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University of Colorado Boulder

The Neuroscience of Leading Transformational Organizations

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


Organizations need to stay on the cutting edge of human performance to remain relevant, now and in the future. The way we've led the people in our organizations in the past is no longer sufficient for success. The landscape of human capital is changing, and a more human-centered approach is warranted to attract and keep the most talented workers. What if our organizations could better harness creativity and innovation? What if we could navigate uncertainty and change with courage and confidence to lower stress and fear? How would creating a flow inducing workforce improve productivity and enhance engagement? How can neuroscience help us better understand gender and diversity challenges? This course is part of the "Neuroscience of Leadership" specialization, which examines leadership techniques through the lens of social cognitive neuroscience and psychology. Utilizing the latest research, we develop a leadership practice based on the foundation of neuroscience. The focus of this course is leading transformational organizations that are set up to excel, now and in the future. In this course you’ll come aways with tool and techniques to navigate change and uncertainty better, foster a diverse workforce, be more innovative and creative, nurture a flow inducing workplace and discover new ways to use neuroscience in business. This course can be taken for academic credit as part of CU Boulder’s Master of Engineering in Engineering Management (ME-EM) degree offered on the Coursera platform. The ME-EM is designed to help engineers, scientists, and technical professionals move into leadership and management roles in the engineering and technical sectors. With performance-based admissions and no application process, the ME-EM is ideal for individuals with a broad range of undergraduate education and/or professional experience. Learn more about the ME-EM program at


  • Facilitating Change and Managing Uncertainty
    • Our brains are typically not comfortable with uncertainty and change. These states always have the potential to signal danger or risk. We fear that which we cannot see. In this module, you will come away with an understanding of how the brain approaches these states and with tools to better manage our uneasiness with them.
  • Gender and Diversity
    • Empirical evidence supports the idea that diverse teams, on average, perform better than those lacking diversity. Teams that are diverse, have varying viewpoints that are beneficial to the team. In this module, you'll understand how the brain can work against us and how we can better engage with those who are different from us.
  • Innovation and Creativity
    • When we are children, we are all creative. Arts and crafts is often our favorite activity. Somewhere along the way, we are taught that we must not focus on such childish behaviors and focus instead on hard skills. Our ability to be creative and innovative still exists, even if dormant. In this module you will learn how to tap back into these abilities with the help of neuroscience.
  • Group Flow State
    • Group flow state, also known as "collective flow" or "shared flow," occurs when a group of individuals engage in a collaborative activity and experience a heightened state of focus, motivation, and enjoyment. In this module, we will examine the neuroscience and how to nurture it in your teams and organizations.
  • The Neuroscience of Business
    • In my estimation, the 2020's are what I am calling the "NeuroDecade." Applying nueroscience to leadership, business, strategy, marketing and even parenting is becoming more common. Where we go from here is largely up to you and your organizations. In this module we take a look at how neuroscience is being applied to other areas of business beyond leadership. The future is bright!

Taught by

Ron Duren Jr.


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