"Want to inspire your staff? Let them help solve the company's biggest problems." From 30 Second MBA, Fast Company, John Landgraf, Pres. & GM, FX Networks
- Starts accelerating right brain activation (necessary for whole brain thinking).
- Starts group dynamic change. You've shared the key problems and you've asked everybody for input = everybody feels responsible.
- Lessens time wasted during the day with emails or mental tapes of "if only they knew my idea" or "only a couple of people ever get asked for real ideas."
- For one month, designate that every staff meeting at every company level ends with 10 min. to request/record for at least one new idea on the company's key top problem.
- Scribe and forward ideas to CEO.
- Meetings attendance would go up.
- Communication of real creative viewpoints to the top would alter perceived "roles" of each staff member.
- Do this in a university -- pulling for ideas for solutions to top university/learning issues -- for 5 min. at end of every class for a week -- watch shift in learning and student energy/focus.
Using 10% of brainpower as an individual = using 10% of brainpower as an organization.
Some brain scientists think that we're using even less than 10% of our minds/brains -- and some think the whole concept is skewed. But isn't the proof is in the personal pudding? We know this is true! We know that we're leaving our greater intelligence and right brain -- at home. And no one ever asks us for whole brain thinking all day long or to put anything into larger contexts. (For more from a senior brain scientist, Dr. Iain McGilchrist, about how there actually are two different "brains" -- impactful in the same way that Dan Pink's putting "right brain" and "left brain" into modern business/thinking metaphors. See TED Talk on "The Divided Brain" by Dr. Iain McGilchrist -- almost a million views...)
A "Whole Brain" organization might start to see 20% of minds/brains present and active...and if there are forums and techniques to interact at that level then 30% of minds/brains present. Having that increase in real thinking/organization-wide, holistic problem solving would change any organization -- and raise the bar for performance at every level. Every week there are more news stories about 7-year-olds teaching physics (sic) and today: "An 11 year-old girl bested professional computer developers at a competitive hackathon, winning $20,000 to further develop a mobile app and market it... ...the competition sponsored by AT&T."
See: "Your Brain on Computers: Attached to Technology and Paying a Price," NY Times series. Those who invented computers didn't use computers; the fundamental laws of science where discovered without computers. We're just beginning to understand the power of "whole brain" thinking and organizations -- what new technologies might they create that are more synchronous and sustainable for all life systems, beyond creating more gadget models for landfills? (This is happening -- read "Treehugger.com" daily for a real right brain stretch!)
When I was an executive in Fortune 500 or large non-profit organizations, there was always some "accidental" right brain thinking -- innovative thinkers gathered in private conversations, knowing most of our ideas would never see the light of day. We spent time strategizing how to get them heard -- but we lost good people who were tired of never being "asked" for any ideas beyond a given task; of they were the thinkers of "outlier" ideas that would later be seen in new industry trends. Big losses to the organizations.
Whole Brain Organizations hire the whole individual, not for just a single job, level, or task, but to think big and imagine bigger! To inspire themselves and the whole company -- from any level or position in that company. A whole brain thinker will be able to move any inspired idea or contribution to the highest levels quickly, and if they keep running into roadblocks, companies will lose them to other organizations. Where they know they are being hired for more than programming one app. You have to draw new "organization charts" when you start freeing the larger intelligence of a global organization; it's going to get more circular and more subtly invasive across thinking units.
If I'd had these right brain activated group processes when I was in corporations, teams would have been armed with vaster perspectives and mental resources that we didn't have available. Jeff Bezos was working in a bank before he thought of Amazon and left to create it. How many new companies come out of the minds and hearts -- and garages -- of lower level staff -- never asked for their bigger ideas every day?How many Jeff Bezos's are on your team? Until we ask for more than a spread sheet, a report, a sales call log -- we won't know. How many of our clients or students could give us genius input that "changes everything" every day? Until we ask, we don't know.
All businesses and technologies are going to shift as global economies, environments, societies resynchronize... Every day new science findings and societal reinventions turn every belief and mental context "on its head." This "rethinking" of everything with a different kind of mind -- Dan Pink's "Whole New Mind" -- may not be a party to which organizations want to come late...
If we can imagine "Whole Brain Organizations" -- and "right brain thinking" -- some organizations are going to start now, performing and thinking at unimaginable mental levels!
They won't be just more creative or innovative, they will literally be using the brain/mind in a different way, in intuitive or supersensory or supervisionary states of mind simply untrained for business. They will be improvisational in alpha brain states and more focused on global context -- they will respond quicker with more honest self-reflection and insight. They will be happier! When everyone is "at the table," we begin to activate what is an unlikely sleeping giant...the other 90% of brain/mind/heart/passion/intelligence -- rarely brought to work. And almost never "asked for"...
Sandra H. Rodman, CEO,
Right Brain Aerobics -- Classes
For corporate and institutional training contact Bill Gallagher, Gallagher Management Co.:
410-905-2055 or Email
(c) 2012, S.H. Rodman. Photo Credits, iStockPhoto.com