Writer David Pink thinks that the emphasis on right-brain
thinking is wrong-thinking.
First, let's look at the biology of our brains. The two hemispheres work
in concert together but with different specialties:
The left specializes in logic, sequence, literalness, and analysis. As a
perfect complement the right gifts us with the abilities of synthesis, emotional expression, context, and 'the big picture.'
brains don't have isolated hemispheres. Rather they are actually two half brains, designed to work together as a smooth integrated
whole in one entire complete brain.
The left knows how to handle logic and the right knows about the world.
United, our brain is one powerful thinking machine.
Some people find their strength in logical, sequential, computer-like activities.
Others are more comfortable with holistic intuitive and non-linear reasoning.
directed thinkers have been ascendant, in demand, in the information age. They operate in a sequential, literal, functional,
textual and analytical manner.
We've long been in the thrall of reductionist, binary thinking. Our
unsteady educational system still shows a decided tilt toward left-brain thinking-- over its counterpart.
a dramatic change is already upon us. The complexity of our problems and challenges as a nation require new ways of thinking--
because relying so much on the left hemisphere is no longer sufficient.
Abstraction, empathy, taking the long view, and pursuing the transcendent
will increasingly soar and inspire change.
Let's take the long view:
Agricultural Age, The Industrial Age, and the Information Age relied on the talent of left-brainers. They shaped the character,
leadership, and social profile of the age. But we are now moving toward the "Conceptual Age," and the future will
rely on the leadership of right-brainers.
Example: There is too much anxiety about 'out-sourcing.' Yet we know that
left-brain directed work like computer programming can be done for a lot less overseas and delivered to clients instantly
by fiber optic links. So that's where that work should go.
America has weathered such transitions before. The tidal change will tap
the great reserves of right-thinkers who will direct their abilities here at home, such as forging relationships rather than
executing transactions. They will tackle novel challenges instead of solving routine problems. They'll synthesize the whole
rather than analyze a single component.
We all use right-brain thinking. It's been "in reserve" while our culture
has honored the results of test scores as gatekeepers for entry into meritocratic, middle class society.
most the last century left-brain functions of logic and analysis were rewarded by test takers-- PSAT, SAT- GMAT, LSAT,
MCAT--- These test achievers were extolled by our leaders during the emerging knowledge society. They shaped the character,
leadership and social profile of that age.
But the SAT-ocracy is now in its dying days. It's over. We're speeding into
an era in which right-brainers will determine who gets ahead. And the future of global business now rests with their contextual
abilities . Clearly, right-brainers will rule the future.