His discussion got us thinking … about why people are the way they are, how (if) they change, how to measure them, and how who we are impacts our business performance. Like others before him – Dr. Seung’s approach is to map areas of the brain by EEG or fMRI. This approach has been around for a long while and is a rather old school approach (though still unsolved). Though fascinating, neither the EEG nor the fMRI reveals how the brain works, or makes any strides to helping us make this information useful by businesses.
To explore how the brain works, these brilliant scientists have taken on the monumental task of mapping how the millions of miles of neurons in our brains connect. These networks of neurons are unique to each person, and formed by both genetics and experience. The thesis is that this wiring pattern is what makes each individual unique.
All of this may sound mysterious and perhaps may feel irrelevant to today’s business focused Data Scientists, but it actually could not be more relevant to those of us who attempt to measure people and their affect on business performance.
This study lends credibility to findings that innate personality traits tend to be stable throughout an individual’s career (and beyond) making innate traits an interesting dataset to quantify and compare with business performance.
At this point, since the brain’s neurons and how they connect are yet to be mapped, we can only measure the outcome of these patterns i.e. an individual’s innate behaviors, drivers, career paths, job performance. But, this does point to a future where we will be able to understand why people are they way they are, and run our businesses based on real brain science.
This will take decades, of course and may yield both good and bad things. But we think it is interesting to see the world’s most brilliant scientists chipping away at the roots of what we in the trenches measure everyday.
Book: “Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 2012, H. Sebastien Seung
Originally published by International Institute for Analytics