Monday, November 30, 2009

Creativity Crow

In his excellent book Brain Rules, neuroscientist John Medina tells a very touching story about his newborn son and himself. Medina noticed his son sometimes stuck his tongue out. Medina immediately stuck his tongue out back at his son, encouraging him to do it again. This helped Medina to build a relationship with his son right from the start. (There is more to the story, both from a human and a scientific perspective, and Medina is a great writer, so I suggest you read the book for yourself.)

I had reason to reflect on Medina's story recently during a dinner. A psychologist who has worked as an advisor to industrial leaders in Sweden was present. So were two children, about 4 years old. The children began sticking their tongues out at each other, just like Medina and his son did. (And triggering mirror neurons, which was one of the things Medina wrote about.)

The psychologist immediately applied the same expertise he uses to advice industrial leaders:
Stop that, or I'll tell a crow to fly by and shit on your tongues!
Which approach do you think is more likely to build a better tomorrow?

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