Left Brain Right Brain, Art & Science; what does this all mean?

There is a lot of commentary at the moment about the role of the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain. Here’s a great example from our friends at Marketo. In psychology the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance is based on the premise that each side of the brain controls different types of thinking.

The left-side of the brain is considered to be your verbal and logical brain and is often described as being better at language, logic, critical thinking, numbers and reasoning. It’s the analytical, objective side.

Whereas the right-side of the brain is considered to be your non-verbal and intuitive brain and best at expressive and creative tasks such as the ability to recognize faces, convey emotion, reading, color, intuition and creativity. It’s the subjective and holistic side.

So which way do you think? Please try this test; left-brain right-brain test 

I always see the image turning anti-clockwise initially and then it changes to a clockwise rotation. Bizarre. Perhaps I may have found the answer to Scott’s question of what does it take to be a marketing technologist; you need to be able to see life in both ways and have the ability to combine both creativity and logic.

This brings me to a great story and one that always amuses me. The correlation to the theme of this blog, the ability to combine creativity with logic, is frankly pretty weak but the story is fun none the less. I also have to own up that I borrowed it from The Art of Living Blog, so thanks to the folks there for letting me repost it

One day during a speaking tour, Albert Einstein’s driver, who often sat at the back of the hall during his lectures, remarked that he could probably give the lecture himself, having heard it so many times. Sure enough, at the next stop on the tour, Einstein and the driver switched places, with Einstein sitting at the back in his driver’s uniform.

Having delivered a flawless lecture, the driver was asked a difficult question by a member of the audience. “Well, the answer to that question is quite simple,” he casually replied. “I bet my driver, sitting up at the back there, could answer it!”

So finally getting to the point what does all this mean for a CMO?

  • Recognize that your team members will have different skill sets, some more creative, others more logical.
  • Organize your teams to reflect creative excellence as well as analytical excellence.
  • Always ensure that you balance the creative and the logical. Great marketing requires both.
  • Finally don’t take life too seriously and have fun. A happy motivated team will deliver more outstanding work.

So in signing off and borrowing from the old joke of how to tell a pessimist from an optimist.

So what’s the difference between a left-brain dominant (logical) and a right-brain dominant (creative) individual. Well a right-brain dominant individual will say that the glass is half full whereas the left-brain dominant individual will say that the glass is twice the size it should be.

Till next time.

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One thought on “Left Brain Right Brain, Art & Science; what does this all mean?

  1. Whilst the left/right brain distinction holds some truth, neuroscientists would argue this oversimplifies the intricate working of the human brain. Combining exact science and ratio with creativity and emotion indeed is a key challenge for b2b marketeers and sales professionals alike. Moving from ‘gut feel’ to customer insight-driven commerce is the core topic explored in my new book Br@inbound Marketing (firstly in dutch), which explores the convergence of inbound marketing, customer psychology and neuromarketing to drive better customer insight, customer acquisition and enthusiasm in business-to-business markets.

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