Who knows best?
Picture the scence... Robert knew he could do this task so much better, but his boss, Susan, was clear that she wanted it done according to company procedures. The processes laid out just simply didn’t fit with the way his brain thought, but he felt he couldn’t tell anyone that. George, on the other hand, found it really easy to follow the company practices. It brought out the best in him, and his thinking easily built onto the prescribed framework.
Susan was worried. The team had been awarded a significant project that was company-critical, and she knew she had to get the best out of both of her team members in order to deliver what was required. She knew that Robert could be brilliant, but she found it frustrating to have to make exceptions for him all the time. She felt she had to manage him closely and that was time consuming. George’s work was very run-of-the-mill, but he could be relied upon to deliver as expected and that was comforting.
In order to make the most of her employees, Susan needs to take a step back and deepen her understanding of how humans’ brains work. Recent research in neuroscience is helping to clarify the fundamentals of the human brain’s structure and function, which in turn is enabling scientists to piece together what makes people tick. This can be applied to the work place to help build more effective teams and companies.