You can. I pretty much will talk about everything. I’m not hiding anything. Everything in these podcast episodes. But, you know, now we’re up to episode 41 and you may not want to go through and pick out all the stuff that’s in there. But you’re welcome to. But if not, and you want it in a concise way and the ability to execute and maybe even need a little bit of help, then there will be that. Now, the one thing I do want to say. There will always be the do it yourself option. All I can do it with you. That will be an option. That will be a paid option. And then there’s going to be not be aid. I do it for you. Just can’t be done. You can’t work on systems by having somebody come in and do do it for you. I will always be available to do it with you, but I can’t do it for you. It just doesn’t make sense for the type of method that we’re talking here has to be done by the people that do the work or the people within the organization.


Tripp: [00:22:31] I can only help facilitate what’s happening. So that’s this week’s episode. So just brief review. We’ve talked about the overview document. Go into the system assessment and a component the system assessment is looking at the theories @ work. We’ve gone through some of the episodes where we’ve we’ve done this is all contained within the document. And I would say that, you know, as we build the training, there will be other theories at work as we move forward that will come across.


Tripp: [00:23:03] That may impact your organization. And I can’t make the assessment that each one of these theories at work is a leverage point for your organization might be something I don’t even have on my list. But these are the things that you talk in terms of reward and being proactive versus reactive incentives and goals, targets and organizational structure and the system versus the individual and the politics and things of that sort.


Tripp: [00:23:29] You’ve got a pretty comprehensive list there of things to be able to start and assess your organization. You’ll have a much better idea. Not only that, but the people that are in the organization, how they react to those things.


Tripp: [00:23:49] And actually that will be in the next episode. I’ll be talking about how you take these theories at work and take the neuroscience components. And we start to begin to build a grid of what things are brain friendly and what aren’t against the things that we know affect how you think in an organization. And some don’t apply, but some some do across each of these different theories at work. So that’s it for this week. And again, look forward to building this training. You can download from the Web site.


Tripp: [00:24:29] There’s a banner at the top of the Web site at They can click and you’ll be notified as the training becomes available. And a lot of it at the beginning will be free. And then there will be paid components from there.


Tripp: [00:24:47] Thank you for listening to the Mind Your Noodles podcast. To participate in this podcast, you can download currently to p.d.’s. One is at Mind Your Noodles dot com forward slash overview. This is a overview document of how you can begin to build a brain friendly organization. And also there is a document and Mind Your Noodles dot com forward slash system assessment. And this document is the first step discussed in the overview document that will take you through how to build a brain friendly organization by looking at your organization customer in.


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