• About Julie Cunningham

Areas of Interest

Brain friendly

To be optimally successful in the future, organisations will need to pay attention to providing brain-friendly workplaces. People can become creators or co-creators of how they handle their workflow so their brains can offer their best thinking.  It’s what will differentiate the best organisations from the average ones in the years to come. This is particularly important in demanding high stress environments where consistently high performance is demanded.

Generating insights

Insight is associated with creativity and problem solving.  It also helps people to make personal changes, accept change and learn.   It’s not possible to change people’s minds, they have to do that themselves!  Generating insights is the process through which you can help this happen.  Plus, leaders and everyone else solve problems indifferent ways. And, moments of insight aid in generating solutions to a problem; they appears in a flash and you just know it is right.

Energy drivers and destroyers

Understanding what inspires energy and what drains it is possibly the most important and least talked about role of leaders.   The point of leadership is to generate an environment with a sense of genuine purpose and connection, an environment that unleashes and focuses energy that will in turn make for maximum productivity, effort and wellbeing.

Striving to accomplish

It is possible to be more productive by doing less. Mindset matters!  In a leadership context, it determines how you develop and deal with setbacks. Whether you have a mindset that is ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ oriented significantly impacts how you lead, learn and deal with change.

Importance of attention

As a leader of the future you need to move from managing time to managing your cognitive load and increasing their capacity to focus attention. Our brains are not as efficient as you would like to believe.  You actually need to inhibit a huge range of distractions in order to focus and direct attention.  Understanding why you get distracted and how to manage that is critical.

Creating leadership habits

Understanding the principles of habit formation and introducing practical ways to build this capability at individual, team and whole of organisation levels is a key skill of future leaders.  It is practically impossible to deconstruct our hard-wiring. It is really easy to create new were to create new wiring. An important insight and principle when deepening leadership habits.

NeuroLeadership, Transitional Change and Resilience

A bit about me - Julie Cunningham

A bit about me

What started as a personal journey to learning more about how the brain both helps and hinders me and others, quickly morphed into seeing so many opportunities to be to apply brain savvy elements in a number of contexts and different business settings.

I’m curious by nature, a committed lifelong learner, and someone who delights in being able to translate theory into practice.  A consistent mantra, and premise in everything I do is ‘…it needs to be both interesting and useful’. Interesting to get people’s attention in the first place.  And useful in terms of immediate applicability to drive insights and choice.  If it doesn’t have both element it’s not going to be sticky!

My passion is to help you embrace the head + heart + gut connection in a way that allows you to act in thoughtful and thought-through ways.  This helps you to tap into the rich, multiple data sources of thoughts, emotions and feelings to be savvy, nimble and bring wisdom to your decision-making, problem solving and change transitions.

The amount of personal and world knowledge we acquire gives us incredible unrealised capacity to move in the direction of our authentic selves.  You can use this to be a productive individual, a constructive leader of teams and optimum whole-of-organisation contributor.

I have operated at the senior executive level across public, private and not-for-profit industry sectors. I enjoy working in partnership with chief executives, boards, senior management and a range of groups on their business planning. Using brain savvy approaches, this includes:

  • facilitating business and strategic planning,
  • undertaking organisational and functional reviews
  • assisting organisations and teams to plan and navigate through change and transition

More recently, and based on my studies in neuroleadership, I’ve been researching social trends and the likely impact on the workforce of the future relative to leading, learning and change.  With the shifts in the global environment, there is a greater need to think creatively, and less traditionally, about how ‘work’ is changing; and the consequent flow on impact relative to what successful performance looks like for individuals, teams and organisations.

I enjoy working across the interconnected areas of leadership, learning and change.  I have significant expertise in organisational change management, organisational development, training and development, business communications and knowledge management.  My expertise has been developed over decades of hands-on management and consultancy experience.

We are no longer in an era where our approaches to leadership, learning and change are based on the belief that the brain creates the mind.  We now know that the mind, and in particular, directed and focused attention makes the difference.

Hot-headed reactions may increase your anger, not diffuse it.  Brain Fact: Venting is bad for the brain and strengthens neuron pathways to much more of the same

Self Development Concept

Stanley B. Prusiner says… Neuroscience is by far the most exciting branch of science because the brain is the most fascinating object in the universe. Every human brain is different – the brain makes each human unique and defines who he or she is.

 Dr Jeffrey Schwarz says, ‘…it is now about the mind changing the brain.  The brain puts things into consciousness.  The mind makes choices about whether to listen or how to listen.  This is a different view of the world.  A new mindset leading to new results.’