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Future Thinking: is the creative future more right-brained than left-brained?

14 Sep 2020

As we navigate an uncertain future and contemplate what types of skills will be in demand in tomorrow's workforce, one useful scenario planning tool is the psychometric measurement Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument. It helps us to think deeply about what unique cognitive skills might be required given 2 major drivers of change: a. Technological Unemployment caused by the Rise of the Robots b. Digital Acceleration caused by the Corona-crisis. 

STEEP Trend Analysis Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

At its core this psychometric tool measures what our human thinking strengths and blindspots are. It is loosely based on mapping the human brain's left and right hemispheres, and provides a diversity overview of your team that can aid in innovation and collaboration. But it also enables a useful thinking method for exploring whether one side of the brain might be more in-demand in an age of the machines and digital work. What do you think? Are there particular skills that you think robots and computers are more adept at? Which skills do you think they will take longer to master?

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Anders Sorman-Nilsson Futurist

Think for a moment and reflect on your own thinking strengths and blindspots, and let us do a rudimentary self-reflective HBDI Test. In which quadrants would you rate yourself the highest, and in which would you rate yourself the lowest?

The Rational Self

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Anders Sorman-Nilsson Futurist

The Safekeeping Self

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Anders Sorman-Nilsson Futurist

The Feeling Self

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Anders Sorman-Nilsson Futurist


The Experimental Self

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Anders Sorman-Nilsson Futurist

So, where did you land? Could you see strengths in 1, 2, or even 3 quadrants? Or are you perhaps even Whole Brained? Where are your blindspots?

In a couple of white papers and trend reports we have co-authored with ING Bank and Microsoft this year, we look at how cognitive styles can impact your future opportunities as an organisational or personal brand. 


ING Future Focus Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

In the Microsoft Retail paper, we used the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument to identify which human customer touch points to digitise and automate and which ones should be better amplified by the 'human touch'. 

Microsoft Futurist Anders Sorman-NilssonBut, innovation and creativity are not purely the cognitive processes of the much-lauded right brain. Creativity and innovation can be applied in any of the 4 quadrants of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument and across every silo of your diverse workforce. 

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Anders Sorman-Nilsson Futurist

A great example of a brand that I reckon is Whole Brained is one of our clients - Mercedes Benz. Here is an illustrative ad to look at how this automative mobility company applies whole brained thinking to its products and services but also how it positions itself amongst the hearts and minds of its intended audience. 

Mercedes Benz Whole Brained Brand Anders Sorman-Nilsson

Given the exponential explosion in computing power, what gets me excited about the future is the digital promise of taking the robot out of the human. Many of us still have to data-entry, drudgery and menial tasks - no matter what echelon of our organisation we belong to. I personally welcome the day when my AIs, wearable technologies, and robots free up more of my time to focus on the meaningful - to drive even more creativity, innovation, and human connection. 

Taking robot out of the human futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

What work tasks are you most looking forward to automating and outsourcing to a friendly humanoid?

If you want to learn more about the drivers of change that are ushering in a 2nd Renaissance of human creativity, have a look at the below video. 

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