What is the Right-Brained Organization?


When people see a string of numbers, some may speculate about its underlying mathematical significance, but others may immediately hum a tune.

Nobel laureate and neuroscientist Roger W. Sperry believes that the left and right brains each have their own preferred way of thinking and corresponding strengths. The left brain is generally considered better at logical, rational, and computational tasks, while the right brain is better at artistic, creative, and emotional tasks.

Similarly, organizations can be divided into “right-brained organizations” and “left-brained organizations.” The individual is the smallest cell of various organizations such as enterprises. Individual differences also affect organizational behavior. Most excellent enterprises have obvious corporate culture. Corporate culture, vision, values, etc. are closely related to thinking patterns. That is to say, many times we can work together in a company because our brain’s thinking patterns have similar parts.

In the real world, most organizations are “left-brained organizations,” and their management methods usually involve developing clear strategies and plans, setting SMART goals for employees at all levels, and requiring employees to speak with data. However, the key factors for enterprise competition have changed today, and more and more companies realize that right-brain factors such as innovation, user experience, community, and design are the key to winning. The company that are good at these aspects is “right-brained organizations.”

According to QGENIUS’s definition, the so-called “right-brained organization” refers to the organization’s decision-making standards and strengths that are more biased towards right-brain-related thinking and abilities, such as innovation, art, and emotion. Typically, a typical “right-brained organization” exhibits the following characteristics: the organization is led by a right-brain leader; the team is driven by a vision; decisions are centered on users, emphasizing the establishment of empathy by understanding the user’s “mental models”; products emphasize innovation, user experience, and behavioral design; organizational operations, such as product development, marketing, and change, often rely on right-brain ability-related processes and methods to promote, such as design thinking, service design, visual clues, peak experience, and so on. This is significantly different from the management style of “left-brained organizations.”

“Right-brained organization” is closely related to innovation. Right-brain thinking and abilities are often the key to innovation. Although innovation organizations cannot be simply equated with “right-brained organizations,” most innovative organizations recognized by the public are “right-brained organizations.” A typical “right-brained organization” is Apple during the Jobs era. Jobs was a typical “right-brain leader,” and his taste in art determined Apple’s genes. Apple was famous for innovation during the Jobs era. And Jobs single-handedly created two eras: the PC and mobile internet revolutions, and changed our world.

It is important to note that just as there are differences in strength between the left and right brain in the human body, they actually work together in collaboration. Similarly, right-brained organization do not reject left-brain abilities. It’s just that their right-brain abilities are stronger. In fact, excellent “right brained  organization” also possess powerful left-brain abilities. Just as we have always admired Jobs’ artistic taste ahead of its time, he himself was actually a technical engineer. Similarly, Tesla’s Musk is also a technical engineer, but he obviously demonstrates very strong right-brain thinking abilities. Therefore, whether it is Apple in the Jobs era or Tesla controlled by Musk, they are benchmarks and leaders in industry innovation.

At the same time, “left-brained organizations” and “right-brained organization” can transform into each other. For today’s Chinese companies, innovation is a necessary development path. However, most Chinese companies are typical “left-brained organizations”, which often becomes a structural bottleneck that is difficult to overcome for corporate innovation. Therefore, transforming “left-brained organizations” into “right-brained organizations” has become an urgent task for many companies. But this is also an organizational transformation, involving leadership, culture, employees, processes, and methods. From a systems thinking perspective, the organizational structure of a company determines the behavior of its employees. Innovation is a basic ability that everyone possesses, and what truly impedes innovation is the design of the organizational structure. To truly promote innovation, the organizational structure needs to transform from “left-brained organization” to “right-brained organization”. Only then will the resistance to innovation disappear, and true innovation will happen naturally and effortlessly.

We always try to explain this world with numbers, but in reality, it is often a symphony.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *