Work with Rita Right-Brain?

Researchers at Queensland Brain Institute may have identified the molecule that links left and right brainpower, but Rita Right Brain’s the gal who uses it most at work. Professor Helen Cooper said her group’s research provided new clues regarding development of the corpus callosum, and yet Rita’s corpus callosum of millions of individual nerve fibers helps her right and left brain to communicate better than most.

The idea is  to engage both sides of the brain, to increase innovation. Research teams discovered a growth molecule that guides young nerves away from the corpus callosum and towards their targets in the opposite brain hemisphere. Rita simply knows that her right hemispheric functions control the entire left side of her body. Others at work see daily how her right brain also brings competitive edges to their table.  How so?

Rita:

1). Solves more problems than most workers by combining facts, images, and creative insights from ideas others offer, so the group enjoys better solutions when Rita’s around.

2). Processes new ideas by tossing in spontaneous answers to complex problems, the kind that lift eyebrows in any discussion.

3). Designs her office with both art and science icons,  so that images inspire betcorpus callosum.gifter work and reflect innovative responses from all areas of workers’ brains.

4). Engages facial gestures and body language in her negotiations so that she wins deals her peers at work only dream of achieving.

5). Builds relationships from wider circles because she leads others in ways they find themselves included and therefore become more willing to commit and contribute to big ideas.

6). Recognizes faces of clients and former associates and remembers music that moved workers day to new heights.

7). Gathers creative parts and bits all around her into a vision for innovation that others can see in order to take their own efforts and talents to the peaks.

Rita seems happier to own her mental treasure chest especially when too many rules and routine stifle others at work.  Because she creates often, her passions and dreams for innovation remain stored and await her regular use, even when the work climate grows cold for creativity.

Rita invites artists, architects, and musicians to help get right brain innovation up and running faster for many at her workplace.  As a business leader, she sees value in creativity, and helps others to benefit more from hidden and unused resources people tend to pass by at work.

Even those at work who lack Rita’s dominant right-brained tendencies,  can still access creative skills from their brain’s right hemisphere in ways that leave their competition at the gates. Does that make Rita’s workers wonder about benefits they could also access from left hemispheric  strengths?

Rita invites others to break down her big project ideas into more manageable bite-sized pieces. That’s where her staff’s left brain workers offer the best approaches. For instaimage_2.jpgnce, the left brainers offer far better methods than hers, to transform action plans into stronger linear and sequential steps.  Rita even depends on them to organize time and she supports their carefully planned pathways forward.

While no two chiefs lead the same way,  leaders who transform workplaces, tend to share common traits and teach these to incoming heads.

Not surprisingly, Rita shares Forbe’s top ten business leader traits and models these common distinctives at work.

1. Similar focus for all GE leaders, comes from access to the same kind of leadership development emphasis.

2. In-touch capability at Procter and Gamble, requires leaders to possess and develop a social intelligence that understands customers’ needs.

3. Mentoring to lead teach and inspire at Nokia, require top ratings for top leaders – collected from interactions with VPs they mentor several times a year.

4. Achieve color coded ranking at Hindustan Unilever, to rank among the 50 “green” places that bring critical positions of seniority.

5. Multiple skills get coached for a year at Capital One Financial, to hone top leaders’ key strengths from speaking publicly to managing time.

6. Problem solving ability takes the top trait at General Mills, where leaders learn to create innovative solutions to unexpected business problems.

7. Global cross-pollination a required hot skill at McKinsey, sends leaders to work 12 to 24 month stints in two foreign markets.

8. Integration to tackle real life assignments at IBM, strengthens and unifies leadership migration skills across its various companies.

9. Peer relationships valued at BBVA, requires leaders to analyze their capabilities and practices from their co-workers’ perspectives.

10. Worker insights emphasized at Infosys Technologies, trains leaders of all ages to debate, discuss and critique openly … all aspects of the business.

Top brain based business leaders like Rita, add smart skill capabilities to develop leadership strengths that mend broken systems with right brain solutions.

What could Rita add to Forbe’s top ten leader traits or innovative strengths, that would renew your workplace? You?

3 Comments

  1. Ellen another great post, my view is the world needs a lot more Rita’s….

    I regard myself as a predominately right brain thinker, although we do of course have to use our whole brain to be really effective. If I look back to my time in the corporate world I think it would be fair to say the companies I worked for, in my view, I was the only truly right brain thinker in the group of Directors I worked with, I was the Business development guy….the rest were basically number crunchers and systems guys, which we need to keep the score.

    Here is my take on this, with a very broad brush, the bigger a company gets, the more systems it needs to keep control of it’s operations, the more systems you have the less flexibility you have to move outside the system. All the right brain thinkers have to think inside the box, unless you can create a very open and progressive culture, but this needs to happen from day one. The skill is the Rita’s of this world starting companies, growing and developing the companies, but not loosing the flexibility to try new things and take risks…..whole brain culture ?…whole brain business !!

  2. eweber says:

    Wow – thanks Stuart:-) It makes the brain areas so much more fun when we can wrap people (even cartoon people) around the facts. There are so many more wonderful facts about right brain thinking and it certainly splashes all over your posts!

    Stuart you raise a scary and yet highly significant fact about the corporate world leaving the right brain behind when money and number crunchers can boot them ahead. Too many leaders we work with tell us the same sad story — and it truncates brainpower that we need as a nation to move back into competition.

    You have laid out the rationale so clearly and I too am squashed into boxes at times unless careful. It’s Rita who can call folks like you and I back out to allow the wider picture to reboot and use brainpower that allows us to take risks and create adventures that benefit business and better others too! Hey, Stuart – you’d be sure a fun colleague to go after a project with when more intelligences can make a difference! Thanks for tossing more right brain gems into Rita’s mix and mine!

  3. Bob Roberson says:

    It has been interesting reading you post and great to see Queensland is involved in this area of research.

    Being a Right Brain thinker and it goes without saying a big picture person, I have researching Left/Right Brain thinking and looking at equating the different mind sets to Emergency Management, particularly against major incidents.

    I believe speed of incident management response, incident decision making and incident management teams operational success can vary depending on the team make up using Left/Right brain thinkers. Standard Incident Management Teams (IMT) are made up of an Incident Controller, Operations Officer. Planning Officer and a Logistics Officer and I want to look at past major emergency incidents (eg Black Saturday) verses the key decision makers, were they Left or Right Brain thinkers and the operational time lines and decisions made.

    I hope your organization may be able to assist by either pointing me in the right research direction or bring to my notice research in this field.

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