Universities are embracing more right-brain thinking to give their students an advantage. This Access Atlanta article (registration required) explores how engineering students at Georgia Tech are using poetry to blend creativity and style into products. Wayne Clough, president of Georgia Tech and a Ph.D. in civil engineering says that makes perfect sense:
"The pursuit of science and technology is just as creative a process as poetry and the arts. Both require intensely creative people who can think outside the box, look at the same things everyone else sees and imagine something more, and put the pieces together in new ways."
I've never studied poetry, but I see the benefits of using poetry to help engineers look at problems in a different light. Students can produce a poem in short order, and the professor uses that experience to show how the right-brain act of creating a poem can be used in engineering.
Although, I'd rather focus on story and its power to produce change in business. Consider software and its use of design patterns like Model-view-controller. Well, story also has design patterns. Ever wonder why so many people are fascinated with the TV show Lost? There are a number of reasons, however, I'd like to focus on a story pattern that's a metaphor for the mind.
The island represents the conscious while the water represents the larger unknown, the unconscious. Of course, this metaphor whispers to your unconscious. And where do you think Lost's polar bears come from? Truth is most great stories have a design that parallels how our mind works. That's why we're drawn to them. (Even dialogue is a function of how our mind works; good dialogue often uses sentence fragments because our thoughts are fragmented.)
For the purpose of story is to expand your consciousness so you grow as a person -- and when that happens you become a better designer and problem solver. Indeed, whenever Lost's run is over, you can be assured that the characters' consciousness will have expanded, to the point where they solve their island problem.