Monday, May 12, 2008

Left Or Right?

A good first step in assessing your own relevance and sustainability is to pay attention to your own dominant brain hemisphere. Are you a left-brain thinker or a right-brain thinker? It is crucial when parsing the skills of each hemisphere to remember what Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future, repeats often, left brain skills are essential but not sufficient. We all need well developed left-brain skills; BUT, left brain skills alone are decreasingly relevant in the Concept Age. Being competitively analytical is not a sustainable skill set because the world needs adaptable, flexible, ambidextrious, or, as Pink says, androgynous (equal right and left brain skills) minds.

At the end of A Whole New Mind, Pink ends with this bottom line proposition:

"This new age fairly glitters with opportunity, but it is as unkind to the slow of foot as it is to the rigid of mind."

The slow of foot are those who don't change quick enough. They relish the status quo because it is comfortable. They offer what is comfortable: incremental nods to the broad critical changes in the world. The rigid of mind don't care to see the new realities before them. They see what they have always seen, and see no opportunity, just work, in change. Both will end up irrelevant personally and professionally, as will the organizations they lead.

Which are you, left or right?

1. Quickly clasp your hands together in the most normal and natural way. Look to see which index figure is on top of the heap of interconnected fingers. The brain is contra-lateral which means the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and vice versa. If your left index finger is on top, you are right-brained. If your right index finger is on top, you are left brained.

2. Which way is the dancer spinning?

3. Notice and ponder how you solve problems and see situations? Are you more concerned with the details of a project or the impact of a project? Are you more parts-to-whole or whole-to-parts? Notice the other people on your team? Is there diversity in the way you think as a team?

Awareness is always the first, surest step.

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