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
How do I become a better leader in a changing world?
It’s a question that’s been on the minds of so many I’ve talked with recently. It was also the question that lingered in my mind this past year as I was deep in the process of putting together the second edition of The Whole Brain Business Book.
The response we hear so often is, Be more agile. Build your agility. But how? And what does that even mean?
Well, for one, I believe it means unleashing your full brainpower. The only way you can keep up with change and lead through the chaos and uncertainty and distractions and complexities and big data and on and on and on…is to get more conscious about your thinking and how you apply it.
Unleashing your full thinking potential can be uncomfortable, though, whether you’re a highly structured thinker who needs to experiment and take more risks, or a highly imaginative person who needs the discipline and organization to be more productive with your time.
Fortunately, brain research supports the fact that you can stretch and overcome your mental blind spots to become a more agile thinker and leader. It’s something we talk about throughout the newly updated Whole Brain Business Book.
Although the second edition won’t be on the shelves until this spring, you don’t have to wait until then to get started! Here are 6 tips from the book you can apply today to make thinking agility your leadership advantage in a changing world:
- Get used to being uncomfortable: Discomfort is a sign the brain is engaged and learning. Instead of wanting to avoid those who make you uncomfortable, recognize the opportunity they offer to help you stretch your thinking. Hire and enlist them. They can become your biggest asset. Make it a personal challenge to work through the discomfort to new understanding.
- Challenge your assumptions. The brain is very efficient, and it will “fill in the blanks” for you when you’re looking for a solution. But when you’re trying to see something in a different way or find a new way of doing things, the quick leap to conclusions can ultimately be a trap. When you begin to make an assumption, flip it around. Ask yourself, “What if this was not true?”
- Embrace the unknown. It’s your ally, not your enemy. Change presents a great opportunity for new thinking, but only if you deliberately and consciously take advantage of it.
- Optimize your toolkit. Use your own thinking preferences to determine the tools that work for you. For example, if you’re a highly visual thinker, a linear, spreadsheet-style planning tool may make the task of getting organized even more difficult for you. If the techniques and processes aren’t helping, look to thinking preferences for clues and help on how you can find or create a more workable solution for you.
- Lighten up. Unconventional approaches free the brain and stimulate new ideas and perspectives. Find ways to jolt your thinking, and have fun with it!
- Make it a mental habit. Decide what you want and go for it, making your desired future outcomes a reality.
Especially in today’s knowledge-intensive world, your greatest strength lies in your ability to get smarter about your thinking—to make your thinking work for you instead of being trapped by it. Try it, and see how it makes the difference!
(And if you want to get more insights from the book—and be among the first to get a copy—be sure to join me at the ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition in Orlando this May.)
For the past few years we’ve heard a lot about what businesses need to do to survive through the recession and survive in the new economic environment we’ve entered.
No question, these strategies have been helpful and important. But it’s equally important to remember that, although operating in survival mode can keep heads above water, it’s only a short-term solution. And this short-term mentality impacts companies even when it’s not related to tough economic conditions.
Businesses focused on making the leap to the next stage of growth often find themselves in a similar situation. The very mentality that helped them get where they are may be keeping them from getting where they want to go.
Brain research has shown that the kind of thinking that’s essential for short-term survival actually hinders long-term growth and development. In an unpublished chapter originally written for The Whole Brain® Business Book, Ned Herrmann, founder of Herrmann International, addressed this topic as it relates specifically to the dilemma that many businesses face as they attempt to move from infancy to maturity.
In “Short-Term/Long-Term Leadership: Survival of the Fittest,” he notes that, in terms of the Whole Brain® Model, companies often start with an emphasis on D-quadrant thinking about the future and possibilities. But pressing business realities quickly intervene, and cash flow becomes the immediate concern. Leaders discover they must shift to left-mode, A- and B-quadrant thinking to deliver products and services and generate cash quickly.
In short, they suppress entrepreneurial thinking in favor of operational action.
While this approach makes sense for a business in its infancy, it often perpetuates itself long after because left-mode thinking becomes part of the management culture.
The same thinking that kept the business alive up to this point now threatens to kill it.
For the business to thrive, Ned explains, leaders have to become more agile in their thinking and to be able to apply situational Whole Brain® leadership thinking.
You can download the full chapter here: Short-Term/Long-Term Leadership: Survival of the Fittest
If you’re headed to Orlando for the 2011 ASTD International Conference & Exposition, we hope you’ll add us to your “to-do” list!
Stop by Booth #722 in the Expo Hall to learn about:
- How organizations from Microsoft Game Studios to the University of Maine are getting better results through better thinking.
- Your opportunity to win a free seat at an upcoming HBDI® Certified Practitioner Workshop or a free Whole Brain® Thinking skills team webinar.
- The latest developments in Whole Brain® Thinking – a system that will help you outthink, outpace and outperform the competition.
W304: Sticky or Stuck? Really Engage Learners’ Brains for Lasting Results
Wednesday, May 25 from 1:15 to 2:45 pm
You’ll discover how to use the best tool available – your learners’ brains – to develop learning that gets results and creates buzz, no matter how broad or diverse your audience.
Meet Ann and get your books signed at the ASTD Conference Bookstore:
- Immediately following her session on Wednesday, Ann will be signing copies of The Creative Brain and The Whole Brain® Business Book in the conference bookstore.
- Both books will be available for purchase in the bookstore.
We hope to see you there!