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 In an unpublished chapter originally written for The Whole Brain® Business Book, Ned Herrmann, founder of Herrmann International, addressed this topic as it relates specifically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
We asked and you delivered.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent blog contest about the organizing principle of the brain and contributed to the list of ways Whole Brain® Thinking can be applied.
The list keeps growing, and even though the contest has ended, we hope you’ll continue to come back to the post and add your thoughts and ideas about how you’re driving the Whole Brain® Advantage and how that’s fueling success in your work and personal life.
In the meantime, the lucky winners…
Congratulations to commenter number 6, Andy Radka, and commenter number 4, Mary Simpson, who each won an HBDI® Profile Board!
Ned Herrmann, founder of Herrmann International, wrote that the Whole Brain® Model is a metaphor for an organizing principle of how the brain works.
Wikipedia defines an organizing principle as “a core assumption from which everything else by proximity can derive a classification or a value. It is like a central reference point that allows all other objects to be located.”
When you consider the brain as an organizing principle, you begin to realize how many ways Whole Brain® Thinking can be applied and how far-reaching the applications are for driving the Whole Brain® Advantage, both in work and in personal life.
In fact, over the years Ned came up with quite a list:
40 Ways to Drive the Whole Brain® Advantage
Under the Organizing Principle of the Brain
Applied Creative Thinking
Creative Problem Solving
Human Resource Development
Task Force Creation
Teaching & Training Delivery
Team Building and Bonding
Now we want to know what you think (and we have a terrific prize for two lucky commenters!):
1. What would you add to this list?
2. Which one application do you think will be most important to organizational success in 2011?
Leave a comment with your answers, and you could win a free HBDI® Profile Board. The Profile Board is a great tool for reinforcing the application of Whole Brain® Thinking and organizing team activities and interactions around a central reference point of Whole Brain® Thinking.
This is your opportunity to contribute to the collective intelligence of the Whole Brain® Thinking community! We’ll publish the updated list in a future issue of our BrainBytes™ newsletter.
Two winners will be selected by random drawing from comments on this blog entry related to the questions above. Contest is open until March 18, 2011.