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 – 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.