Quotable Business Advice from the Whole Brain Business Book

Quotes from The Whole Brain Business Book, 2nd Edition

Twenty years ago, Ned Herrmann’s groundbreaking book opened the eyes of business leaders and professionals around the world to the power of Whole Brain® Thinking. With the release of The Whole Brain Business Book, Second Edition, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International, is carrying on her father’s legacy and bringing practical new insights and advice specific to the challenges of the 21st century business environment.

Filled with real-world examples and essential charts, action steps, exercises, and tools, The Whole Brain Business Book shows you how to rethink your business, prepare for the future, realign your goals, and reinvigorate your team—by putting your whole brain to work.

The select quotes below give you a taste of what’s inside: Read more

Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail (And What to Do About It)

Why do transformation efforts fail when leading change?

Imagine that you’re recovering from triple bypass surgery. You’re not feeling great. A doctor leans over your bed to take your pulse and says to you, “We need to talk about some changes you’re going to have to make in your lifestyle to prevent this from happening again.”

Would you change?

Well, if you’re like the majority of patients, probably not. Research by Dr. Edward Miller, dean of the medical school and CEO of the hospital at Johns Hopkins University, found that nine out of 10 bypass patients don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of a next event.

If 90% of people don’t change when faced with a life-threatening situation, imagine how many people don’t change for smaller, less important things.

And if it’s so hard to get one person to change, imagine how hard it can be to get a group to change. Now think about how hard it is to change an entire organization, made up of people with different agendas, different mindsets, different ideas.

If you’ve ever been responsible for leading change in an organization, you don’t need to imagine it—you know how hard it is. Read more

A Powerful Learning Tool: Seating Based on Thinking Preference

Photo via World Financial Group

The keynote I delivered at World Financial Group last week had more than 200 leaders in attendance, all seated by their HBDI® thinking preferences. It’s always so striking to see how that validates people’s learning about themselves and others, both as they discover their HBDI® Profiles and begin applying what they’re learning.

In The Whole Brain Business Book, Ned Herrmann shares a story of the “aha” moment that came from just such a seating exercise. Presenting to a leadership group of a large company, he had assigned people to tables based on preferences (unbeknownst to the participants), and it turned out that the company’s chairman/CEO and president/COO had opposing profiles.

Elected as spokespeople for their respective tables to discuss the kinds of work they really loved and were energized by, it was almost as if they were speaking directly to each other, Ned recalled, as the “source of their 15 years of arguments and differences of opinion and frustration was being revealed.”

They realized they had a huge opportunity they were missing out on because they hadn’t been appreciating and taking advantage of their differences and cognitive diversity. It was not only a memorable public demonstration of the consequences of thinking preferences at work, but also the beginning of a true partnership between the two leaders.

Wayne Goodley, Director of Herrmann International in New Zealand, makes the point that seating by quadrant preference is “the best way to ease leaders into the appreciation of the HBDI®” and break down barriers to learning, adding that “the lively and often robust discussion which follows eliminates any doubts as to the effectiveness of the learning process.”

For HBDI® Practitioners out there, what’s been your experience with seating based on thinking preference? How has it affected the learning process and outcomes?