Are You the Corpus Callosum Of Your Organization?
The corpus callosum is the largest bundle of nerves in the human body. It connects the two halves of your brain. It helps the right and the left hemispheres of the brain to communicate and coordinate their activity.
As with your brain so is the case with your organization. Certain parts represent and are more inclined to “left brain” functions and other parts are by a greater degree “right brain” inclined. The question is, do they talk to each other? Do they communicate and coordinate well?
It was the surgeon, Joe Bogen and the psychologist, Michael Gazzaniga who discovered that the left and right brain hemispheres have distinct functions. Bogen was trying to help people with epileptic seizures by cutting the corpus callosum. Seizures tend to begin in one spot and spread by chain reaction to the surrounding areas. His idea was to prevent the seizure from spreading to the other side of the brain by severing the corpus callosum. Gazzaniga’s job was to discover the after-effects of a “split-brain”. As with many other great discoveries, the right and left brain localized functions were discovered by accident.
Organizations can suffer epileptic seizures too. It happens when communication breaks down, when finance and R&D, marketing and supply chain, sales and logistics don’t communicate well with other. If the organizational corpus callosum is severed or not functioning and the different functions are fighting each other instead of serving a joint purpose, the organizations can suffer an epileptic arrest.
Your task as a leader is to enable the collaboration and integration of these functions and groups. Here is the leadership challenge:
Are you the corpus callosum of your organization? Do you help and enable the left and right hemispheres to communicate and integrate with each other? Do you facilitate a whole brain organization, where the output is greater than the sum of the individual parts?
© Aviv Shahar