Sunday, January 30, 2005

Revenge of the Right Brain

Daniel Pink's article, "Revenge of the Right Brain" in Wired February 2005 confirms my experience with our Leadership Development Program. When participants assess their preferences or styles in learning or creativity, approximately 10-15% fall into the "diverging" or innovators categories. When they place themselves on a left brain-right brain continuum, they usually cluster towards the middle or to the left with few and often none on the right. They explain that the nature of their work and the organization "causes" them to focus on logic and reason not creativity.

As Pink claims, we have succeeded very well as a primarily "left-brained" oriented society. But, China and India now can do the left-brained tasks far cheaper than the West can. Our next competitive advantage is to develop and better use our right-brain capacity.

Brain research indicates than we can induce the sprouting of new processes and new synapses over our entire lifetime. Thus, we can build our creative ability but it must be done very deliberately and be championed by top leaders.