I have been tracking the see-saw around good/bad behavior in business for about five decades not because I am surprised at the presence of bad actors – the temptations are obvious and (apparently for some business people) irresistible but because I was troubled by (growing) incidents I observed.
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My previous articles on this topic were heavily biased toward what can go wrong – essentially the pitfalls related to decision making involving cognitive bias, thinking errors, etc. Today, I am featuring a few ideas on how to facilitate deciding – making choices. This is an area I have written on extensively.
I am willing to bet that the majority of business people feel that all their ideas originate in the brain and that the behavior of their colleagues does so as well. Actually, this seems like a safe bet since the unofficial/unscientific survey I’ve conducted verifies this. What if that was not the case?
What could be the practical value (to the world of business) of an overview of the neuroscience of creativity/innovation? If nothing else – I hope to illustrate what a holistic phenomenon this is and encourages initiatives that could enhance cognition, creativity and innovation.
“Humanity’s ability to alter its own brain function might well shape history as powerfully as the development of metallurgy in the Iron Age, mechanization in the Industrial Revolution or genetics in the second half of the twentieth century.”
“Big achievements of the behavioural revolution has been to get economists as a whole to back away a bit from grand theorising, and to focus more on empirical work and specific policy questions.” The Economist (R.A.)
I believe most people in business would say they would like to be part of a team that has a ‘can do’ (optimistic) attitude. Presumably, they recruit and mentor with this in mind. Joshua Wolf Shenk in his book Lincoln’s Melancholy and Gail Saltz M.D. the author of The Power of Different give us a few examples of individuals with pessimistic points of view that seem to have made a difference.
In addition to affecting how a brain ‘thinks’ mindfulness has also been shown to have actual physical effect on brain structure. For some orientation I refer you back to Your Brain: By the Numbers. The following reinforces the fact that reported improvements are not because people are just feeling better but because they are spending time relaxing.