This century has started with the reign of one individual: the left brain.#think: Bizarrelly enough, that very same individual brought our economies to their knees. The left brain told us we could build models. And we did. Mathematicians build wonderful tools for our banks, so complicated no one really understood them. But they were maths so we had to believe. And what anyone with sense would have said didn’t make any became the thing to do. The rest is history: subprimes, credit galore. The left brain said it would be fine. The left brain said that to grow you were better off buying large corporations rather than starting new ones. M&A galore. the models said it was the way. Mercedes and Chrysler. Alcatel and Lucent. Vivendi and Universal. The left brain said it was fine. The left brain said you can test advertising models. So we showed people campaigns and asked them to switch their left brain on to comment. We are now surprised that most of these very same people hate advertising finding it boring, and irrelevant. Stocks, houses prices, oil, people, new products, new campaigns, everything now has a mathematical and testing model. It makes every decision so easy. If the model says fine, then we have no real decision to make. It makes managing so much more predictable, removes the risk, help the decision maker to never be alone, and helps him to go home and rest. BUT. Isn’t it time we woke up to the fact that this is simply a mirage. That in most cases it does not work. And it doesn’t just ‘not work’, it is destroying us. Because by giving our left brain so much space, we are forgetting to train our biggest asset: our right brain. The one that imagines, the one that knows we are human, the one that can create the unpredictable. The only one that has a chance to see what no one has done before, the one that knows that at the end of the tunnel there is light, and believes it so much that it will create that light. Not that we should become extreme in the other way either. But if order leads to chaos. Why won’t we get chaos to lead to order. We need rulers and managers to invent a future. I said invent. To switch their right brain on. And then to manage. That’s were the left brain comes back into play. Under close supervision though. Managers need to know that they cannot just buy their way to success, that there is value in creating. That shareholders can be told to wait, and that there is a plan. A financial world is fine if finance is here to power ideas.
And not to power itself which is what speculation really is. If the only idea is the spreadsheets, it can only do one thing after a while: collapse. We had our wake up call with this crisis, we’ve all had enough of it by now. Are we awake, anyone wants to follow?
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