The ContraMind Code
Welcome to The ContraMind Code.
The ContraMind Code provides you with a system of principles, signals, and ideas to aid you in your pursuit of excellence.
The Newsletter shares the source code, through quick snapshots, for a systems thinking approach to be the best in what you do.
The Code helps you reboot and reimagine your thinking by learning from the best and enables you to draw a blueprint on what it takes to get extraordinary things done. Please share your valuable thoughts and comments and start a conversation.
Take a journey to www.contraminds.com. Listen and watch some great minds talking to us about their journey of discovery of what went into making them craftsmen of their profession to drive peak performance.
How to Use Neuroscience to Build Team Chemistry
Wharton’s Michael Platt shares seven science-based ideas to improve team chemistry in this article.
Here are some ideas that were interesting to think about and understand more:
Eye Contact: Michael explains a fascinating concept that happens due to eye contact, ‘Neural Synchrony’ which increases engagement and improves performance.
Deeper conversations: When we cut through what is usually standard surface-level chats, it helps create more substantial connections faster.
Music: Oxytocin levels increase when listening to music, and it can help improve mood and motivation and helps create better bonds.
Find and leverage “chemistry creators”: Identify ‘Chemistry Creators’ in your teams, as when these people talk, there is greater inter-brain synchrony across the group.
Read the article here.
Do Organisations Have To Get Slower As They Grow?
This is an often discussed topic amongst many people who have worked in start-ups, and after a few years, they find when the start-up gets bigger and larger in terms of revenue, people, products, clients etc., they sense and feel that the company is a lot slower. They don’t get the same adrenaline rush in the company regarding making decisions or risk-taking to try new things, create innovations etc.
Spencer Greenberg is in conversation with Alex Komoroske, the Head of Corporate Strategy at Stripe. He has over a decade of experience in the tech industry as a product manager focusing on platform- and ecosystem-shaped problems.
Alex talks about the complexity of coordination between people, the theory that the number of people in an organisation is equal to the possibility of n-squared conversations that are needed to get things done, the importance of trust and attribution errors people make, being curious about constraints people have to get their work done, not treating people in an extractive way, the importance of interactions and interconnections, understanding tribes in companies, Slime Mold model, unintended effects of “20% time rule” in Google, encouraging intrinsic motivation, installing ‘doorbells in the jungle’, meta strategies, setting toll gates on new initiatives, iterating on adjacent possibles etc. and much more.
Click and listen to this fantastic podcast and conversation.
The Power of Routine, Intuition & Ayurveda With Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel is a celebrated coach of successful football teams like Chelsea, Paris St. Germain, and Borrusia Dortmund, amongst many others. He holds the award for FIFA’s Best Men’s Coach of the year 2021. His incredible passion for staying healthy and learning new methods to improve human vitality and performance is highly inspiring.
Thomas talks to Dr. Vignesh Devraj about the importance of routine, yoga, meditation, eating the right food and the need for a disciplined rhythm. The importance of a coach to lead by example. How Thomas protects himself from social media, news about himself and the team, stopping being addicted to praise, learning and handling a loss, focusing on the details, intuition, worshipping the training regimen and the process etc.
Click and watch this fantastic conversation.
On Meta Strategies, Shutting off and Coping-up
There is one common thread connecting managing and growing an organisation and a football team. However, there are also apparent similarities and differences. Let’s explore both.
What seems to be common between a leader of an organisation and a football team’s coach is that they need to provide space, provide autonomy, understand the players and the playing field and outline meta strategies or broad approaches for outcomes to their teams. This allows a sense of serendipity and independence for the individuals to perform to their potential. Also, co-workers/employees, like players, need to ‘worship’ the training or process regimen they are expected to follow. They need to work every day towards being the best in their work. Leaders or Coaches will push them up if they don’t follow the recommended training rituals. These may be challenging or gruelling sessions, and they need to cope-up with the strenuous work discipline. However, like players, employees need to understand that even their company and leaders are vulnerable and often may not get the desired outcomes - as in the case of a football coach, it is a win, while in the case of a company leader, it can be revenue growth, client acquisition, profit growth etc. It’s in the players’ or employees’ hands to use the space and confidence given to them to make their leaders or coach win. That requires frequent interconnected interactions and information flow between team members to be ready to ‘play to a plan’ or ‘play to a situation’, which was never envisaged.
Also, we need to learn to frequently shut ourselves off from unwanted positive or negative chatter or opinions that may colour our actions and emotions. Similarly, practising coping strategies due to a loss can be learnt from somebody like a football coach or players from these teams. Be it the post-match run, reassessing and writing down what went wrong or right, being a curious observer of how people handle success and crisis, what they do every day can throw light on who to front for a project or the next initiative.
One difference is that organisations have a more significant number of people with varying levels of ambitions, but thinking of them as smaller teams and letting them know the championship they are playing for can remind them how to work individually and as a team. Also, it teaches the hard fact of the need to wake up the next day, even after a loss, to prepare for the next game.
Leaders need to lead by example, like a coach. Every employee needs to think of themselves as a player. Organisation obsolescence can be reduced if they encourage risk-taking, autonomy and thoughtfully controlled experiments.
Some of the lessons we learnt from this week’s mission:
Being aware of the science behind creating high-performing teams.
Introduce simplicity in the complexity of coordination that companies often struggle with as they grow.
Learning how to shut off from distraction and developing coping-up strategies to handle losses and crises is critical to success and hitting your goals.