The Salk Institute recently released new neurological research indicating that the human brain has far more memory capacity than previously thought. Studying the varying strength of synapses between neurons, at the level of electron microscopy, they realised the brain’s memory storage is vastly more complicated than they thought and that traditional accounting had underestimated the brain’s capacity by a factor of at least 10!

The average human brain’s current estimated capacity? 1 Petabyte. That equals as much information as is contained in the entire World Wide Web!

Even when studying neurology as part of my undergrad psychology courses way back in the late 1980s/early 1990s, I thought that neuroscientists vastly misconceived the nature of the human brain and potential. By the time I commenced my Masters’ degree in 2000, thinking started to catch up with my intuition about the brain’s ability to adapt and grow – hence the term neural plasticity started being whispered in the halls of academia. This latest research indicates how much scientists continue to underestimate human potential (NB: It also demonstrates how little scientists tend to really know, the higher up they go in their discipline. Science should be, after all, about questioning assumptions.)

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if further research indicated that healthy human memory capacity is virtually infinite.

How Are You Using The Power of People?

Think about the significance of this mental capacity in terms of yourself and your people:

  • How much do you underestimate your potential to use your own heart and mind?
  • How much do you underestimate those of the people around you?
  • And how much do you use the capacity of your people?

It took American rocket scientists – NASA – less than a decade to go from sending rockets into low space orbit, to then sending men to land on the moon. They used slide rules and a whole lot of brain power to make it happen.

Yet, we would be hard pressed today, despite our technological innovations, to send people to the moon.

I’ve seen organisations with thousands of employees say it will take 2 years before they can determine how they ought to start proceeding with leadership development. Or 2-3 years before they can start thinking about new ways to approach strategy. Or a few years before they can really start to think about how to fundamentally change their operations. I’ve heard people say it will take “the next generation” to fundamentally change how they approach their institutions, or that they need to wait for the next generation of tech-savvy kids to innovate.

All of these approaches fundamentally short-change the incredible capacity of every human being on the planet.

The real reason they so short-change people is usually a distinct lack of positive, effective leadership!

Lead By Using Your People’s Gifts & Talents

You can use the collective brain power of your people to incredible effect. But it will not happen by trying to be the ‘big cheese’ on the block.

You have to do something that some ‘leaders’ think is unheard of: Genuinely ask your people how to make things better and then listen and follow them!

It takes will and skill. Sometimes it takes a guide. Personally, I’ve worked with numerous companies and leaders to make this happen. It can be done.

If you want to access the power of a group that could blow the entire world wide web away with its brain power, then involve all of your people in achieving your collective purpose, now.

© 2016 Peter J. McLean. Web: ,  Blog:

If you would like to work with me or discuss having me speak to your organisation or event, contact me here.

Are You Using Your Organisational Brains?
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