Google Validates Psychotechnology for Business

Volume 2, Issue 6

The Human Effectiveness Institute defines psychotechnology as methods which increase human effectiveness.

With the collaboration of my old friend and former brainwave research partner Dan Goleman, Google is offering its employees a seven-week course called S.I.Y. for “Search Inside Yourself”. The course is delivered by its prime creator, Chade-Meng Tan, a Google engineer, and other teachers, and is offered four times a year. More than 1000 Google employees have already taken the course. Each time it’s offered, half the 60 seats are already taken by the waiting list. This video  will give you a feel for what it’s like.

This is potentially a major turning point. One of the goals of The Human Effectiveness Institute (THEI) is to bring psychotechnology into schools at all levels and into organizations in a widespread way. Way to go, Chade-Meng Tan, Daniel Goleman, Google, and the rest of the collaborators behind the S.I.Y. course. Now that Google is doing it, all sorts of organizations will follow with psychotechnology courses for their staffs. As I say, a major turning point for the good.

When you start considering psychotechnology for your own organization, here are some things to think about:

  • Is there a focal point you have in mind, perhaps some problem you are trying to solve? In Google’s case it was the pressure and friction issues. The driven high-achievers who make up the Google corporate culture experience 24/7 stress and some had boiled over, and from this challenge came the idea of using psychotechnology to channel the energies back into constructive directions. One of the key takeaways from the Google course is S.B.N.R.R. — Stop, Breathe, Notice, Reflect, and Respond. Our parents taught us to take a deep breath and count to ten — a variant of the same ancient piece of psychotechnological lore. We get the sense that the Google course is somewhat focused in the affective (feeling) dimension.
  • Are you looking for a broader spectrum of benefits — cognitive, intuitive and perceptual as well as affective? The Institute’s psychotechnology aims to cover the broadest ground for the widest benefits, designing workshops that focus wherever the need is greatest.
  • Make sure that participants will be given interactive exercises not just lectures. In order to accomplish actual behavioral changes, people must do more than just listen; they must practice internal techniques during the course/workshop.

Let it be known that the Human Effectiveness Institute is a resource you can turn to for bringing psychotechnology into your organization. The Institute has for more than three decades been developing course materials and conducting psychotechnology workshops for organizations ranging from major corporations to elite units of the U.S. military.

Do a search and give consideration to all potential sources. Check out the testimonials from people who have taken the courses and/or used the course materials.

In order to accommodate expected demand for psychotechnology, THEI will be partnering with Richard Zackon in the delivery of courseware. Richard and I will be launching our collaboration later this year with a workshop (Richard changed the name to “playshop”) focused on creativity for high-level research executives, through the auspices of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). More details here as we approach the date and ARF puts out the call for participants.

Psychotechnology for business is now not such a wild and crazy idea. Hallelujah!

Best to all,


2 thoughts on “Google Validates Psychotechnology for Business

  1. Bill Harvey

    Selene, thanks for the improvement/completion! Grace of movement is one of the most evident attributes of Flow state that readers of MIND MAGIC reported being surprised of finding in themselves. Movement meditation such as hathayoga and dance are the most fun ways i know of to keep my body happy and functional. I appreciate this reminder personally too! Love, Bill

  2. Selene Kumin Vega

    Bill, I continue to be impressed by the work you are doing! Self-disclosure here: I came across Mind Magic back in 1978 and can’t count how many copies I’ve given away over the years. The piece that I have to offer is this–when I see you write these words: “Are you looking for a broader spectrum of benefits — cognitive, intuitive and perceptual as well as affective?” I want to add “physical, kinesthetic, sensual” as well. I come from a movement background, and where your work has always taken me is back to my body in a deeply centered way that goes beyond the body at the same time. My work with students always includes the realm of the physical & kinesthetic, connected to the senses. Thanks again for all you have brought to my life and my work!


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