Most of us have stories of being a new hire or new to the team and having to figure out what the norms are, what the lingo means, and in general, what the culture is really all about. It’s often a process of discovery, and sometimes it can be an eye-opening one at that.
While it’s not unusual for the organizational culture to be revealed in this gradual, informal way, a recent blog post from Talent Management Magazine makes the case for taking the time upfront to teach new hires about the culture.
Citing the book, Successful Onboarding: A Strategy to Unlock Hidden Value Within Your Organization, by Mark A. Stein and Lilith Christiansen, the post explains that teaching culture during onboarding reduces the learning curve and helps people acclimate faster.
We have heard many interesting examples of how companies are using the Whole Brain® framework to develop and ground their culture, and how they’re also using it to create and communicate the vision and values to new and long-time employees alike.
It also gives people a common language to talk about who they are and how they approach work. As the CEO of one IT firm told us, “It’s quite amazing how a lot of people in the organization have got their HBDI® Profile mounted on their desk. And people are saying ‘I’m yellow, I like to work in a yellow environment.’”
But do new hires know what “I’m yellow” means?
When they come on board, between the hectic pace of ramping up and previously set course schedules, the timing may not be right for new hires to attend a class in Whole Brain® Thinking. That’s one of the reasons Stein and Christiansen point to interactive technology as a good option for communicating culture quickly and consistently.
With Whole Brain® concepts, many companies use the Thinking Accelerator™ featuring HBDIinteractive™ simulation to quickly bring people up to speed on the language of Whole Brain® Thinking and their own preferred styles of thinking.
What are some of the methods and tools you’re using to teach culture to new employees? Have you used the Whole Brain® Model to organize your onboarding process? We’d love to hear your experiences with onboarding and corporate culture. Share them below in the comments!
From leadership strength to innovation, virtual teams to social learning, faster on-boarding to better measurement, business leaders and learning professionals have a full plate in 2010.
We’ve distilled down the trends and focus areas organizations are talking about into our list of Top 10 for 2010, including the Whole Brain® implications for each of these trend areas.
So tell us: What stands out to you when you read through this list? What will be the top 3 hot button topics that you, your organization or your clients will be dealing with this year?
Share your top 3 and any other thoughts you have about trends for the year in the comments section of this post. A few lucky commenters will be winners of our next prize give-away on the Whole Brain® Blog!
Note: This is an expansion of an article that appears in our January BrainBytes™ e-newsletter. Be sure to sign up if you’re not already receiving our monthly newsletter.
- Strengthening Overall Leadership Skills. With the planned economic rebound, never has there been such a demand for leadership. After a year in which much development was “on hold,” many organizations are reviewing their existing curricula, updating their approaches with new blended offerings and emphasizing competencies that stress a broader range of skills and a need for situational thinking.Whole Brain® Implication: Understanding leadership through a Whole Brain® lens allows for a fresh approach to leader development. I am currently working on a model of the leadership attributes required for 21st Century leaders. (Please email me if you are interested in receiving a copy.)
- A Broader Definition of Diversity (and related talent management implications). Diversity and diversity initiatives continue to play a significant role in the workplace, and the definition is expanding to include such areas as thinking and generational differences. There is also a growing focus on the business benefits of inclusion, beyond an articulation of the process and need. Whole Brain® Implication: When the HBDI® is used as a platform or introduction to diversity, it provides a broader lens for viewing diversity and immediately gives the initiative a practical, relatable and actionable context. A recent article on Harrah’s approach to “diverse by design” teaming is a great example of how cognitive diversity can be leveraged for increased innovation.
- Adapting to Virtual Leadership and Team Roles. Reduced travel and a growing “virtual workforce” have decreased face-to-face time and both highlighted and heightened the need for more effective approaches to virtual leadership, teaming and communications.Whole Brain® Implication: Terrific research on Virtual Distance has emerged, and it recommends the use of an approach (like Herrmann International’s!) to reduce the perceived distance between virtual colleagues and increase their effectiveness. It’s a topic we’re considering for a future webinar if there is enough interest. If you have a particular interest or need, be sure to consult with your Herrmann Client Relationship Manager for information and assistance.
