Brain Performance is Taking a Quantum Leap with SOFOS Associates
Tell us about SOFOS, how did it all begin?
I actually do remember when the idea first came to me. It wasn’t SOFOS at the time but rather just an inkling of something. My (now) husband and I were having dinner at a local restaurant in Cambodia, where we had stopped for a couple days on the way back to the UK from visiting my family in Australia. I had left my role in consulting a few months earlier and was due to start an MBA at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge in a couple of weeks. We were chatting casually about work and my upcoming study and what would one day become SOFOS, started to form.
I spent 10 years in consulting working with leaders and boards. During that time, I saw that traditional talent development was focused on skill acquisition and behavioural change. We would measure cognitive ability and that score was heavily weighted in our assessments but we never worked with individuals to develop or improve it. At that time, the thought was “you get what you are given” when it came to intelligence.
Neuroscience and what we now refer to as neuroplasticity shook everything up. All of a sudden were taking notice of how the brain changed over time, research into cognitive degenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease) were making massive strides and advances in technology allowed professionals to look closely and measure brain activity. Equipment that was once reserved for large medical institutions and research laboratories was more readily available than it had ever been, and so SOFOS was born.
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt since starting the business?
You cannot do it all! Having a collective group of people who work collaboratively is paramount and that approach feeds into everything we do; how we service clients and how we run the business. I certainly have some strengths but as expected, I have weaknesses also and this coming together as a multi-disciplinary team means we are far stronger than I ever could have hoped to be alone.
What makes you so passionate about your work?
At SOFOS we are doing something truly innovative. That people can now change their brains and influence how their brains work, is hugely empowering and we are helping people do that. I am passionate about working with people in that capacity and equally passionate about bringing to market something that just hasn’t existed until now.
To what extent are you able to track client progress? Are there significant changes in clients who have undertaken the programme so far?
Our entire operation is data reliant. We track clients progress from the moment they start working with us, all the way through until program completion. Compared with traditional development approaches, we have a hugely sophisticated data collection process which naturally then informs a highly tailored customer approach.
Every client is so different, is it difficult to talk about over all changes but some of the things that have been achieved;
Increase in score(s) on an intelligence test
Significant career promotion(s)
Salary increase (double) and is set for another major increase in coming year
Reported greater mental stamina
Reported improved sleep
Reported significant reduction in anxiety and greater mental clarity
Do you have any tips for people wanting to help optimise their own cognitive function without undertaking the annual programme?
Sleep and diet – in my professional opinion, these are two of the most important areas. Improve the quality of these and you will feel the positive effects immediately.
What does the future look like for SOFOS? How do you see your business evolving?
Even though we have come so far, in some ways SOFOS is still at the beginning. This industry is in its infancy and I think we will so many incredible developments in the coming years. Our focus for now and the future, is to remain at the forefront. I really see it as our responsibility to be up-to-date with the latest discoveries and to bring these to our clients.
We offer a bespoke service to a select group of clients and whilst we may expand that to other groups and locations in time, I am committed to maintaining that personalisation.
What does your idea of an ideal Sunday look like?
A full house for Sunday lunch. A long table laid out with tableware, decorations, fresh flowers and a scrumptious roast with all the trimmings. Sat all around, squeezed in, if need be, are family, friends and whoever else happens to stop by, chatting noisily and indulging in a hearty lunch, a glass of wine and some laughs. For me, it doesn’t get any better than that.
What are you reading at the moment?
I have such a great love for books. I used to read a book cover to cover before starting another but lately I find myself reading many books simultaneously. At the moment I am reading; Brain Food by Dr Lisa Mosconi, Tim Cook by Leander Kahney and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (I love the classics!)
To learn more about the work Natalia is doing with SOFOS, head over to her website here.