Podcast 026 – SuperMind Neuro Science of Creativity

We talk about what Neuroscience tells us about creative thinking and give some tips on how you can unlock your unconscious mind to solve complex problems.

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How SuperMind Came About:

In our surveys, we noticed that leaders who had a defensive impact had a negative impact on stress and would cause people to want to leave… all as expected. The thing that stood out to us was that over 70% were perceived not to be visionary leaders.

Dr. Stratford – a neuropsych therapist – was lecturing at a couple of universities about her PhD research looking at what happens in the brains between a client and therapist. She had connected the client and the therapist to an aaj machine which measures the brainwave. Reviewing the data, she froze it at the moment the client had an insight, to look in the brainwaves.

Different Types of Brainwaves:

Delta brainwaves are slow and full and they’re usually what is going on when we’re asleep.

Theta brainwaves were just a bit faster than Delta but there’s still that kind of hypnagogic State – like when you’re kind of half-asleep half-awake.

Alpha brainwaves are when you’re alert and your relaxed – but still pretty chilled out.

Beta brainwaves are busy – what happens when we’re focused and we’re working. In school it starts to dominate our brainwaves, when we’re 12 we start to go into high school and start focusing.

The fastest brainwave activities are Gamma brainwaves. What they’ve seen in the research is that just before we have an ‘Aha!’ moment our brain seems to light up with gamma brainwaves.


Levels of Mind:

Dr Stratford talked about first level of mind being the ‘fragmented mind’. This is when we’re under stress, we can be foggy, we can be stressed, we tend to make bad decisions, ill-considered decisions. It’s the reactive survival brain.

The next level of brain she called ‘focused mind’. In this state, you slow down and start to be more solution oriented rather than problem centered. You feel like you’ve got the ability to really be present with someone, pay attention and listen to what they’re saying.

The third level of mind she called ‘SuperMind’. This is what happen is that she saw that the part of the brain called the parietal got really active in her research before people had a breakthrough.

SuperMind State of Mind Levels

Is it Possible to Teach Leaders to be Creative?

We invited Dr Stratford to come and work with us. Corinne and Dr Stratford performed a literature review over the course of a year and developed a working theory on how her moments might happen. Our goal was to see whether it was  possible to teach leaders how to create a more optimal headspace so that more ‘Aha!’ moments would be possible.

Out of that research we came up with a working theory around how you might set up the right headspace. There were four practices that we came up with that we call Extreme Thinking.

How to Improve Your Creative Thinking With Your Unconscious Mind: ARCS


Results of the Study:

Results showed that performance on creative problem solving tasks had dramatically improved among 80% of leaders. Testing also showed:

  • 33% improved cognitive functioning (clearer, improved thinking)
  • a 63% increase in generating plausible multiple solutions to a problem, providing teams with more choices for complex business challenges
  • a 26% increase in problem solving accuracy = improved efficiency
  • a 25% reduction in failed attempts to problem solving = reduction in time wasted

Leaders participating in the study reported:

  • A shift in how they dealt with problems and challenges which they believed led to better team leadership
  • Feeling increased levels of calm in the face of daily pressure, and as a result reported feeling more responsive to challenges
  • Enjoying the practices and how easy they were to incorporate into their daily routines

Hear from Participants in the Study:

Learn More from the SuperMind Whitepaper:

whitepaper screen shot


Do you have a question you want us to answer? Email: podcast@human-synergistics.com.au

Listen to more Culture Podcasts:

001: Kick Starting a Passive Team
002: Dealing with Delegation
003: Telling Someone They have a Blind Spot
004: What’s Wrong with Being Competitive?
005: I have a Competitive Teammate – Help!
006: What is a Toxic Culture?
007: How Leaders Impact Culture
008: Is Culture / Climate / Engagement the same thing?
009: My Manager is Resisting Culture Change
010: How the Banks got here
011: Myth Busters: If I’m not Aggressive then I must be Passive
012: How Culture Works Pt1 – Overview
013: How Culture Works Pt2 – Mission, Philosophy, Structures
014: How Culture Works Pt3 – HR Systems
015: How Culture Works Pt4 – Job Design
016: How Culture Works Pt5 – Leadership
017: Rebecca Kardos, CEO Aurora Energy
018: Is Conflict in Teams Good or Bad?
019: Does Teamwork Work?
020: Tips and tricks for LSI Debriefs
021: Can you use the LSI for Recruitment?
022: Dear C.B., My Manager is Cold
023: Passive LSI Action Tips
024: Aggressive LSI Action Tips
025: Breaking Down Silos
026: SuperMind Neuro Science of Creativity
027: Conference Highlights
028: 8 Keys of Team Effectiveness
029: Coaching Questions for Passive Styles



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