Delighted and inspired: We did a neuromanagement workshop with the team at U-Turn in Cape Town, and it inspired a lot of positive action
Seeing your potential. Amazed at how fast change can happen. And the stuff that inspires action. We recently explored more neuroscience and behavioural psychology insights for organisations with the team at Cape Town-based NGO U-Turn, at the U-Turn Neuro Workshop on 5 February 2020.
“I think we all left the workshop with a mix of sheer wonder and amazement at what the human brain is really capable of and what that potential means for our organisation,” says head of U-Turn’s second-phase therapy, Joanne De Goede.
Here’s how the workshop came about, what U-Turn does, who attended and some of the amazing feedback and insights that came out of the workshop:
One of SA’s most inspiring organisations, U-Turn is a Christian NGO, and most Capetonians will recognise them as the guys who pioneered the idea of those vouchers for the homeless – a cashless system, where you can sponsor a destitute person a bed and meal for the night. But U-Turn does so much more than that.
At their core, U-Turn focusses on rehabilitating Cape Town’s homeless by upskilling them and reintegrating them into society. They work with anyone who’s destitute, addicted or at risk – vulnerable – through a phased programme: They have service centres where people can come and connect with a social worker. And, if the person really wants to change, they will sponsor that person’s rehabilitation – often, the city’s homeless are drug-dependent.
After a successful rehabilitation, U-Turn enrols the person into their Life Change programme, which provides valuable skills training, both in marketable work skills and general life skills, like better communication and conflict resolution etc. The training is all practical – the homeless work and earn as they learn. It’s an amazing way to rehabilitate those who need it most.
HOW THE U-TURN NEURO WORKSHOP CAME ABOUT
It all started in late 2019 when U-Turn Director Sam Vos ran into LifeXchange Solutions’ Tammy Oosthuizen (our strengths champion) by chance at another workshop. After a quick chat, Sam wanted to see how our neuromanagement could work for the people who are currently in their rehabilitation programme in 2020.
“Now, I was there at the first workshop with our ‘clients’,” says Joanne, “and we immediately saw the benefit in what LifeXchange Solutions does for our own organisation. So I helped organise a separate workshop for our own team.”
The U-Turn team Neuro Workshop took place on 5 February 2020, and it was attended by 22 of U-Turn’s 25-strong complement of permanent employees. And it was a mix of professionally skilled individuals. From U-Turn’s own occupational therapists, counsellors and coaches to the finance team, and even the support and organisational staff.
WHAT THE U-TURN NEURO WORKSHOP ENTAILED
As with any of our lauded neuromanagement workshops, Dr Cobus opens with his amazing exploration of how your brain works, starting with the basic building blocks, the neuron, and how thoughts are stored as neural pathways for automatic recall, filtered by the reticular activating system (RAS).
And then he drives it directly toward what this means for your business, organisation and performance-wise, and the specific personal and team insights that allow you to start unlocking everyone’s potential to really perform – see some of it highlighted by this group of businesspeople and this powerhouse SA executive.
Of course, our workshops are recognised and supported by the South African Board for People’s Practices (SABPP), along with 16 other official bodies and organisations. Meaning that, just for attending, you get 7 CPD points (continuous professional development). But, as always, the workshop is unique in that it’s guided and driven by what the specific team at U-Turn needs, and what they take from it.
FEEDBACK ON THE WORKSHOP
One of the main visible effects of the workshop, according to Joanne, is that she can actually hear and see team members referencing insights around the brain and behaviour in their day to day business. “It’s really helped a lot of us change the way we think during the day, we’re able to catch ourselves whenever our thoughts start going down a negative or unproductive path,” she says.
Here are some specific benefits according to the team:
AMAZED AT OUR POTENTIAL
One of the big takeaways from the workshop is just glimpsing the full potential of your brain. And how to effectively employ your brain to drive you forward. “I think we found immense value in seeing how the brain works, seeing our potential and then realising that you don’t even have to use all of your potential, just a little makes a huge difference,” Joanne explains.
HOW FAST CHANGE CAN HAPPEN
“In our line of work, we operate under the idea that real change always has to take a very long time,” Joanne says. “But now we’ve seen just how fast you can create positive change. It’s exciting.”
Now, Joanne and the team started off their session watching the video on the #CyclopsChallenge: where our Dr Cobus Oosthuizen uses his knowledge of neural programming to do what millions of people around the world (including psychologists) said was impossible. He rode a supposedly unrideable bicycle with no practice, first-time. Watch the round-up video here:
See the full story of the backwards brain bike.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
The workshop was a huge success. And it actually inspired almost the entire U-Turn team to enrol in our mentoring training and the mentoring programme on our NPO side at LifeXchange Community. So we look forward to an exciting journey with the amazing team at U-Turn.
“I would definitely recommend the workshop to anyone in business, or any organisation. And, personally, I think that everyone can benefit from this information. But my biggest dream would be if we could take this information and teach it to our youth of today. There’s so much in the world that can put you down, and this shows you how to grow and move upwards instead.
“I think that if we could teach these neuromanagement insights to the next generation, they’d be much stronger and more capable,” Joanne concludes.
Note: Yes, of course all our solutions for organisational development are applicable to any kind of organisation: It’s not just commercial business that’ll benefit. This stuff works with NPOs, NGOs, governmental and state-run organisations too – the works. Essentially, anywhere you have people working together (organisation), LifeXchange Solutions can help streamline and promote growth.
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