Table of Contents, How To Innovate and Win Business Resources Page Previous Section, How To Innovate and Win Business Next Section, How To Innovate and Win Business

Left Brain, Right Brain

If you're interested in creativity, then you've probably been exposed to the concept of 'left-brain' and 'right-brain' thinking.

The theory grew out of the work of Nobel Prize-winning psychobiologist Roger Sperry, whose study of epileptic patients showed that each hemisphere of the brain processed different types of information. Broadly put, the left brain is the objective, analytical, logical half of the brain, looking at information sequentially and focusing on individual parts rather than on the whole (remember left = logical). The right brain, on the other hand, is the subjective, intuitive, playful part of the brain; it looks at information in a more random fashion, seeing the whole rather than the parts.

The 'voilà!' moments of innovation come from the right brain: You suddenly see how unrelated things connect; you see a new solution to a problem; you are struck by a new idea from out of nowhere. Monumental discoveries from penicillin to nylon to X rays were all made by accident-through the serendipitous flashes of insight that come from the right hemisphere.

But once you have that insight, what do you do with it? Here's where the left brain comes into play, giving concrete form and shape to the right-brain-inspired concepts.

If you're reading this resource, it's a good bet that you are more comfortable operating in your left brain than in your right brain. The exercises throughout the book are designed to get your right brain activated: Rather than sit and wait for 'inspiration' to strike, you can prime the pump and get the ideas flowing. Once you have the raw material (concepts and ideas), you can let the left brain do its thing and start editing and planning.

It's important for you to remember that you can't simultaneously be in 'idea-generation mode' and in 'editing/analyzing mode.' One has to follow the other.

What this means is that when you're doing the various exercises in this resource, you will be sorely tempted to analyze the experience as you are going through it. 'Am I doing it right? Is this what's supposed to be happening? How do I know if it's working?'

In order to access your right brain with any success, you have to do your utmost to keep your analytical brain from kicking in until after you're done with the exercise.

There are explanations of why and how the exercises function and the kinds of results they can have (to satisfy the logical cravings of the left brain). But in the end, they are all trying to accomplish the same thing: to stimulate the right brain, the source of inspiration.


Table of Contents, How To Innovate and Win Business Resources Page Previous Section, How To Innovate and Win Business Next Section, How To Innovate and Win Business