IDLING SPEED

Y80pxtreeou know how it is. Some meetings you leave feeling uplifted, some wondering if it’s too early for a gin & tonic.

Its out of fashion, I notice, to feel relaxed.

I listened to lots of brilliant brands and leadership talks at a conference the other day. There were some great speakers. There were Big Screens and lots of Important Walking to the stage.

There was a common theme. Leaders aren’t leading, they aren’t doing the right things, they are missing what matters, they are unable to respond in an agile way, and we are all doomed.

I idly checked my notes afterwards. If a conscientious Leader were to take instruction from every titan who spoke that day, they would have received over 40 separate advice points.

And just as I was wondering how such a huge advice input could be managed, how to master these additional necessary activities, a wee article came to my attention.

Each of us, Leader or no, has something in our brains called a ‘default mode network’.  In a quite revolutionary turn around in the world latest neuro-scientific discovery, it appears that the health and vitality of this network (it’s a sort of hub that is most active when we are at rest) is the enabler of alert, intelligent reaction to unforeseeable events.  If we were to take a ‘Psychomotor vigilance test’ – essentially a screen simulation of catching things before they drop – it will be this default mode network that drives our performance.  So important is the functioning of this network, that reduction in its effectiveness correlates with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment conditions.

And what keeps this network healthy?

Periods of rewarding idleness. Yep, doing nothing.

I sat down, tore up the advice points, and started some idle doodling.

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