Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I spoke to a neuroscientist today.

That's not a joke. I spoke to someone who studies brains for a living. She told me that researchers in the late 1960s discovered that humans are born with the capacity to approach challenges in four primary ways: analytically, procedurally, relationally (or collaboratively) and innovatively. At puberty, however, the brain shuts down half of that capacity, preserving only those modes of thought that have seemed most valuable during the first decade or so of life.

Now here's the cool part: people surround themselves with those who think like they do. So analytics beget analytics. Procedurals beget procedurals. (That's why MBAs hire MBAs.) Now here's the thing. Most people also seek out those who complement their skills--but because those complementary skills are deemed alien or threatening, people with those skills are marginalized. (I know. I was the ECD at Digitas!)

So an analytical client may seek out an agency rife with innovatives, but chances are that same client will mitigate the influence of those innovatives by analyzing their output to death.

Not exactly cause for celebration but what is nowadays?

1 comment:

Tore Claesson said...

this explains it all. Truly fascinating.
At the same time as it means there's no hope for all of it to work together.