The organization is an international logistics company who is developing the leadership of the company according to the transformation goals and guidelines of South Africa. Regardless of working towards achieving the transformation goals and the subsequent succession planning that had to take place, concerns were raised by the HR executive of a declining learning culture, an increase in workplace conflict and unsatisfactory service levels that required immediate attention.

This program also took additional personal development needs into consideration and address it.


  • Develop executive leaders.
  • Improve the culture of learning.
  • Create personal development programs.
  • To explore the impact of neuro-agility and emotional intelligence skills on the success of executive and future leaders.
  • To understand the relationship between NAP™ and leadership competencies to enhance the training and coaching of leaders in their organization.
  • Improve key emotional intelligence competencies that addresses workplace conflict, service orientation and team functioning.


  • Neuro-Link believes: “you can’t improve what you can’t measure”. The pre-development phase of this Leadership Development Program was for participants to complete their NAP™ Advanced+ brain profile assessment that measures their neuro-design and the drivers that optimize brain performance.
  • Subsequently, executives completed the 12 Emotional Intelligence Competencies Profile™ to measure 6 intrapersonal and 6 interpersonal competencies to determine their emotional intelligence competence.
  • The development phase started when executives were empowered with emotional intelligence skills by doing 9 brain-based, emotional intelligence modules that consist of 6 intrapersonal competencies and 6 interpersonal competencies over a period of 9 months – 1 module per month.
  • In the third phase, participants received 12 executive coaching sessions, one per month, for a period of one year, to ensure on-the-job application of emotional intelligence and leadership skills.
  • All executives were then trained as coaches to impart their knowledge and skills to the emerging leaders. By the time they were finished with treir coaching and coaching training, executives were ready to start coaching their coachees.
  • While the executive team was receiving their executive coaching, the next level of upcoming executives (senior managers) started with the same development process as their executives.
  • This process is annually repeated.


  • Behavior changes in mindsets of executive team members changed to a general, optimistic mindset that also cascaded into a more positive impact on company culture
  • Executives also reported increased social cohesion and better conflict resolution between colleagues.
  • Bonuses based on performance and productivity at the end of the year was paid as Savino experienced very good profits, which in part, reflected better leadership skills and change in company culture.
  • Participants rated the High Impact Leadership Development Program that was done by the Kirkmax evaluation program. Kirkmax evaluates course administration, impact and relevance of the learning intervention, job application and instructor competence. An 80% result would indicate to the company that the intervention positively impacted behavior and performance. A result of 84% was achieved, which means that this leadership experience produced a commendable performance in the workplace and that this learning experience has produced a satisfactory return on investment for the company.
  • Specific business units implicated for low service delivery and not making a profit showed a business turnaround by significantly improving their service delivery and started making a profit again.

ROI Impact

  • The findings from the Kirkmax evaluation indicated that this intervention is positively impacting company bottom line;
  • 100% of respondents stated that knowing their neuro-agility and EI strengths helped them in transitioning to a higher level role;
  • 100% of coaches stated that knowing the neuro-design and mental strengths of their coachees significantly strengthened their coaching relationship and the impact of coaching;
  • Improved engagement. Using their findings from the NAP™, informed decisions could be made to align job functions with neuro-design;
  • This powerful information will be used by the organization to offer guidance to employees and emerging leaders regarding their potential. It will also serve as a strong baseline to create individualized development programs;
  • This pilot study resulted in significant bottom line findings that at least two thirds of the skill set required for successful execution of this organization’s leadership competencies is comprised of agility and emotional skills;
  • The findings from this pilot study were highly predictive, i.e:
    • Neuro-agility and emotional sub-scales predicted high performance almost 100% of the time.

Take Aways

  • A neuroscience approach to developing emotionally intelligent leaders have a significant impact on creating a culture of learning that impacts bottom line and promotes organizational and personal growth;
  • Using the NAP™ as the point of departure for doing neuro-coaching with emerging leaders, helped coaches to connect faster and easier with their coachees, thus increasing the performance of coachees and helping them have a smoother transition into their leadership roles;
  • Improving neuro-agility grows high performance individuals who strengthens high performance teams;
  • Agile leaders increase turnover and productivity;
  • Neuro-Link’s neuroscience approach to the emotional intelligence development framework provides a road map for leadership success, creating better performing leaders;
  • Using the NAP™ for coaching and leadership development generates:
    • Accurate awareness of personal neuro-design, learning potential and talent
    • Social awareness of the unique design of team members, thereby strengthening team synergy and collaboration
    • A coaching approach grounded in neuroscience (hard science)
    • A strong point of departure for creating a culture of learning
    • A world class blueprint for developing agile leadership success
    • Better performing leaders
    • A road map for creating personal development plans
    • Better workplace engagement

Edith Tiencken

Edith Tiencken, GPHR, SHRM-SCP is the president of Smart Brain Insights and the managing partner for NeuroLink Company for USA, Canada and Latin America. She serves as an International Advisor providing people and businesses with insights, innovative strategies and tools for business growth to senior leaders, business owners and consultants. Her 25+ years of experience and passion for exploring and developing business and individual potential has driven success in cultural change, organizational learning, and in building high-performing organizations. She collaborated, led and managed organizations in the US, Latin America, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific. Edith has been a guest and public speaker in private enterprises, educational institutions, social and professional organizations and diverse occupational groups, positively impacting thousands of professionals worldwide.