- Faster On-Boarding and Ramp-up to New Functions, Teams and Responsibilities. In light of the desired mobility and shorter job stints of younger generations, the need for rapid assimilation has increased even further. Whole Brain® Implication: Several organizations in the United States and around the globe are using the HBDI® as an accelerator for assimilation and “culture positioning.”
- Developing and Retaining High-Potential Employees. Emerging leaders, or “Hi-Po’s” as they are often called, are a precious resource and will be at risk for poaching from the competition as soon as the economy rebounds (and don’t kid yourself: The best are already weighing their options!). Whole Brain® Implication: As early as in the 1980s, Ned Herrmann used the HBDI® at Crotonville as a development platform for Hi-Po’s. Since then a multitude of companies have found the model to be a good fit because it helps to build off of and honor preference in addition to providing the opportunity for stretching thinking as needed – thus, no cop-outs!
- Building Teams That Fuel Innovation. Many believe that innovation will be the key for succeeding in the wake of this economic crisis. The opportunity is there, but innovating out of the recession requires work at both the organizational culture level and the team level – work that many organizations have yet to take on or simply aren’t doing well. Whole Brain® Implication: In her recent book, The Firefly Effect, Kimberly Douglas, President of FireFly Facilitation, a Herrmann HBDI® Certified Practitioner and a nationally recognized team effectiveness expert, shares a multitude of ways she has used Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® to help her clients transform group talents and energies into innovative business ideas.
- Social Media Implications on Customer Experience, Service and Brand. A recent article in Scientific American Mind on social networks and mental health addresses many of the questions we are asking about what it all means for us as humans. Clearly, there are huge organizational implications as we look for effective, informal touch points with those we serve. Whole Brain® Implication: I addressed the phenomenon of hyperthinking and its impact on the brain in an article last year. With so many communication options accessible to us all, it’s never been more important to look for ways to communicate using a Whole Brain® approach: Who is your target? How do they like to be communicated to?
- Expanding Effective Use of Informal Learning, Social Learning and Self-Paced E-Learning. We have learned much in recent years about the power and effectiveness of informal learning from many thought leaders, including my friend Jay Cross. Jane Hart from the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is great resource on social learning (follow her on Twitter or check out her blog, Social Media in Learning). The economic crisis has led to a renewed interest in self-paced e-learning and simulations as a viable part of a blended solution. Whole Brain® Implication: The brain is an essential part of all learning processes. As you reflect on your design options, think about ways to use a Whole Brain® Approach to enhance the outcomes. For more on Whole Brain® learning and design, download the recent white paper, The Best of Both Worlds – Making Blended Learning Really Work by Engaging the Whole Brain®, or see my article, The Learner – What We Need to Know, in the ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals.
- Better Measurement of Learning Impact/Demonstrating Connection to Bottom-Line Results. Demonstrating ROI is still one of the biggest challenges of many in our profession, and with resources tight, the connection to the bottom line is ever more critical. Learning leaders are redoubling their efforts to better measure and more effectively articulate training’s impact on organizational success. Whole Brain® Implication: For several years I have referred to ROI as Return on (a) Investment, (b) Implementation, (c) Interaction and (d) Ideas. All four are vital. What results are you trying to drive?
- Increasing Training in 2010 (but not necessarily increasing resources). The need is there! Many are saying there is a pent-up demand for training and development and feel they have some catching up to do. Others kept things going in ‘09 but see a growing demand for development in a growing (albeit slowly) economy. Whole Brain® Implication: Clients are telling us that the Whole Brain® approach gives them the advantage of a platform for learning that is fast to teach, can address a wide range of applications and has great stickability.