Monday, 5 November 2007

HCM – a right brained approach to people management?

The right brain vs left brain test - do you see the dancer in this link turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

I’d come across this wonderful test in HR Circles a couple of weekends back, but neither my wife or I could make the dancer turn anti-clockwise, so I dismissed it as a bit rubbish. However, on Friday afternoon (my office bans access to blogs, but they don’t know about Google Reader, ha ha!), I read Scott McArthur's rant stating that he did see her rotate clockwise, and I decided to have another go.

I won’t say quite how long I tried to sort it out for myself, but eventually I asked some of my colleagues to state their views. One of them, Nick, said he thought she was turning in a clockwise direction. When we talked about what we were each seeing, the way to change the movement of the dancer became quite apparent, although making the switch still proved quite hard.

If you’ve now had a go, and for at least those of you who have been paying attention to my blog, particularly to my own rants against excessive measurement, you won’t be surprised to learn that I see the dancer rotating in a clockwise direction.

I guess this perspective was also partly behind my gradual move from chemical engineering into HR. OK, HR can be left brained too, but it doesn't normally require partial differential equations!
So am I simply biased against measurement because from a personal point of view, this isn’t the way I think?

Well, I’m sure this plays a role. But I also strongly believe that HCM, or whatever we want to call people management in the new sigmoid curve, has to rely on a right brained, rather than a left brained approach.