Guest AuthorPavan Soni

Inflexion Point, Dec 2022

By | Dr Pavan Soni | IIM-B Innovation Evangelist

Hope you are doing well. 

Welcome back to Inflexion Point, your monthly from the realms of creativity, innovation and strategy.
In this edition, we learn if larger brains are really more intelligent, are left-handed more creative than right-handed, if it’s true that creativity is a right-brain phenomenon, what you could learn from Apple’s management of Jony Ive, and the innovation secrets of Honda.
Research suggests that intelligence is a function of the whole brain, its lobar volumes, and even within specific brain areas predominantly located in parieto-frontal regions. But it’s not the number of neurons that matter but the efficiency of their wiring– the neural efficiency hypothesis of intelligence. Larger brains have low neuron density and low neuron orientation dispersion which means they have fewer connections between those neurons and therefore process information more efficiently. The  bigger, intelligent brains possess lean, yet efficient neuronal connections. (Source: Inc)
Some of the great artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, and Rembrandt were supposed to be left-handers, and the myth goes around that lefties are more creative than right-handed ones. What does the research has to say about it? While left-handed people rate themselves higher on the Torrance Test, demonstrating fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration in thinking, the actual scores aren’t statistically significant. It is the greater specialization of the hands in the artistically gifted, irrespective of whether they are more skilled with the left or with the right hand, that makes the difference. (Source: Psychology Today) 
Since the ‘split-brain experiments’ by Nobel Prize winning surgeon Roger Sperry the left/right brain dichotomy took ground. We tend to believe that the left hemisphere hones capabilities on logical, analytic, quantitative, rational and verbal, whereas the right hemisphere is about conceptual, holistic, intuitive, imaginative and non-verbal stuff. However, creativity is a whole-brain phenomenon. The creative process can be diagnosed as follows: Interest (left and right), preparation (left), incubation (right), illumination (right), verification (left) application (left and right). (Source: Scientific American)
Before Jonathan Ive was hired by Steve Jobs in 1992, Ive was busy running a home appliance and interior design firm Tangerine. Jobs didn’t look at Ive’s past but his future on how he could make computers a part of everyone’s life. The insight on hiring talent is to first visualize the future and then identify the competencies needed to create that future, regardless of the past. Don’t fear going against the grain. Remember, Ive had almost no experience with computers before he joined Apple. The results were Mac, iPod and iPhone, which changed everything.  (Source: HBR)
Honda, a relatively late entrant in the automobile industry, boasts of some amazing fiats. It makes over 20 million internal combustion motors annually, has never posted a loss in its history, and yet operates at margins of about 5%, consistently topping the industry. Five practices: 1) high level of local autonomy in operating regions, 2) Waigaya as a means of perpetual dissatisfaction and embracing paradoxes, 3) low on robotics, high on human touch even on assembly lines, 4) leaders are always engineers, and 5) keeping it flexible and not highly efficient. (Source: Business Insider)
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