Here’s David Brooks talking about a ‘new humanism’. He sees it as the result primarily of insights from neuroscience. I agree that neuroscience will change everything we know about management, leadership, and whole lot else in the coming years (though I think he underestimates what other sources of wisdom can tell us here).
Why neuroscience? Because what it reveals is human nature, things that are true for every human being. The structures of the brain, the circuitry of the emotions, the electro-chemical processes that regulate and control everything that goes on inside of us, can now be observed to a greater or lesser extent through MRI scans and other means.
Objective about the subjective
In the past it was difficult to say anything objective about our utterly subjective inner experience. But now, we can see the circuitry of things like the emotions, for example – where they originate, as well as the various chemical and physical processes that then follow.
The human mind is becoming accessible to study in a way that was never before possible and there is a level of objectivity that we can bring, even to things like the emotions. For 2 years I’ve read up everything I could find on neuroscience and the more I learn the deeper this belief becomes.
Management will respond
Modern management has been predicated on a very shallow understanding of human nature. Management 2.0 will have to be constructed around the realities of who we are, rather than as it was in the past, when we had to conform to the dicates of what managemers needed – compliance in an old industrial setting, basically. We’re just at the beginning of what neuroscience will reveal, but already we have a lot more to go on — perhaps even enough to proclaim a new humanism.
This is just the tip of a great iceberg but it is central to my own arguments concerning self-direction. More on this later.