Controlling the Day, Neurodiversity and Creativity

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    Welcome! Today’s newsletter will help you get some structure back to your day, figure out what neurodiversity means to you and your company, and understand how AI will impact the most creative employees. Sound interesting? Read on!

    What do Simone Biles, David Beckham and Stephen Spielberg have in common?

    Well, of course all of them are highly successful, but all of them also have neurodivergent conditions (ADHD, OCD and Dyslexia respectively).

    The term neurodiversity is actually pretty new. It only emerged in the 1990s, which explains why many of the conditions covered under this umbrella still include the word “disorder” in their name. Supporters of the term claim it’s a powerful way to destigmatize many conditions and to help individuals with those conditions be included, accepted, and supported.

    But the term also has its opponents. Some believe that it downplays the challenges that some conditions can present, particularly for spectrum disorders, where lower-functioning individuals may need substantial support.

    At this point, having worked with thousands of employees across companies with many different approaches, I think the positives significantly outweigh the negatives. This is in part because it reflects a reality – that all our brains are different just as all our bodies are different. We learn differently, organize differently, strategize differently, prioritize differently, and process emotions differently.

    But for the term to be truly useful, it’s vital to think about how to use our understanding of neurodiversity to perform better as individuals, teams, and organizations.

    As an individual, this typically means gaining a greater sense of your own neurodiversity, and how that translates to your capabilities. This can apply regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with a recognized medical condition. Once you understand this more deeply, you will not only get more out of yourself but gain a deeper understanding of the differences others have.

    At a team level, an understanding and respect for the neurodiversity within your team will of course help team members accommodate each other, but also help team members leverage each other’s strengths. Of course it is vital to respect privacy concerns, but it is still possible in most cases to gain a deeper understanding of how people think without discussing specific medical diagnoses.

    And at an organizational level – embracing neurodiversity means moving beyond legal compliance issues towards using it as a source of strategic advantage. Companies that do this understand that a neurodiverse organization is going to more closely map to their customer base, and therefore will help in them understanding and meeting the needs of those customers.


    A new episode of the Humanity Working podcast is out, and this week I’m talking to Santiago Jaramillo, the former CEO of Bunny Studio. Bunny is a marketplace for creative freelancers and is a completely distributed organization, which basically means they have no head office. All of that translates into Santiago being an expert on three really important things – 1) How to create a cohesive organization without the structure of an office 2) How to go from a set of requirements to great work really efficiently and 3) How AI and creative employees can work well together. It was a great discussion, which you can follow on your favourite podcasting platform, or by watching along here.

    Controlling Your Day

    Video Length: 2 minutes 43 Seconds

    This is my favourite video we’ve ever done.

    When work is very unstructured and ambiguous, it’s down to us to impose any structure on it. This week I examine how to use a simple three-step process to give you just enough structure. This can help you get more done every day and improve your motivation, so check it out by clicking below!

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