Political correctness and science rarely coincide. The book All the Brains in the Business: The Engendered Brain in the 21st Organisation from co-authors Paul Brown and Kate Lanz make that point clear. They provide a solid scientific framework refuting the idea that any differences between men and women are, at their core, socially rather than biologically driven. It makes a compelling case that neurological differences inherent to biological gender don’t provide reasons to further divide us but, instead, should be championed and utilized to their fullest potential. It isn’t a particularly lengthy work running under two hundred pages in total, but Lanz and Brown do an exceptional job of presenting a mammoth amount of information within a limited frame and have, arguably, given us one of the most important texts for delineating the differences between genders in recent memory.
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Lanz is an ideal author for such a work. Her background as a leadership consultant for various companies and expertise in neurological research position her in an unique way to explore this topic. Her and Brown argue that, harnessed in an appropriate fashion, the biological differences between men and women can benefit modern business and represent a heretofore untapped resource that organizations and businesses alike can make use of. Placing people in positions that maximize their individual skillsets is key to the function of any successful enterprise and this book successfully makes the case that gender considerations, for a variety of reasons, are one of the most underappreciated facets of such an approach.
The authors make these points in near irrefutable manner thanks to the considerable research informing the text. Lanz’s considerable experience and knowledge with neurological experiments makes her an excellent conveyor of this sort of information and the writers share it with readers in brisk and well-crafted prose that never overwhelms the reader. Though they address the reader throughout the book in a direct way, some readers will lament the lack of a personal touch informing the text. Bringing a sense of personal experience into such works helps draw readers closer to the subject at hand, but Lanz and Brown maintain a studied distance throughout the book without ever becoming outright unfriendly or unapproachable.
Ojne of the book’s key strengths for me is how you can never quite demarcate where one writer ends and the other begins. All the Brains in the Business has an unified voice throughout and there are no jarring transitions where it is obvious one writer takes over from the other. This level of professionalism is a highlight of the best non-fiction works and illustrates the care they have lavished on the project./ The book’s construction, likewise, has a level of linear coherence that makes the writers ideas easy to follow rather than leading readers into a jungle of jargon and data that might be unable of commanding their attention. All the Brains in the Business: The Engendered Brain in the 21st Organization gives readers a new way of looking at long-standing issues and, for that reason if no other, ranks the book as essential reader from both a business and sociological perspective.