this idea must die

A man with a puzzle on his head and a missing piece --- Image by © ImageZoo/Corbis

A man with a puzzle on his head and a missing piece — Image by © ImageZoo/Corbis

Are you left brained or right brained?

Before answering this question too quickly… are you sure that such a thing even exists?

If this intrigues you, you will enjoy (as I did) the Freakonomics podcast entitled “This Idea Must Die” which examines “scientific ideas” that are commonly accepted, but in fact really do need to be retired. Personally, I would love to do this same exercise with a business slant.

Back to the left-brain versus right-brain question. Many, if not all of us, probably have an opinion about whether we ourselves, our spouses, children, and/or friends are left-brained or right-brained, and we assume the left brain/right brain dichotomy is well grounded in scientific study. In reality, according to Sarah-Jayne Blakemore in the podcast, this concept swept into popular culture and was then reproduced so many times that it became perfectly natural for us to apply these labels and simply assume the science behind them. No one is arguing there aren’t important scientific facts behind the understanding of how different components of the brain control different functionality in human beings, however, the notion that we have a left and right side of our brains, which operate independently of one another, according to Blakemore “makes no psychological sense”. Interesting food for thought.

What commonly practiced and accepted business assumptions are you ready to see killed off or die?

Listen to the podcast here