5 ways to override the lazy brain in your company culture.

Humans are lazy thinkers. Although the brain comprises only about 2.5 percent of our body weight, it generally uses 20 percent of the body’s energy. That’s why the human learning machine prefers to operate in a low gear—on autopilot—as much as possible: It’s a conservation thing. As Nobel laureate and behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman puts it, “Laziness is built deep into our nature.” So (your slothful brain is probably thinking) what’s wrong with that? Well, the big problem is that business has taken the “laziness model”—aka operational excellence—as far as it can go.

The lazy brain is why the operational excellence model—in which companies fight for dominance by being faster, better, and cheaper—rose to dominance in the first place. We take what we already know, replicate it, improve it, and repeat. It is much easier than thinking innovatively. Unfortunately, many of the jobs this model creates can now be done...

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