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Chapter from: "Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People"
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: 2011

Abstract

Play is the most creative activity of the human brain. It allows you to dream up fresh ideas and question old ones. In play, the brain totally lights up. Play drives creativity, and creativity, in turn, drives profits. Without play, peak performance is impossible - workers become robotic, doing what they are asked to do but no more. In this chapter, bestselling author ('Driven to Distraction') and practicing psychiatrist Edward Hallowell focuses on 'Play' as the third step in the Cycle of Excellence. He explains how a culture of imaginative engagement encourages the people who work for you to voice their ideas, think creatively, and discover talents they didn't know they had - and this applies to everyone on your team, not just the 'creative' types. Using as an example a life-or-death encounter from his own work as a physician, Hallowell demonstrates how the human brain, given the freedom to improvise and invent, can almost literally save the day. The chapter concludes with a list of ten practical suggestions for how you, as a manager, can help your people stay imaginatively engaged, thus bringing out the best in them - every day. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 4 of 'Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People.' This chapter is excerpted from ‘Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People'.

About

Abstract

Play is the most creative activity of the human brain. It allows you to dream up fresh ideas and question old ones. In play, the brain totally lights up. Play drives creativity, and creativity, in turn, drives profits. Without play, peak performance is impossible - workers become robotic, doing what they are asked to do but no more. In this chapter, bestselling author ('Driven to Distraction') and practicing psychiatrist Edward Hallowell focuses on 'Play' as the third step in the Cycle of Excellence. He explains how a culture of imaginative engagement encourages the people who work for you to voice their ideas, think creatively, and discover talents they didn't know they had - and this applies to everyone on your team, not just the 'creative' types. Using as an example a life-or-death encounter from his own work as a physician, Hallowell demonstrates how the human brain, given the freedom to improvise and invent, can almost literally save the day. The chapter concludes with a list of ten practical suggestions for how you, as a manager, can help your people stay imaginatively engaged, thus bringing out the best in them - every day. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 4 of 'Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People.' This chapter is excerpted from ‘Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People'.

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