Putting the wisdom of your star performers to work

We launched Cerebyte more than 20 years ago with a clear goal in mind: To apply the latest advances in technology and neuroscience to dramatically and quickly improve performance across fast-paced, high pressure organizations. That vision is what still drives us forward today.


Our Story

Cerebyte was founded in 1997 by Dr. William Seidman and Michael McCauley with the purpose of applying advances in technology and neuroscience to helping organizations improve performance. Over the years, we have helped industry leading organizations such as Intel, Tektronix, Hewlett-Packard, 3Com, Collagen Aesthetics and many more to build a culture of greatness that starts with star performers and spreads to every corner and every level of the organization.

The Cerebyte team’s extensive experience using technology and neuroscience to create transformational performance improvements in organizations has led to a breakthrough in how to capture star performers’ wisdom and knowledge and share it with others. This breakthrough is embodied in the cloud-based Sofia Learning Platform.

Introduced in 2018, Sofia NeuroMentor replaces the process of painstakingly interviewing star performers to figure out what they do differently from their lower-performing colleagues with a self-discovery process. This process guides users to discover their own unconscious knowledge based on their experience in just 2-3 HOURS.

It then seamlessly incorporates that knowledge into a self-directed learning process that gives people the experience of having a great personal mentor guiding them to most effectively apply the expertise to their own “messy real-world” situations. With Sofia, dynamic, comprehensive change programs can literally be developed and deployed in hours – not weeks or months – giving organizations a unique competitive ability to develop and launch new capabilities in close to real-time response to environmental changes.


William Seidman, PhD.
Chief Executive Officer and President

Dr. William Seidman is a recognized thought leader and expert on the application of neuroscience to transformational leadership and change throughout any organization. Dr. Seidman contributes an in-depth understanding of the neural processes required to discover and use expert wisdom to guide organizational transformations and create extraordinary organizational performance.

Seidman is co-founder and chief executive officer of Cerebyte. He is the lead designer of Cerebyte’s neuroscience-based Sofia NeuroMentor technology that gives users the experience of having a great personal mentor any time, any place, no matter how many people are being mentored. He is co-author of The Star Factor, an award-winning book on the methodology encoded into Sofia for discovering what top performers do differently and inspiring a new level of greatness in all.

Seidman received a doctorate from Stanford University, where he spent eight years studying management decision-making. As part of his doctoral dissertation, he developed a groundbreaking technique for analyzing management attitudes, cognitive processes and behavioral patterns. Seidman’s doctoral work is the foundation of the mentoring methodology used in the Sofia technology. The Sofia methodology and technology is the basis for many publications and has been recognized by the Conference Board, KMWorld, The Innovation Center, IDC and others.

As the CEO of Cerebyte, Seidman has led engagements for Hewlett-Packard, Jack in the Box, Intel, Local Insight Media, McGhan Medical, Tektronix, Nike, CVS Pharmacies, Arthur Andersen, Sears, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Lifetouch, University of Minnesota and many others. Prior to co-founding Cerebyte in 1997, Seidman amassed more than 15 years of experience as a consultant and manager of fast growth, high technology environments and served as a manager at Hewlett-Packard, Silicon Graphics and Mentor Graphics.

Seidman lives in Lake Oswego, Ore., and enjoys spending his free time golfing, traveling and reading.


Rick Grbavac
Vice President, Account Management

Since joining Cerebyte in 2002, Rick Grbavac has worked with a wide variety of clients in several domains including: product development, IT project management, construction, manufacturing, insurance, medical and leadership. His extensive experience in sales, marketing and organizational development includes the management of sales groups, and re-engineering corporate structure and culture at industry-leading organizations such as Jantzen and VF Corporation. He was also a senior partner in the business development firm of Cason, Grbavac & Murphy.

Rick’s background in developing marketing planning systems prepared him to quickly understand the power of Cerebyte’s technology. Dedicated to helping clients dramatically improve their operations, Rick has become a trusted advisor and partner in spreading best practices and positive deviant wisdom to clients.

Rick holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Oregon. He is co-author (with Dr. William Seidman) of The Star Factor, an award-winning book. The Star Factor presents Affirmative Leadership, a methodology for discovering what your top performers do differently and leveraging that wisdom to others.

star factor book revised

Discover What Your Top Performers Do Differently–and Inspire a New Level of Greatness in All

“They go by many names—top performers, stars, rainmakers,” write William Seidman and Richard Grbavac.

Whatever you call them, these people drive the success of your company. “They’re not only great at their jobs—they have a profound sense of purpose and they get things done. They are admired throughout the organization for who they are as much as for what they do.”

The Star Factor shows how to identify what makes your top performers different—and how to harness their passion and sense of purpose so that others are inspired to become more like them. With step-by-step instructions and real-world examples, Seidman and Grbavac reveal how to transform that passion and knowledge into engaging learning tasks that make everyone a top performer.

The result is a book whose proven methodology has produced astonishing results for companies such as the world’s largest semiconductor company, where inventory management forecasting doubled its accuracy rate, and a leading fast food chain, where employee turnover dropped dramatically and employee retention remains well above industry average.

Drawing on recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, The Star Factor offers a fresh look at motivation, learning, and achievement. The result is a groundbreaking book for building a culture of greatness that starts with the knowledge, wisdom, and passion of the stars and radiates throughout an entire organization.

Praise for The Star Factor

“Lucky managers have a star on their roster, a ‘Michael Jordan’ who can make things happen on the court. Smart managers find ways to bring everyone up to that level. The qualities of stand-out employees are not mysterious–they are tools, attitudes, and inner drives that can be taught and fostered. “The Star Factor” will help you understand what makes a star and how to nurture everyone’s inner magic."

Daniel H. Pink, author of “To Sell is Human” and “Drive”

“Affirmative Leadership, as presented in “The Star Factor,” is one of the best front-line leadership development programs that I have worked with. This program helps identify the best practices of your top performers, which are then developed into a learning curriculum for others in the organization. The participants are supported through coaching and mentorship from leaders within the organization. This approach ensures ownership and commitment from the participants in their journey to become better leaders.”

Prashant Bhat, Learning Director, Cigna

“The Star Factor” is a whole new way of thinking about organizational behavior change. It takes neuroscience, adds another important science, positive deviancy, adds technology, and creates a whole new approach to organizational performance. This is one of the more science-based, data driven approaches to organizational transformation I have seen."

Dr. David Rock, author “Your Brain at Work,” Director, Neuroleadership Institute;

“I have been a huge fan of The Star Factor methodology from the day the concept was introduced to me! If you are looking to create a customer-centric culture fully aligned with your organization’s values that will drive improved business results…read on!!”

Kathryn L Tecosky, Ed.S, LPC, Director, Organization Change, Cox Enterprises, Atlanta, Georgia

“There is new science that will help the average employee become excellent and an excellent employee a star. This book reveals the process for creating a high impact individual and team that outperforms and out delivers the competition.”

John Assaraf, New York Times bestselling author of “The Answer” and “Having It All,” CEO of PraxisNow.