Right and left-brain management styles

Dec 22 2006 by Robert Heller Print This Article

Different management styles can originate from the left or the right side of the brain. The left side has an irritating devotion to numbers, analysis, logic, etc, concerning itself with cash flow and the dire consequences of mismanagement of finances. The right side deals with more romantic ideas and imagination rules.

Have a look at this model of a company using left-brain management styles, called British Risk Aversion plc, or BRA:

  • New ideas are regularly dismissed
  • The organisation is not always concerned with external needs
  • The emphasis within the organisation is on problem solving
  • Stability and experience are the most valued attributes within the company
  • The good of the organisation is put before the success of the individual
  • Command and control are the dominant processes
  • It is practically impossible to change the corporate mind-set

Now compare with this model of a right-brain company, ACE Ė Adventure Corporation of Europe:

  • Creativity and new ideas are welcomed
  • The company focuses mainly on the needs of the customer
  • The emphasis is on taking advantage of new opportunities
  • Motivation and innovation are among the most valued attributes
  • The company's aims and those of individuals are largely aligned
  • All staff are granted autonomy and are able to show their initiative
  • Minds and policies regularly change, according to circumstance

ACE is much more fun place to work than BRA and much more likely to embrace the new because the whole outfit is geared up to do just that.

However judging by a show of hands, members of an audience I addressed recently were more likely to work in a company resembling BRA rather than ACE.

These people all worked in IT. Their common frustration would be impossible in a firm like ACE.

The measured prudence of BRA has to be combined with the dynamic venturism of ACE for a knockout left-right combination of management styles.

more articles

About The Author

Robert Heller
Robert Heller

Robert Heller, who died aged 80 in August 2012, was Britain's most renowned and best-selling author on business management. Author of more than 50 books, he was the founding editor of Management Today and the Global Future Forum. About his latest title, The Fusion Manager, Sir John Harvey-Jones wrote: "The future lies with the thinking manager, and the thinking manager must read this book".

Older Comments

I believe there are four styles using the Right/Left Brain Management style assesment

Phil Cross Australia

would be a lot of help to publish 1)Neething's'Quadrants Of Brain'2)Bernice McCarthy's 'The 4-MAT System:Teaching To Learning Styles With Right/Left Mode Techniques' for professionals

ujjainee ray Kolkata India