Why do we have problems during the course of our lives and our business operations? And why do we not achieve the investigation results we want and need? These are simple questions but there is no one simple answer. There are, however, some common threads that help to explain why some business and investigation processes flow smoothly and produce excellent results, and why other processes become derailed and produce negative results. The author details the main process improvement elements for both business and investigation processes. This is followed by a description of the functionality of two parts of the non-conscious brain, the Reticular Activation System (RAS) and the Amygdala. The paper describes how the RAS and the Amygdala can and do play important roles in the successes and failures we experience during our everyday lives, during the course of business and during incident investigations.

The concepts and principles in this paper are useful to and may be applied by anyone committed to improving their business processes. Particular focus is place on incident investigation processes.

Examples are given to illustrate why the author believes a well designed ‘expert system’ based investigation system is more effective than many of the other analytical tools available. The author concludes the paper by making practical suggestions as to how one can take maximum advantage of the Reticular Activation System and the Amygdala to develop solid business and investigation systems. These, in turn, produce desired results.

As the late Earl Nightingale reportedly stated, "for most people and organizations, success remains a puzzle." Results do not meet expectations. Both chronic problems and acute incidents too often occur and persist during the course of our lives and our business operations. These serve to prevent, or more commonly degrade, any success individuals and organization may have. To make matters worse, if and when these problems and incidents are analyzed (investigated), resulting improvements are too often not realized, are ineffective or are only temporary. Truly understanding how the Reticular Activation System and Amygdala affect our thinking, decision making and ultimately, our business processes and results is hugely powerful.

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