What is Whole Brain® Thinking?

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Whole Brain® Thinking
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Analytical Thinking | Blue (A) Quadrant

  • Logical
  • Analytical
  • Fact based
  • Quantitative
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Practical Thinking | Green (B) Quadrant

  • Organized
  • Sequential
  • Planned
  • Detailed
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Relational Thinking | Red (C) Quadrant

  • Interpersonal
  • Feeling-based
  • Kinesthetic
  • Emotional
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Experimental Thinking | Yellow (D) Quadrant

  • Holistic
  • Intuitive
  • Integrating
  • Synthesising

An Introduction to Whole Brain® Thinking

Whole Brain® Thinking focuses on showing people how to use their whole brain—not just the parts with which they feel most comfortable. It acknowledges that while different tasks require different mental processes, and different people prefer different kinds of thinking, organisations will get better results when they can strategically leverage the full spectrum of thinking available.

Although someone may prefer certain kinds of thinking over others, everyone has access to all four quadrants. Applying Whole Brain® Thinking means being able to fully leverage one’s own preferences, stretch to other quadrants when necessary, and adapt to and take advantage of the preferences of those around you to improve performance and results.

It is the basis for the highly validated Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®)the assessment at the heart of the Herrmann Whole Brain® Thinking System.

Want to gain a deeper understanding of Whole Brain® Thinking? Get your copy of The Whole Brain® Business Book 2nd Edition today!

Origins of the Whole Brain® Thinking System and HBDI® Assessment

In 1976, while researching the brain as the source of creativity, Ned Herrmann learned of the pioneering brain research of Roger Sperry, Paul MacLean, Joseph Bogen and Michael Gazzanaga. From their work it is clear that the brain has four distinct and specialised structures.

Inspired by this research, Herrmann worked with EEG scans and, later, paper-and-pencil questionnaires to identify four distinct types of thinking, each roughly corresponding to one of the brain structures. The result of this research is the Herrmann Whole Brain® Thinking System.

In August 1979, after many tests, in-depth research and mountains of data, Herrmann had developed a valid self-assessment that enables individuals to understand their own thinking style preferences—the HBDI® (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument®).

Herrmann’s books, The Creative Brain and The Whole Brain® Business Book, provide additional background on his research and the process he took to develop the HBDI® and Whole Brain® Thinking System.

Learn how Whole Brain® Thinking can help maximise strength in human capital.