are hard to debrief when jobs, money, and reputations are at stake.
People get emotional in the face of mistakes and missteps. Their hearts race, their hands
sweat, and their brains go on automatic.
While people certainly recognize stress when they experience it, we are mostly unaware
of the impact our automatic thoughts and behavior have on creativity and collaboration.
There is nothing personal about a brain hijack. Neuroscience has shown that our
brains process all threats the same way, whether we’re facing a bear or an organizational
restructuring. Teamwork suffers in the presence of stress and when members perceive a
loss of status, autonomy, or belonging.
Gaps in teamwork often show up as withheld communication, fear and criticism;
excuses, slippages and costly re-work; and difficulty bringing new team members up to
speed. The Breakthrough Performance Program trains people to thrive in rapidly changing
environments by developing skills in:
- Giving and receiving assessments
- Holding each other to account
- Managing stress
- Productivity and effectiveness
- Listening for opportunities to produce value together
Using a video game platform we simulate a fast-paced environment where survival depends
on how participants collaborate and coordinate action with each other. The game environment
allows people to discover what gets in the way of building trust and to practice working
together over and over, whether they are in the same office or on geographically dispersed teams.
Coaches guide participants in debriefing their experiences in the virtual world and applying
their insights to their work. The course takes place over several months, using more and more
challenging quests to reinforce “aha” experiences and have new behaviors stick.
For more information on these programs, contact Ginny Brien at