Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Emergenetics: Tap into The New Science of Success

A best-selling book published in three languages—it is, at its core, a guidebook on understanding human thinking and behavior. Written by Dr. Geil Browning (photo of Dr Browning and me below!), the book is based on the Emergenetics concepts and theory, through the scientific approach with extensive data by measuring and analyzing the way people think, behave and interact. [afternote: As of year 2007, more than 280,000 people from all over the world have generated sufficient data to allow each test to be scored against the population and gender norms (Emergenetics Asia, 2007)]

The book applies Dr. Browning’s extensive research on brain-based science, psychometric assessments, learning and organizational development to provide a clear resource for self-awareness and understanding and a knowledgebase to relate to others in work, home and daily life. The Emergenetics framework pinpoints the complex interaction of our genetics and life experiences in an easy-to-understand format that is relatable and applicable across situation, profession and culture.

The book approaches success by relying on the proven science behind and application of the Emergenetics Model. Emergenetics measures the way people prefer to think in four distinct attributesAnalytical, Structural, Social, and Conceptual; it also measures behavioral preferences in three attributesExpressiveness, Assertiveness and Flexibility.

Emergenetics provides a unique depiction of the way people approach themselves and others. The book takes this depiction one step further, with in-depth analysis of everyday situations and case studies about how preferences play out in the real world, all done in a style that appeals to every mode of thinking and preference.

The book also provides a powerful Toolbox to approach everyday situations with Emergenetics. Especially appreciate the great write-up on principles of inclusivity and appreciation for others—how to run a successful meeting that appeals to all thinking and behavioral styles, how to provide feedback in a way that motivates rather than tears down, creative approaches to presenting, how to approach financial and business decisions with your own strengths in mind, and more.

In relation to creativity, Dr Browning suggested that it is not a matter of whether one is creative or not, but rather, how creative one can be. “There are limitless ways to be creative, and there is no one Profile that has a monopoly on creativity!” I particularly appreciate the flexibility of allowing one to think/express creatively. Below is an extraction from the book that perceives different ways of creativity of the different minds:

Analytical brain is being creative when it asks, “How could I design a system for this?”
Structural brain is being creative when it asks, “How could I organize this?”
Social brain is being creative when it asks, “Could I throw a party about this?”
Conceptual mind is being creative when it asks, “How could I paint a picture of this?”

She noted that people with different profiles will approach the same creative task differently. One of the most delightful chapters for me was her interview with 2 different artists- one who does colorful, abstract paintings, and another who paints with meticulous details of still life. She pointed that just as there are many ways to paint a picture, so there are different ways to express creativity.

Dr Browning recommended that people ought to constantly seek novelty and creativity through lifelong learning as the key to keep a mental edge. I quote, “Novelty - taking risks, questioning assumptions, being exposed to new ideas, and trying something new each day- keeps the brain active.” (p. 252). Besides suggesting how the different profiles can be more creative, she also cited the study of the activities carried out by 740 members of the Catholic clergy for an average of 4.5 years. Through the research, it was proven that cognitive activity is protected against Alzheimer’s disease (Wilson et al., 2002).

Most importantly, thebook offers applicability out of theory. By introducing brain science and research and segueing into a substantial background on the Emergenetics Model and Profile, the book builds a foundation, and utilizes that foundation to develop clear-cut ways to apply Emergenetics learnings into problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and other elements proven to create success in workplace and life as a whole.

Emergenetics has fostered a deeper awareness of my thinking preferences and expressed behavior. I believe with more applications of this knowledge, it will enhance my capacity as a leader especially in communication and building stronger win-win interpersonal relations especially when I understand the different preferences of my charges. The creative process could benefit from such an environment as I am better able to harness people’s thinking and behavioral attributes, and effectively develop a team that complements their preferred styles.

Feel free to email me ( to know more about Emergenetics or about what else excites or inspires me about the book!


Browning, G. (2006). Emergenetics: Tap into the new science of success. New York: Harper Collins.

Emergenetics Asia Pte Ltd. (2007). Tap into the new science of success. Singapore.

Wilson, R. S., Mendes De Leon, C.F., Barnes, L.L., Bienias, J.L., Evans, D.A., & Bennett, D.A. (2002). Participation in Cognitively Stimulating Activities and Risk of Incident Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of the American Medical Association, 287 (February, 2002), 742-748.

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