business strategy

You Need Both Hemispheres for Innovation

The RSA, an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges, frequently posts animated videos topics. We interpret that these informative videos can help us to understand behaviours and more importantly, how to harness our innovative inner self.

In this RSAnimate, renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our ‘divided brain’ has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. The video was taken from a lecture given by Iain McGilchrist as part of the RSA’s free public events programme.

McGilchrist explains that our pre-conceived notions about left brain and right brain thinking are not entirely accurate. You need both the left brain and the right brain for both rational thinking and creative thinking.

How does this relate to innovation? Traditionally we have encouraged left brain thinking. That is, de-contextualized, general in nature, fixed, isolated, static and lifeless thinking. This type of thinking does not evolve or become greater than it is. In business, this means that we get trapped in a sort of ‘hall of mirrors’, to borrow McGilchrist’s metaphor, where we continuously learn more about what we already know and don’t adopt any new thinking. Essentially, if we only embrace this type of thinking, we become trapped and can’t innovate or move forward.

The right brain, says McGilchrist, is responsible for individual, changing, evolutionary, interconnectivity, implicit, incarnate, abstract and living thinking. This type of thought is what allows us to evolve, to innovate and to be true entrepreneurs. More credence needs to be given to right brain type thinking in order to move forward in business.

But don’t just take my word for it – watch the video.

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Innovation Insight: The Car Next Door

One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO

At the World Innovation Convention in Cannes in September, a fascinating new British company came up in conversation: WhipCar. I had heard of the now global short-term rental phenomenon ZipCar, but WhipCar was new to me: peer-to-peer car rentals. The company describes itself as “the first service in the world where a car owner can rent out their vehicle for money, whenever they are not using it. WhipCar pairs approved drivers with spare car time. We screen all cars joining the service and all drivers booking cars.”

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The Innovation Challenge: Using Process Innovation to Help Fund Product Innovation

The recent round of negative economic news has many business leaders wondering if another recession is just around the corner. That could explain why a recent Gallup poll found that 30% of American workers are worried about their jobs – matching the paranoia level of mid-2009.

Wouldn’t it be easier if we could find a way to make budget without costly cutbacks and layoffs?

There is a way. Process innovation can enhance your company’s output, productivity and cash flow. But it’s important to understand the difference between cost-cutting and process innovation.

Cost-cutting is a simple accounting exercise – cut budgets, trim fat, do less – or do it less well. In tough times, cost-cutting can be ruthless and arbitrary; often, it’s done to appease stakeholders and the markets. Too often, companies “cut” their way into bigger problems as they lose marketing traction or reduce customer service and delivery satisfaction.

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