Thinking Managers

Robert Heller of looks at the different approach managers take to running their businesses and concludes that they need to be whole-brained.

Right and Left-Brain Managers

Different managers use the left or the right side of the brain. The left side has a fixation with numbers, analysis, logic, etc, and worries about cash flow and the dangers of mismanaging finances, while the right side is more romantic and has greater imagination.

Take a look at this model of a company ruled by left-brain management, called British Risk Aversion plc, or BRA:

  • New ideas are often dismissed
  • The organisation is not preoccupied with external needs
  • The organisation concentrates on problem solving
  • Stability and experience are among the company’s most valued attributes
  • The good of the organisation takes priority over the success of the individual
  • Command and control are the key processes
  • It is virtually impossible to change the corporate mind-set

Compare, then, this model of a right-brain company, called ACE (Adventure Corporation of Europe):

  • Creativity and new ideas are encouraged
  • The company focuses mostly on customer needs
  • There is an emphasis on taking advantage of new opportunities
  • Motivation and innovation are among the attributes most valued within the company
  • The company’s aims and those of individuals are in sync with each other
  • All staff have autonomy and are encouraged to show their initiative
  • Minds and policies change on a regular basis, according to circumstance

ACE is more fun for employees than BRA and much more likely to embrace new ideas because the whole outfit is geared up for that purpose.

It is disheartening, therefore, that members of an audience I addressed recently were more likely, judging by a show of hands, to work in a company resembling BRA rather than ACE. What’s more, these people were all in IT. Their common frustration would be far less likely in a company like ACE.

The measured prudence of BRA should be combined with the dynamic venturism of ACE for a truly effective and successful organisation.

About the author
Robert Heller is one of the world’s best selling authors on business management.
For a more detailed explanation of left and right brain and the subject of Brain Dominance visit the MyBrain International web site.