By Steve Doran, Director, Infrastream

There is a very strong perception that asset managers are ‘left brained’. That is: logical, analytical, measured and systematic thinkers rather than ‘right brained’ or creative, fluid, out of the box thinkers.

Considering that engineering is the predominant asset management leader’s profession, this is evident when googling the exact phrases: ‘Engineers are left brained’ and ‘Engineers are right brained’.* With this simple exercise we find that the former statement returns over 1200 search results while the latter yields less than five results.

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) is one of the most highly recognised and widely acclaimed management experts of our time. He has been described as ‘the father of modern management’. In contrast to the above implication he presents a compelling case that innovative organisational ideas come almost entirely from methodical analysis of opportunity. His famous Harvard Business Review paper The Discipline of Innovation (2002) details his point.

So, as asset managers are so strong in the area of systematic and analytical thinking, why does the non-innovative perception prevail?

There are a number of reasons for this based on psychology, culture and success patterns, but one foundational reason is simply this: asset managers have not been provided with the appropriate idea-generating principles or tools.

In fact, if we engage the asset managers’ strengths in application of principles for best outcomes and systematic analysis with use of these tools, there is no reason why this group cannot become among the most creatively innovative of all.

* To perform a Google exact match search double quotation marks (“) are used.

Steve Doran will be presenting key innovative thinking principles and demonstrating then handing over some of the best idea-generating tools for asset managers available in this field at the Innovating In Asset Management – how to create outstanding value for asset stakeholders workshop.

The event will take place in Sydney on 22 & 23 November. You can learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.

For more information please visit

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