Businesses favour the commercial brain over the creative one, study claims

BusinessesBusinesses in the UK are disproportionately made up of logical and rational thinkers, over intuitive and expressive ones, claims a new study. The study from Genius You, involved more than 2000 individuals across 10 different sectors and highlights a trend that could be impacting creativity and innovation in the UK.

The report raises two questions. The first one is whether businesses are more likely to recruit individuals who demonstrate analytical skills versus those who think and behave more creatively. The second question is whether corporate cultures are stifling “outside the box” thinking.

“There is no doubt that the logical and commercial brain is a vital cog in any creative process. Key decisions always need to be made and good ideas need to be developed into financially successful ones,” said innovation expert and founder of Genius You, Mark Simmonds. “However, this must not extinguish the spirit of exploration, experimentation and trial and error which is so essential throughout the innovation process.”

“Good ideas need to be developed into financially successful ones.”

The study involved in-depth analysis of a psychometric survey taken by employees from 17 international companies from sectors including fast-moving consumer goods, health, retail, telecoms and media. This psychometric survey has been used during the last 10 years and was developed and validated in conjunction with Dr Kamal Birdi at the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield.

 

The results of the 2020 study

• 31 percent of respondents scored highest as the logical/analytical ‘Judge’ personality type – making this the dominant behaviour of the 5 (the others being Explorer, Detective, Architect and Conductor).

• 9 percent only of respondents scored highest as the Detective, one of the two highly generative behaviours.

• 23 percent said they needed more internal sharing and cross-pollination of information and ideas in their companies in order to be creative.

• 18 percent of people wanted more brainstorming sessions and workshops.

• 12 percent felt they would benefit from more time out of the office to gain fresh external perspectives.

• 12 percent felt burdened by the number and complexity of business processes and templates.

• 11 percent said a more entrepreneurial, start-up mindset should be encouraged in their organisation.

• 10 percent of people said they needed more free time during the working day to be creatively ‘efficient’.

• 9 percent wanted more input and recognition via idea forums and creative hubs.

• 5 percent felt a more inspiring work environment would get their creative juices flowing more freely.

The unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have provided employees with enforced changes to their working environment, communication methods and processes. Organisations now must find ways to utilise all aspects of the creative process in their businesses to overcome their new commercial challenges. They must rely on a symbiotic partnership between the logical left brain and the more expansive right brain.

Image by ElisaRiva