The thinking tools
|If for any reason you are confused,
this is a website devoted to vital,
versatile, visionary “brain training”
and “life change” tools!
If you missed it, our home page is here.
(But stay a moment and learn a little
about us, won’t you?)
Most websites call this page FAQs (for Frequently Asked Questions). Most websites have such a page because you are supposed to. And since the contents are often predictable and perfunctory, the Q’s and the A’s often just sit there inertly, like limp handshakes.
But we’ve never liked the idea of doing what everybody else is doing, simply because they do it that way. So we’ve named our info-tidbits section “How so?”, since that’s really what many people will say when they want to know more or want clarification. We really appreciate your wanting to know more about Brain Technologies and Brain Technologies Corporation.
Q. Why did you call your company Brain Technologies?
A. When we started our company more than thirty years ago, having “Brain” in the name was so unusual, people often thought it was a typo (thought it was actually named after a man named Brian, and two of the letters had gotten reversed.) But our products were indeed “technologies for the brain,” so we decided to be the original Brain Technologies Corporation. Today, everybody from toy marketers to mail-order diploma mills to a myriad of software makers to brain-wave-jiggling technoplaythings have put “Brain” in their company or website name. (Just google “brain,” and you’ll see.) There are sites with domain names like Fat Brain and Fun Brain, Right Brainz and Brain Works, Brainstream, Brainsight, Brain Tools, BrainGrow, BrainGlow and a jillion others. Just remember this: we were the original Brain Technologies. Still are! But, new times require new products, new energies, new looks—AND new brands. We like the energy, excitement and promise in “Brain Technologies™” Hope you do too!
Q. When and where did you get the idea of creating and marketing “brain stuff”?
A. In the late 1970s, in Buffalo, NY, at a yearly think tank for creativity aficionados called the Creative Problem Solving Institute. Our co-founder, Dudley Lynch, was sent there by Reader’s Digest to research an article he was writing. That was his first exposure to the “right brain, left brain” phenomenon. Dudley felt the discovery that our brain halves are biologically different was a “concept with legs” because it was, as he has often said, so awesomely archetypal. It suggested the possibility of two opposing categories of nearly everything. Then he discovered the vast research on lobotomy patients, and he had two more “archetypal” opposing categories in brain biology: complexity versus spontaneity. That led to the world’s only totally authentic “Interpretation, Prediction and Self-Improvement Guide to the Total Brain,” and the rest is history!
Q. What does Brain Technologies have in common with most other creators and marketers of personal change and growth concepts, tools and books?
A. Often, not a great deal. We tend to be serious where they aren’t, and are frequently indifferent where they are serious. Mainly, it’s a matter of values—of worldviews. Ours differs from theirs in that most of our fellow and sister vendors in the personal growth profession are combining shark and pseudo-enlightened carp values and worldviews, and we are often encouraging dolphin values, no matter what your worldview. But we are amenable to any brain change approach that is moral, legal or ethical and helps people improve and change. We don’t object if others have approaches and ideas different from ours; the mind and the world are very big places.
Q. What does your research into thinking skills suggest is the most important thinking characteristic separating truly competent people from less than truly competent people?
A. Having a good El Toro PooPoo detector. Without one, sooner or later, most individuals are going to become convinced that their view of how the world works is impregnable and the only game in town, and that’s when the poo poo usually hits the fan. Truly.
Q. Did you choose the metaphor of the dolphin to represent a major advance in human worldviews and brain-change capabilities for your book, Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World, because of the dolphin’s big brain or because of its ability to take big leaps?
A. Neither, really, although we like both characteristics. We resonated with the fact that the dolphin is the only creature (or so we have been told) in the ocean that can kill a shark. Also, we found the dolphin’s ability to invent novel behaviors very appealing.
Q. If you could change one thing about how people use their mind, what would it be?
A. The tendency of people to assume that when they want to be or do something different, most of the change happens toward the end of the process. In other words, that you start small and build towards your goals. Our findings suggest just the opposite: that you need to commit fully immediately, experience the change and then take careful notice of what your own new reactions are in the world and how the rest of the world reacts. Numerous small changes may then be needed to preserve your big change, but when it is your brain that you are changing, the first leap is nearly always the largest and most important one.
Q. Which is best—finding a thinking skills professional or personal coach to help me with personal transitions using the Brain Technologies products and techniques or doing it myself?
A. In the hands of trained professionals, the Brain Technologies tools and technologies can be very powerful. But we have also deliberately crafted our assessments to be “stand alone” instrumentalities. That is, to be self-applying. The reason, once again, is our observation that big personal changes are front-end-loaded. The important moment comes when you decide not to continue as before! And these big moments tend to be worked out in private—just you and your brain, mulling things over, deciding to decide. It is this private process that our Brain Technologies tools are designed to augment. When the time to change comes, we want you to have the needed information in view, and we’ve worked diligently to make it available to you in all our brain-change-assisting products.
Q. Do your assessment tools have uses other than for personal growth? How about for training teams to better understand and appreciate the “brain” skills each one brings to the group? Or for growing themselves as a team as well as individuals?
A. Not infrequently, most all of our products are used for team training. And nothing galvanizes the conversation quite like being able to show a group that works together that 3/5s of their group brain is tending not to show up on the job.
Q. What advantages do your assessment tools, and in particular The BrainMap, offer professional thinking skills practitioners such as personal coaches, HR training people and teamwork consultants?
A. They are powerful and easy to understand. They are inexpensive. They do not require accreditation to deliver. And they have an instant mystique that fairly shouts, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!” It used to be that bringing an assessment or learning product capable of creating instant buzz into a corporate training room for any purpose other than creativity training was deemed risky for corporate trainers. Today, the quicker you can show you aren’t like everybody else, the more likely you are to be taken seriously and be invited back.
Q. Is there one message more than any other that the Brain Technologies models and tools are meant to convey if the user is ready to consider it?
A. Yes. Unless ever larger numbers of the planet’s population activate the kind of more advanced brain skills identified and encouraged by the Brain Technologies tools and models, the 21st Century may be the last great century on Earth. This isn’t to suggest that our progeny won’t survive. But it is to suggest that we can easily saddle them with such a downward spiral of burgeoning problems and inadequate resources that they may never be able to put a decent way of life together. Because Toto, wherever we are, we’re not even in Oz anymore!