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Is Business Success An Art or Science?

New studies suggest that both the left and right sides of the brain are necessary for business success.

It’s long been thought that the strongest of successful business people are those who are logical, orderly, science and math-oriented, and focused on facts. What’s often forgotten is that business success also requires ingenuity, creativity, storytelling, and empathy. Both personality types are largely attributed to a dominant side of our brains, left or right.

Business-minded people are often thought to predominantly use the left side, which is the logical side of the brain. But new studies show that both left and right sides of the brain are necessary for successful business strategies, especially marketing.


Left Brain vs. Right Brain School of Thought

Complex medical and psychological explanations for human behavior and health often get simplified by the general public and get repeated as fact. The left and right brain school of thought is used to describe and justify the things individuals do and feel.

Photo: Rajat Mishra, President of PREZENTIUM and CEO at prezent.ai | Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Rajat Mishra, President of PREZENTIUM and CEO at prezent.ai | Source: Courtesy Photo

“Left-brained” people are thought to be logical and mathematically inclined. “Right-brained” people are considered artists and creative geniuses. In business, however, traits that make us successful come from more than a simple right or left-brain dominance.

A good way to examine and illustrate the idea that the brain uses both hemispheres is to consider the subject of math. The popular thought is that math requires the left side of the brain since it’s the logical side. Public opinion is that you need to tap into the left side of the brain to do the math, but research into brain activity shows that math requires both hemispheres.

This means that a person’s ability to derive mathematical solutions from a problem will leverage both hemispheres. A student’s seemingly natural ability to calculate math equations is not the result of a dominant hemisphere, but rather their ability to tap into both hemispheres.

Scientists agree that specific sections of the brain provide functions into thoughts and behavior, but math requires more than just solving equations. Physicists use math to solve problems, but they also need to tap into the creative right hemisphere to conceptualize a problem and apply the right mathematical equation. Although physicists might perform complex calculations, they still need to tap into their creativity to visualize results.

The use of language is also an example of how a specific skill requires both sides of the brain. The act of speaking and absorbing information requires separate hemispheres, so you need both forms to properly communicate.

You first listen and understand what’s being said to you, and then you reply with words of your own. The entirety of the communication process requires both hemispheres of the brain regardless of whether you can process information quickly or speak eloquently.


Logic, Creativity, and Business Success

Marketing is a creative process, but it’s often forgotten as a critical part of business success. When people think of business success, they arguably think of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos (among others). These businessmen are thought to be mathematically inclined and intelligent logical thinkers. Yet these same businessmen also have the creativity and ingenuity to create a marketing opportunity for themselves and their businesses.

Online business owners have brought to light the importance of marketing and planning. With so many global competitors online, a business must truly be able to stand out from the crowd and create a marketing plan that doesn’t get drowned out by all the same marketing as others with similar products and services. Whether you’re a logical thinker or more creative, good marketing uses both hemispheres.

The way a business or individual markets might depend on the way they think. For example, a logical “left brain” person might appeal to a customer’s sense of saving money and practical usage for a product. A creative thinker might appeal to a target audience’s desire for luxury. Both these marketing strategies are legitimately useful, but it also depends on the target audience, the service or product being sold, and the method of advertising.


Technology Unites the Left and Right Brain

If you have a business and lean to one brain hemisphere, you will struggle to either come up with a logical analysis of your campaigns or fail at the creative ingenuity needed to stand out with a good strategy. Machine learning algorithms are already used in marketing to analyze ad campaigns and optimize return on investment, but they can also be used to create presentations that build on concepts and information.

Using thousands of sources combined with your unique business idea, machine learning and artificial intelligence can be used to create presentations and design a storytelling idea that can be used to sell your products or services. Not only can it create a presentation for your marketing, but it can do it within minutes and save hours of manhours for design, text, and layouts.

What this technology can do is bridge the gap between the left and right hemispheres and give a small business a competitive advantage that they might not have without expensive resources and staff. It’s just one more way machine learning can help businesses stay ahead and stay competitive with larger enterprise organizations.


Rajat Mishra is the president of the award-winning presentation design firm, PREZENTIUM, and CEO at prezent.ai, the AI-powered presentation productivity platform for enterprise teams.


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