Management with Neuroscience
Associate Prof. Dr. Leow Chee seng
After lecturing several years in business school, I started to realize that what we knew about management is probably wrong. Recent research shows that human emotions lead us to better business decision rather than our logic mind. This concept is proven scientifically through quantum consciousness. Positive and negative feedback not only do not improve organization performance, they give the negative impact to the organizational productivity. The quantifiable objectives that are critical parts of our strategic plans gear us to focus on the short term at the expense of long term. Many strategic management strategies are taken as granted are not only ineffective, they actually lead us to opposite of an organization goal.
More new approaches and strategic management tools are designed to help management performance but can’t help but strike us as unreasonable. Thinking big and long vision plans are beautiful but does it really works for you? Do you know that the smaller rewards tend to more motivational than larger ones? The competitive is often the best methodology to stimulate cooperation, team work that the manager who produce the best results that ones who do the least managing. The management guru, Clayton Christensen mentioned the “least management style” constructs the Innovators’ DNA.
The development of neuroscience reveals the secret of management but they challenge our common sense. Now, scientists measure brain activity at work with functional magnetic resource imaging, fMRI. The research concludes that emotions control our moral characters, makes us more empathetic, learning ability and feel pleasure in work. The more significant findings in neuroscience management development on the mapping the path information flows from our sense organ to our awareness of the current business environment.
Do you know that each of us live in a mental world of our own making? Brain involves in forming our perception, memories, feelings, beliefs and aspiration. Our minds aren’t objectively taken down our daily experience but it always integrated with other factors that we encounter including visualization.
Human is unique that what we think it to be, and we can’t assume other people would think the same way we do. Since our employees, clients, bosses all perceive thing differently, the way we act toward them doesn’t necessarily produce the results we expect or what. Now, we accept the fact, human is unique and some of us belief that logical reasoning is the key to resolve conflict perceptions. Unfortunately, findings from fMRI reveals that objective reasoning has no relationship when problem solving and planning for future.
This article helps to integrate study of neuroscience and business. Management practices are illogical but create higher productivity and better performance. Illogical management style stimulates higher innovation and creativity that creates strategic advantage for the organization. In addition, organization could transform rapidly and leadership tends to bring out the best people. The improvement in the bottom line will not just be incremental but a quantum leap.
The development of neuroscience evolves different techniques and models in management. The science transforms the management to the new paradigm to incorporate the hard data of science and fundamentally changing the way we think about business. When we apply the principle of neuroscience, we are able to gain access to an integrated set of management practices that really do deliver on promise of superior performance.
A friend of mine asked, “So what about neuroscience! It does not relate to management at all!” In fact, she could not understand the holistic paradigms of neuroscience. Our logical thinking seems superior because when we apply logical thinking, we divide up information and catagorise them. While this enables us to organize vast amount of knowledge, it also helps to understand our specialties and their uniqueness and the way how we think. Businesspeople and neuroscientists always stay in their own world that might have difficulties to communicate and appreciates other concerns.
In Chinese philosophy, when there is a risk, there is an opportunity. The gap in neuroscience is actually creates an opportunity for the business leader who is able to bridge the gap. It provides the competitive advantage for the other business leaders who do not appreciate the uniqueness of neuroscience. There are no complicated algorithms or complex process to master. With a little adjustment of perspective it becomes clear what approaches don’t work and how to generate ones that do. All what you need to do is use the mind the way we now know it naturally works.
When study in depth of neuroscience and management, counterintuitive approach shapes how our mind works from strategy to leadership. Implementing counterintuitive approach is easy but the impact is marvellous. However, a lot of organization fails to apply because the biggest challenge is for manager to stop doing most of what they are doing now.
A CEO could not understand why SMEs refused to be innovate even they know innovation could help them moving to the next level of business circle. The answer is rather simple; this is because those organizations are not managed in the natural inclination. When a manager’s action actions are not producing opposite of what they intend, management become easier, less stressful and more fun. The natural inclination encourages their natural ways of working and it becomes more rewarding. Google Corporation is a company that applies natural inclination in the workplace to stimulate innovation.
As a business consultant, I encounter with corporate world each day. I see intelligent well meaning manager imprisoned by conventional wisdom and frustrated by their ability to get an organization of people to do what they want them to do. I have witnessed endless parade of new corporate initiative produce disappointing results. From my experience, those companies can be more successful and that the success can be achieved far more easily and far more quickly than most believe is possible.
By understanding the neuroscience, it does not help but it changes the way how people think, and when their application to business is demonstrated, managers understands the way how to boost the performance and the productivity with less effort.