Get your head together

Left brain right brain get your head together. That’s how a rap by Dr Jean Houston starts.

Among the many issues businesses identify, three are common to most:

  1. Too little traction with plans that all agree are important.
  2. Wasted time at meetings – when you dig deeper you discover their real frustration is that people say one thing and do another. (Yet they pour energy into thinking of excuses for inaction.)
  3. A seemingly unrelated (but in fact related) area is the constant complaint these days about the pressure people are working under.

How are these related? These situations show that individual and team brainware is underused.

When you take a closer look at project plans and what goes on at meetings, it is clear that LEFT brain functions dominate proceedings. Directives, requests, instructions, plans and minutes are all of a logical, sequential, analytical nature. Fine. But don’t be surprised when people spend their energy on what they consider to be more relevant to their role, significant and essential – the squeaky wheel. This is how the brain is designed. Why wouldn’t they?

Given that the RIGHT side of the cortex specialises in influence, attention, imagination and emotion, given that it is deemed to operate more quickly than the LEFT side of the cortex (Machado, 40 bits per second versus 1, 000,000 bits per second) and given that this is what many consider to be where true genius lies, it makes no sense to starve work situations of these thinking functions.

It is time to put the LEFT brain functions in their rightful place – a toolkit for the RIGHT brain to execute its purpose. That’s what it is there for:  RIGHT brain to decide where to head and why; LEFT brain to devise the plan and corrective mechanisms to guide you there. Instead, many do ALL the thinking – from beginning to end – using LEFT brain functions, then wonder why if they do indeed arrive at the target destination, they do so alone, or maybe realise it is not where they actually wanted to be after all.

It doesn’t take long to start any activity on the RIGHT side and when the time is right, switch to the LEFT brain functions to execute.

The payoffs are:

  • Quicker thinking and real progress
  • Original, more valuable thinking
  • Better quality thinking
  • Access to precognition – anticipation of future events
  • Telepathy – access to knowledge you are not currently aware of
  • At least a third more considerations at the start of a project (from anecdotal evidence – what people tell me)
  • Engagement of people
  • More influence over what people think, feel and how they act
  • More access to overall brain power – 25% (Neuroscience Leadership Institute)

There is a new field emerging, called Reservopaedia. It celebrates true human capability and explores teaching methods to develop people to their full potential. That’s about the future. But there is no time like the present. It is time to give people access to their full capability, instead of flooding them with demands, and watching them sink.

Watching Grant Dalton on this morning’s THE NATION was a reminder that unless Team New Zealand use all their brain cells (given relatively limited funding) they are unlikely to be competitive.  (It’s good that their approach sounds pretty much “whole brain.”)

Right brain, left brain, get your head together. This has got to be one of the best, sharpest (and cheapest!) competitive edges.


About Cherri Holland

Fascinated with business, brains and how to use the brains on the payroll to make business buzz.
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