Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 summary

2009 has been the biggest year for me on a professional level, with so many highlights. Here are some of the bigger ones, focused on resources that may be of interest to readers.

The launch of Your Brain at Work
This was indeed the biggest event of my year, and the culmination of a 4 year project. It's amazing how hard it is to create something simple! Am really happy with the feedback on the book, and of course the reviews in TIME magazine, Reuters, Fortune Small Business and others. It was great to make it to the top 10 best selling business books in October, but the best feedback is hearing others get really excited discovering that understanding your brain opens up opportunities for improving the quality of life. There is a full debrief with photos about the launch itself in NYC here.

Launching a textbook, Coaching with the Brain in Mind.
It was strange launching two books in a year, but it just happened that way - I was working on this for 5 years, and Linda Page helped to complete it. At 600 pages, it's a big book, covering everything that a coach should know about neuroscience, plus systems theory, learning theory, change theory and more.

Blog at Psychology Today
This was my first go at mainstream blogging, and I've been enjoying the process. My most popular posts have included (from most popular at the top):
The neuroscience of mindfulness (no religion needed)
Why millions of brains love (and hate) Twitter
Easily distracted: why it's hard to focus, and what to do about it
Status: a more accurate way of understanding self-esteem
The brain at Google
Recipe for maintaining inspiration
I will continue to blog on this site once or twice a month going forward.

Blog at The Huffington Post
I recently started blogging on this high profile site, which has a political bent if you don't know it. My first post was 'Are our minds going the way of our waists' which explores the neurological impact of social media, which in some ways is similar to what's happening with empty calories. It certainty garnered a lot of comments! I will write here from time to time when I feel I have something to say.

This year I dived into Twitter a little and have enjoyed posting new research and interacting with people in this unusual format. I also think there are some dangers with social media. It's good (but hard!) to limit the time spent on them, if you do then social media can be useful. My profile is DavidRock101 on Twitter.

Speaking at Google (and a first foray into YouTube)
I wrote about the overall experience of speaking at Google here, and the talk was filmed and put on Youtube. It was fascinating to see 15,000 people check it out in just two weeks. The power of the web at it's best.

Teaching at Oxford University Said Business School

I have enjoyed facilitating discussions about the neuroscience of leadership to global audiences each year, and this year I got to work with a great group from across the Middle East. Doing mindfulness exercises on the lawn at was one of the highlights.

The 'SCARF' model in strategy+business magazine
The paper 'Managing with the brain in mind' based on the SCARF model was my first 'cover story'. Lots of people have found the model really useful. Am grateful to Art Kleiner at s+b for his ongoing support.

In 2009 I started to connect a little with the TED community, and gave a talk at the first TEDx event in Tokyo. The event was opened by the princess of Japan, and run by Patrick Newell, who founded one of the best schools in the world, the Tokyo International School. There will be a video online soon of the sessions.

In October I helped pull together a TEDx event in partnership with BlueSchool and the Blueman Group. The event was all about 'What's possible in education' and featured Chris Wink talking about 'six creative mindsets', a foundational idea that is central to how kids are taught at Blueschool. There were also great sessions from Dan Siegel on mindfulness, Jaimie Cloud on sustainability, Angela Duckworth on 'Grit' and others. My session focused on a missing subject in schools, creating future leaders, which you can now watch on Youtube.

Growth of Results Coaching Systems
My coaching and consulting firm grew substantially in 2009, with offices opening in Finland and Brazil and operations taking off in India. We also started to work with some exciting new clients, helping leaders across the globe be more effective. Our new purpose was clarified at a leadership retreat, which is now to transform thinking and performance. We've also been hiring regularly and growing as an organization, despite the downturn overall.

Launching the first ever academic degree in NeuroLeadership
the post-graduate certificate in the Neuroscience of Leadership launched this year, thanks to the hard work of the team working behind the scenes at the NeuroLeadership Institute (a big thanks to Lee Hull especially!) The first program has been better received than I had expected, and the next intake is March 2010. There's more info on this here.

The 2009 NeuroLeadership Summit
The 4th Summit, this one at UCLA, was a big hit. We did a full debrief of this event with audio summaries and lots of photos, which you can check out at the institute blog.

The 2nd edition of the NeuroLeadership Journal
This was finished and shipped just before Christmas.
At 100 pages, the 2nd edition is bigger and better, with a range of important research and insights. Learn more here.

Just reading all that makes me feel the need for a good rest. Looking forward to a few weeks off to relax with my family.

Happy holidays to all.

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