Thursday, February 25, 2010

Left Brain/ Right Brain

Naturally, I'm left handed. Though my boyfriend likes to call me a broken left handed person as I throw and hit right handed. I eat, write and play pool left handed. I've never swung a golf club (to be changed in April 2010), but can only assume I'll be more comfortable doing that right handed. Urban legend says left handed people are more creative, though honestly I'm not sure if that is correct and if it is, what that means for strange people like me.

The real story here isn’t what hand I write with, but is what side of the brain we use most often as MBAs. We had a fascinating talk about creative leadership on Tuesday with anecdotes about creative right brain thinkers versus analytical left brain thinkers. The world we live in is very structured and linear - made for the left brain. Though there's something to be said for being creative and drawing boundaries differently - right brain thinking. Isn't that what innovation is anyhow?

Our professor posed a question to us. Often it is assumed that business school students leave business school left brain heavy, so do we think business schools do enough to make us balanced? I can't say a lot for SSE though I can note that classmates had mixed opinions. What I can say is about Darden. Darden allows each individual to design their own structure during second year. Are there opportunities to do right brain activities? Definitely. Are we forced to take advantage? No. I think about my "design" or you could call it "accidental design" and I couldn't be happier. I've written, directed and acted in play. Essentially, I participated in a 6 week book club, reading a book a week and then meeting classmates to discuss it. Tactical Leadership was one of those classes that forced an individual to be creative during role playing. And System Design and Business Dynamics was about visually modeling systems and then initiating changes to make a new system. My point is that we often laugh about the "fluffy" courses at business schools. But some of these courses are where we learn the most or at least, where we balance ourselves out the most. A classmate of mine recently write this post discussing a lot of what I'm talking about here, though in a different context.

Here's a list of which side controls what:

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
knowing
acknowledges
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies
practical
safe

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
believes
appreciates
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
impetuous
risk taking

1 comment:

DreamChaser said...

I love this post! The courses you talked about got me so excited! As a analytically trained person, getting more creative and achieve the balance between the two brains is one of the goals that I want to accomplish through b-school! Glad to see you are able to achieve this!