Viacom hired a fancy Boston consulting group to spend a day with discussing teamwork with our IT and
Finance folks. To kick off the fun, we each filled out a very lengthly survey about our preferences (e.g. would
you rather describe the planets in our solar system or write about the pit bull that saved Earth). I was totally
convinced that I was a victim of the most costly consulting scam ever, until the lead consultant sent two groups
of five people out of the room with an assignment to return in ten minutes to make a specific presentation.
While the groups were gone, the consultant explained exactly how each group would behave when they
returned...she had selected the five most left-brained people for one group and the five most right-brained for
the other. It was shocking. The left brain folks had picked a spokesperson, put facts on the flip chart, and
stuck to their instructions...but never reached a conclusion. The right brain folks spoke over each other,
argued in front of us about what points and conclusions they were supposed to deliver...never cited a
fact...never got anything on paper.
For the record, I tested very right-brained. I was assured that I was still capable of posting debits and credits
and writing computer code...these left brain/right brain tests are designed to show preferences, not
capabilities. And in fact, this result was in sync with what I thought I did best...big picture, conceptual stuff.
The consultant wrapped the day pointing out what was now obvious...it takes a mix of skills, and brain
preferences...to make an effective team.
P.S. I've talked about this topic a few times at the local high school. After my last appearance, I received a
thank you letter from one of the students: "Thank you for visiting and telling us about our two brains." Just
want to make sure I've left this topic with the clear picture: One brain, two hemispheres.
P.P.S. There are many left brain/right brain quizzes/tests available on the internet. I've tried a bunch. None
that I've found are very long or detailed, but the results seem directionally correct. Here's an excerpt from one
of my test results...I like that Bill Gates is right-brained...seems to make the point that you can in fact be good
at left-brained stuff while having the ability to see the big picture.
More on Brains...