Top executives from Northern Ireland companies were advised by an international expert how to achieve greater business success faster by applying practical mental tools such as wind tunnelling and right brain thinking to harness creativity and enable them to pinpoint opportunities faster.

Dr Win Wenger, a leading US business trainer, hosted the first of a series of ‘Unleash Your Business Genius’ workshops on creativity and problem solving organised by Invest Northern Ireland’s Business Improvement Services as part of a strategic focus on promoting innovation within local companies yesterday in the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.

Dr Wenger is the author of a widely praised book ‘The Einstein Factor’ which shows how to harness the full power of the brain to reach higher levels of success. Dr Wenger’s work has also helped to improve the academic performance and creativity of pupils and students.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s managing director of Innovation and Capability Development Service, said: “Our focus on innovation is based on a recognition that companies which think creatively about their business and seek continually to add market value for their customers are the best equipped to compete profitably in today’s dynamic global marketplace.

“Business is changing dramatically and competitive advantage is increasingly becoming linked to the creative power of the human brain. Amazingly most people currently use about two per cent of their brain’s creative capacity. Learning to harness that untapped creativity by techniques developed by Dr Wenger can produce tangible business benefits.

“Our aim in inviting Dr Wenger to Northern Ireland is to provide local companies with access to proven and practical creative thinking techniques that are internationally acclaimed as the very best available today.

“Companies in the US and elsewhere, which have applied techniques such as visioning and wind tunnelling to overcome problems, have found that not only do they help to produce novel solutions to old or common problems through a better understanding by an individual executive of the business, but they also stimulate a much sharper and rewarding focus on innovation,” she added.

The techniques enable executives in particular to gain a fuller and broader understanding of themselves and business by drawing out what Dr Wenger calls “subtle awarenesses” of its overall situation and enables them to provide more effective leadership through innovative thinking.

Commenting on his techniques, Dr Wenger said: “What firm can afford for everyone to be a yes-man or a follower? If every executive developed his awareness of his business and colleagues, that company should become much more effective and profitable. These workshops will help participants to access their most subtle levels of awareness so that they can solve problems and identify opportunities better than ever.”

Dr Wenger’s work is the result of 35 years of original observation and experimentation. His techniques, subsequently endorsed by scientific explanation, are used worldwide to enhance mental performance; to improve greatly ideas generation and implementation; to invest in new products and processes; and to revolutionise management practices.

As well as the half-day seminar in the Culloden Hotel, Dr Wenger is hosting two master classes in Newcastle (1 –2 and 4-5 September) for Invest NI client companies.