October 03, 2007

Ideas to get better at using the full potential of the human brain

Reflecting on the BrainTrain concept, that I introduced in my last blog post, as well as the large complexity of the human brain, I came to think of what I’d characterize as a bit of a paradox:

On the one hand, each of the many billion neurons/nerve cells, that the brain is made of, is connected with many others, and the human brain performs a huge number of complex tasks such as, for example, accepting information from our senses, letting us think and experience feelings, telling muscles what to do, and controlling the heart rate. Amazing really – when you think about it.

On the other hand, many companies organize as if the Internet had not been invented - in ways that limit people from using the full potential of their brain and developing their (often) multiple talents:
- Making hierarchical structures consisting of departments with narrow responsibilities and centralization of power at the top.
- Putting a strong focus on specialization by recruiting people who - for a long time - have been doing the identical, narrowly defined tasks in similar companies within the same industry.
- Putting a strong focus on standardization by spending a lot of time making tight plans, budgets, rules and procedures – even when relatively many and rapid changes as for example political, economical, technological, socio-cultural, environmental, and/or legal changes are continuously occurring in the company’s external environment..

Here are some suggestions inspiring all of us to use our brain a bit more every day:
1. Let’s trust people, set them free to do things themselves, and learn from mistakes.
2. Let’s try out some more ideas – across functions and across industries.
3. Let’s do things together in more flexible ways – for example using the many great as well as inexpensive interactive and collaborative technologies available on the colInternet?

After all, isn’t that what most people are driven by?

To get some more inspiration to speed up innovation as well as efficiency and to just do it, listen to this person working for Google:

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