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Cornell Keynotes podcast: Combining right brain and left brain thinking

The entrepreneurial mindset is for everyone, from aspiring inventors to corporate managers.

In a new episode of the Cornell Keynotes podcast from eCornell, Richard Cahoon, a professor at the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, explains how we can combine the creative and analytical parts of our minds—the right brain and left brain—to give our ideas life and longevity. 

Cahoon offers an indispensable office supply as a well-known example of combining analytical and creative thinking to deliver an unexpected solution:

"The Post-it Note was invented at 3M by a chemist who was trying to come up with a new adhesive, and he failed because it doesn't stick very well. If you were searching for a really permanent and good adhesive, this is a failure.

But that's where you've got to step back and use that right side of your brain to go, oh, wait a minute, maybe those other attributes aren't a failure in another application.

That's the level of creativity that I'm talking about."

—Richard Cahoon

This episode covers:

  • Creativity’s role in invention as a catalyst to validation and longevity
  • Right brain/left brain dichotomy and metacognition (thinking about your own thinking)
  • “Inventiveness analysis” and “failed” inventions—like Post-it® Notes
  • Blending analytical and creative thinking as entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs
  • Entrepreneurial mindset in team dynamics
  • Getting support for entrepreneurial endeavors through angel investors and networking
  • Impact of AI on inventiveness and innovation
  • Common mental blocks that can inhibit the creative process

Listen to Episode 38: Combining Right Brain and Left Brain Thinking as Inventors, Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs:

Learn more in Cahoon’s Invention and IP Management online certificate program and these technology, leadership and business programs from eCornell:

Visit Simplecast to read more about this episode, and join Cornell’s most celebrated scholars and industry experts for candid conversations on trending topics and current events by subscribing to the Cornell Keynotes podcast.

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