For centuries (until the 1950’s), scientists believed that the left side of our brains (the rational, analytical, logical side) was the crucial side; the side that made us human. All sorts of evidence was collected to support this view. Our organisations are often reflections of this type of thinking: obviously we needed all sorts of rules, systems and procedures to adequately control things. So, this is where the emphasis has been and the result is a system out of balance.
Increasingly our organisations are realising that numbers are not enough in an increasingly complex world. They are realising that the ‘bossy, know-it-all’ left brain approach, and its associated capabilites, are a necessary but insufficient condition for success. The language of complexity teaches us that complex problems cannot be ‘analysed and solved’ per se and that new approaches are required to supplement (not replace) our problem solving capabilities.
Apart from helping organisations to tackle complex problems, building the organisation’s right brain capabilities creates the conditions for insight and empowerment and can help create a richer and more rewarding work experience. Used in combination with traditional approaches, the techniques that we use such as business narrative, most significant change, social network analysis, storytelling, communities of practice (and others) can enhance the ability to tackle intractable problems, achieve meaningful change….and to help restore balance to the ways we think about and manage our organisations.
About Mark Schenk
Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:
Send this to a friend