The neuroscience of peak mental performance & increasing stakeholder management through the change curve.

We set out with a collaborative opportunity working with Simon Ives, Global Head – HXM Transformation, Glencore and Larrissa Dunn – Change Lead, Glencore, to work on a new IT transformation project.

Ensuring new thinking and mindset were required for their project team not to be limited by existing constraints and projects from the past.

Learning how to set up the team’s brain for success to have the capacity to be productive and innovative and engage stakeholders in brain-friendly ways. 

What were the problems faced?

  • The SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) are great at what they do, though new thinking and mindset were required not to be limited by existing constraints and projects they are currently working on 75% of the time. 
  • Learn how to set up their brain for success. 
  • To have the capacity and energy to be productive and use innovative problem-solving in their day-to-day. 
  • Not consumed by the backlog of work from their previous roles (as there was a transition period of juggling both jobs until handover was complete). 
  • To bounce back from obstacles/ setbacks when trying something new.
  • How to adapt by creating new neural pathways through neuroplasticity to a new way of thinking. 
  • Working, dealing with change and engaging others in a brain-friendly way that reaches the overall project vision and roll-out to all the relevant stakeholders across the business. 

What did the program consist of?

The first 90-day program – The Neuroscience of peak mental performance.

It started with the WHY / PURPOSE/ VISION of Glencore’s digital transformation and covered the type of thinking, behaviour and culture required to deliver the project outcomes. Including the kind of thinking that is necessary for sustainable innovation. 

Two Neuroscience self-leadership workshops, an evidence-based development program to improve how we both think and adapt.


  • THINK – 2-hour workshop – Improved Decision making, problem-solving with insight and creativity, prioritising and the cost of multitasking. 
  • Understand core brain functions and what impacts effective decision making and creativity/innovation. 
  • Effective work practices to enhance capability and peak mental performance.


  • ADAPT – 2-hour workshop two weeks later to cover how they have applied their key learnings. 
  • Then cover the ADAPT session on neuroplasticity and embedding new habits.
  • Understand the brain’s resistance to change and capability to adapt. 
  • Learn to be more adaptive to change, and lead teams effectively through change.
  • Help others create more productive habits and form new thinking, emotional & behavioural habits to achieve business outcomes in brain-friendly and healthier ways.

Brain-based coaching

Individual brain-based coaching to embed critical learnings and focus on 1-3 goals within the next 90 days – 1-hour sessions every three weeks for three sessions within 90 days from the workshops. 

All participants present their key learnings and outcomes at the end of the program. 

Change in the workplace

Getting people to change at Glencore is increasingly part of our rapidly changing work environment. 

Change requires ongoing attention and a significant effort; otherwise, statistics show that an estimated 87% of workshop learnings will be lost within one month.

The second 90-day program focus was increasing stakeholder management. 

  • Continue building the right mindset skills and capability to make informed decisions for the HCM design phase and drive the adoption with stakeholders once the project is live.
  • Learn new brain-friendly ways to engage the hearts and minds of key stakeholders through the change curve process. 
  • Note: This is a continuation of our journey from the neuroscience of peak mental performance program. There is a focus on engaging and influencing various stakeholders and how to present effectively.


When facing upcoming obstacles along the path to reaching their existing 90-day goals – part of the ongoing coaching program.


  • 2-hour workshop – Understanding the brain’s emotional and engagement responses. 
  • Learn key steps to building engagements, use the brain’s social motivators to motivate and inspire, foster a collaborative environment & celebrate wins with stakeholders / each other. 
  • This workshop is a tool for crafting messages for specific target audiences.


2-hour workshop – one week apart from the above – as they are connected on how to influence the hearts and minds of their target audiences to gain buy-in and support along with the design, implementation and adoption phases. 

With the WHY, storytelling model, calm is contagious, and techniques to deliver key messages to different stakeholders.

This workshop focuses on delivering techniques of the key messages and dealing with stress and impostor syndrome.

COACHING sessions 

  • Individual one-hour coaching sessions to embed the core learnings from above
  • Gain clarity when making important decisions 
  • Support to reach their following 90-day goals around engaging & influencing stakeholders.

GROUP SESSION – All participants present back on their progress, celebrating the individual and group successes.

What were the key outcomes?

  • An improved mindset approach, required for implementation and innovation success.
  • Implementation in other countries to continue on a schedule based on Australia’s success and learnings.
  • An understanding of the brain’s ability to think, feel and behave in new ways
  • To move from a ‘threat’ state to a ‘reward’ state to reach peak performance for more extended periods.
  • Achieve healthy workload balance. 
  • An improved ability to focus on what is most important.   
  • Learning strategies to help extend deep thinking 
  • Improved creativity/ problem solving, innovation and decision making. 
  • Identify emotional triggers and responses to stress to make a difference in how the team connect and engages the stakeholders involved with the IT transformation project.
  • Reduced negative mood contagion to improve productivity and focus.
  • Enhancing SMEs’ thinking capability and development will add value to their future projects and the stakeholders they work with next.
  • SMEs to be super users who have confidence & technical skills (outside of this program) to deal with the challenges of users
  • Turning obstacles (threats) into opportunities to learn how to use the new system positively (rewards – even when it is a different way of working).