Saturday, July 11, 2009
BRAIN BASED LEADERSHIP & INNOVATION
Writing in an article entitled 'Innovation in Turbulent Times', in the Harvard Business Review, consultants of Bain & Co., Darrell Rigby, Kara Gruver, & James Allen, have argued that the dearth of right-brain types in leadership positions simply would lead to unwise cost cutting during hard times.
According to them, decisions about slashing versus retaining projects are often made by analytic, left-brain leaders unsuited to evaluating innovation portfolios.
They have added that the fashion industry could be worth emulating:
Its businesses are "both-brain," run by pairs of powerful executives with complementary-creative and analytic-styles. They are structured to support left-brain/right-brain partnerships; hiring at all levels seeks a mix of cognitive styles.
As a result, innovation has become a way of business life, not a marginal activity.
Likewise, both-brain pairs have been found elsewhere:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs & COO Tim Cook; Procter & Gamble's chief of global design, Claudia Kotchka, & CEO A.G. Lafley; high-tech engineer Bill Hewlett & business leader David Packard.
In conclusion, the three consultants have painted a scenario:
A healthy organisation has a good mix of left-brain/right-brain partnerships, & therefore exhibit seven characteristics common to success:
1) Awareness of strengths & weaknesses.
2) Complementary cognitive skills.
4) Raw intelligence.
5) Relevant knowledge.
6) Strong communication channels.
[Source: Publications of Bain & Co., All the images in this post are the intellectual property of Dilip Mukerjea.]