Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Neuroscience”

UnMarketing & the Social Brain

‘The notion that there is a ‘social brain’ in humans specialized for social interactions has received considerable support from brain imaging and, to a lesser extent, from lesion studies. Specific roles for the various components of the social brain are beginning to emerge. For example, the amygdala attaches emotional value to faces, enabling us to recognize expressions such as fear and trustworthiness’

So starts Chris Frith’s Royal Society article, The social brain?

I was reminded of this as I review my highlights from the start of Scott Stratten’s fast-paced book, UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. Most of the highlights relate to the social/ trust/ engagement elements of what he writes. I make the links because my observation is that the most successful (Un)marketing comes from the act of engaging the social brain with an individual, company, product or brand. Creating and then building initial trust. Sharing and reciprocating. Acting together for a greater good.

A few of my initial highlights:

Marketing happens every time you engage (or not) with your past, present, and potential customers

….a tremendous trust gap. This is the amount of trust you have to earn before your potential customer will consider buying from you.

….most companies are guilty of hypocritical marketing. Why do we market to people the way we hate to be marketed to?

You’ve got to invest in something before withdrawing. Investing your social currency means giving your time, your knowledge, and your efforts to that channel before trying to withdraw monetary currency.

People don’t care about your business until they know you care about them. Look what gets shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter. It’s not ads or pitches. It’s knowledge. It’s stuff that makes people say “awesome” and they need to tell others about it.

Build a small stage—your platform—that you’re going to stand on and get people to come to. Pick one place where you want people to find you and play your best “show” there for as long as it takes to build a solid following

There are three steps to successfully building your platform: Traction, momentum, and expansion.

Momentum is the time when you switch from looking for new relationships toward enhancing current ones.

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Plasticity, Mind Power and the Human Brain

My approach to learning and development has materially changed over the last three years. I used to view myself on a gradual decline since the peak of degrees and professional qualification learning in my early 20’s. I accepted the ‘more brain cells die than grow when you’ve hit adulthood’ type of argument. I also used to think of new behaviours/ skills and knowledge as being left-brain learned and retained in memory. That the majority of permanent, hard-wired change had taken place during early development.

Plasticity has changed all that. It is defined by the excellent Franklin Institute resource on The Human Brain as ‘the tendency of the brain to shape itself according to experience… plasticity is the basic mental drive that networks your brain, giving you cognition and memory – fluidity, versatility, and adaptability’. Many neuroscientists now believe that the brain changes at a structural level when you learn new skills or have experiences that are sufficiently new that they need you to store the memory differently. Effectively, the density of the connections and pathways in your brain increases; your brain isn’t slowly dieing if you keep it stimulated.

Can you apply the theory of plasticity to changing behaviours, habits and ways of thinking? So, harness the power of your mind and its plastic properties to be a ‘different you’? I think the answer is yes, as long as the fundamentals of focus, consistency, persistency and action are applied. What do I mean? Read more…

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