Nine is the final and wrap-up chapter of Jacobs’ book. It does not present new information and I will use this post to summarize my ideas about this book.
First, what is the contribution of Neuro-science? I believe that neuroscience and fMRI studies are very important, especially going forward, but at this point they seem to be insufficient in themselves. We still need to understand and interpret the data and that depends on psychology more generally. Jacobs’ suggestions are very interesting, and management could certainly benefit from a stronger connection to the insights of other social sciences, it is just that his positions could be better supported by the findings outside neuroscience. In a future post I will look at the social nature of learning, working, and the artifacts that we use to make sense of organizations. I think this can not only support Jacobs position, but may be able to extend them further.
What are the primary insights that I have gained from this book?
- The mind works holistically. Don’t be ruled by emotion, but logical mind sets that discount emotion can cloud important insights. When logical thinking discounts emotions and the holistic nature of the mind, it is constraining decisions not making them better.
- Higher mental functions like stories, paradigms, metaphors or theories can focus and enable thinking skills in a way that honors the minds holistic nature.
- Relationships are complex and understanding that people are active thinkers with minds of their own is a much more functional method of management. Treating people and organizations as mindless machines is counterproductive. Jacobs makes the mind (behaviorism’s epi-phonemena) central in management.
- Instead of relying solely on managers abilities, avail yourself of employees mental capabilities. Be like Socrates: ask don’t tell, ask for objectives, for reviews of their work, for their ideas about support needs.