The Neuroscience of Organizational Culture

The Neuroscience of Organizational Culture

* For a group, there is a fourth step – to discuss and debate if the practicing is actually working in the medium to long term, and to review step 2 above if members feel they are not making progress.

For intact work teams, in the same way that sports team practice drills, overtly practicing stimulus- response behavior “drills” is necessary to develop new neural pathways. Sapolski describes an important aspect of stress reduction that can be related to this process – that of personal control. When individuals in a team feel that they some control over how people behave and interact, stress and anxiety levels are significantly reduced.


It is remarkable to me how common negative behaviors and toxic coworkers derail effective workplaces and create cultures that are deeply embedded and ineffective to meet new challenges and opportunities. The techniques described in this essay are relatively simple methods that, if applied rigorously and widely, can have a significant impact on changing behavior and forging a more deeply embedded corporate culture.


Aikens, K. et al (2014). Mindfulness Goes to Work: Impact of an Online Workplace Intervention.

Aronson, E. (2008). The Social Animal. Tenth Edition. Worth Publishers.

Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Penguin Books.

Muesse, M. (2014). Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation. The Great Courses, Course no. 1933.

Smith C. (2014). Lifehack Presents: The Mindfulness Meditation Mini Guide.

Sapolski, R. (2004). Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Third Edition. Henry Holt & Company.

Siegel, D. (2010). Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Bantam Books.

Wexler, B. (2006). Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology and Social Change. A Bradford Book. The MIT Press.


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Kevin WeitzDr Kevin Weitz Psy.D. is a business consultant and leadership coach specializing in culture change and organizational transformations. Kevin’s coaching focus is helping leaders navigate change specifically where new leadership behaviors are needed to be successful. He has consulted with companies such as Chevron Corp, Intel Corp, Levi Strauss, Pacific Gas & Electric and British Colombia Hydro amongst others. Kevin is the author of an eBook entitled “The House of Culture” available in Amazon.

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