Video: To Connect With Employees, Stop Talking Only To Yourself!
Trust is essential for building productive workplace relationships, whether between managers and employees, colleagues, with customers, or when new people and teams begin working together. In this video, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi provides tips for applying what we know about different thinking preferences and mindsets to help you build trusting business relationships. Watch the video.back to top
Managing the Challenges of Team Integration and Change
When new members join a team, cross-functional groups are brought together to address business issues, or existing departments are streamlined into single units, getting everyone on the same page is essential to moving forward quickly and seamlessly. But it doesn’t just happen.
Whether as the result of a merger, reassignments, internal restructuring, or the process of ramping back up as the economy begins to recover, many organizations are now or will soon be dealing with the challenges of on-boarding new team members and integrating teams together. Here are two real-life stories that illustrate some of the issues that can arise:
Odd Man Out:
This organization had a newly assembled, highly creative marketing team, with strong thinking preferences in the C (interpersonal) and D (visionary/strategic) quadrants of the Whole Brain® Model.
Well, with one exception.
A highly detailed, “number crunching” kind of guy, this odd man out felt insecure, uncreative and frankly annoyed at the team’s wacky ideas and lack of structure. Feeling he had little value to add, he had become unsupportive and even downright disruptive at times. The manager hadn’t done much to address the problem. Her hope was that the team would eventually gel the more time they spent working together.
Meanwhile, the team was having trouble selling its ideas to senior management.
Acquiring a Whole New Set of Challenges:
A global pharmaceutical company had acquired two large competitors in two years. Even before the acquisition, the head of the Compensation, Benefits and Health Management Department had problems getting the three diverse subgroups within his department to work together as a team. They worked well within their own specific areas but couldn’t seem to work effectively across the groups as a single unit.
Now he faced new issues.
Tasked with developing a mission, vision and business plan for his new organization, he discovered that the operating philosophies, beliefs and approach to compensation and benefits were very different in all three companies.
He was also beginning to hear rumblings from people in the acquired departments who were worried that because they were “new” to the company, they would lose their hard-earned power and influence.
He was going to have to bring all this diversity together to develop an effective set of strategies and plans to support the new company. And he would have to get the commitment of everyone in his organization if he wanted the plans to succeed.
Swimming Against the Cultural Tide
You may have had similar experiences in your own teams. We often find that cultural issues lie at the heart of the situation, and to get behind the culture, you have to look at the thinking that drives it.
You may discover it is primarily dominant in the left-brain A (analytical) and B (detail-oriented) quadrants or it may have stronger dominance in visionary D-quadrant thinking. No matter what the culture is, though, once established it tends to persist, he noted, “because when managers recruit, they usually look for high-potential candidates with similar profiles—we hire in own images.”
“Swimming against the cultural tide” is not easy, but we know that mentally diverse teams are more productive, consider more options and make better decisions than homogenous ones (“How to Improve Group Productivity: Whole Brain® Teams Set New Benchmarks,” Charles DeRidder and Mark Wilcox). So instead of ignoring, discouraging or squashing the mavericks, leaders need to learn how to integrate them successfully into the team.
In the story of “Odd Man Out,” that’s exactly what happened. Once the manager and her team learned about their thinking preferences, and how creativity is a Whole Brain® activity, not just a “right brain” exercise, they realized their diversity of thinking preferences was actually good news. They just needed the leadership to manage it productively. That meant:
- Giving the manager the skills and tools to actively put the full brainpower of the team to work.
- Reinforcing the importance and value of different thinking when it comes to creativity by using a Whole Brain® framework to anchor the process and guide team meetings.
- Leveraging the thinking of their more detail-oriented cohort to more effectively package and present ideas for senior-level approval.
The manager now knows how to communicate and get the best from all her employees, not just those whose thinking preferences match hers. And the “odd man out” no longer wonders what value he’s bringing. Everyone agrees he’s critical to their success.
At the pharmaceutical company, the head of Compensation, Benefits and Health Management faced challenges on a bigger scale, but beginning with an understanding of thinking preferences, he was able to take a holistic approach to addressing them. That meant:
- Using the Whole Brain® system as a framework for integration.
- Uncovering the different thinking preferences between the groups and using that as the basis for discussion on how this cognitive diversity contributed value to the organization, both individually and as a broader unit.
- Giving the team a common language and framework to enable better communication and collaboration.
- Focusing on the future by encouraging the team to apply what they understood about the thinking available to them as they put together a plan for contributing to the success of the company as a whole.
And the Whole Brain® teamwork paid off: All of the members of this new organization reported that the mission, vision, strategies and plans they worked together to develop were significantly better than they would have created individually and without this initial analysis of their thinking styles. Senior management agreed that they had come together to develop a workable plan that would support the company’s performance.
The key take away from both of these examples is that incorporating the language, framework and tools of Whole Brain® Thinking into the core of how the team operates is what will make the results last: Keeping thinking top of mind is what keeps the teams running effectively, even when the changes keep coming.
The first hurdle, of course, is getting everyone up to speed. Have you applied the Whole Brain® framework to the on-boarding process or to address team integration challenges? We’d love to hear your stories!back to top
Teaching Culture: The Onboarding Connection
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.
A new post on the Whole Brain® Blog discusses a recent Talent Management Magazine article that makes the case for taking the time upfront to teach new hires about the culture.
We want to hear your experiences about onboarding and corporate culture. 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? Join the conversation on the Whole Brain® Blog.back to top
Webinar: Get Tips to Optimize Sales Effectiveness
Public Webinar this Thursday! Optimize Your Sales Organization for Better Results
Gear up for long-term growth without sacrificing today's numbers. This highly interactive webinar will explore:
- The risks and costs of a short-term mindset
- The agile, adaptive thinking skills sales leaders need to sustain growth
- A framework for optimizing your entire sales organization—from processes and training to leadership, coaching and individual sales results—without getting rid of what you're already doing
- Best practices from leading organizations such as IBM, Coca-Cola and American Express
Bring your questions! The 30-minute interactive presentation will be followed by a special 15-minute Q&A session with the presenters.
Outthinking the Competition: Optimize Your Sales Organization for Better Results
Presenters: Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO, and Orin Salas, VP of Sales, Herrmann International
Date: March 1, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM CST / 10:00 AM PST
This complimentary educational event is open to the public. Please feel free to share the registration link with your colleagues who might also benefit from attending.back to top
Professional Development for HBDI® Certified Practitioners
If you’re an HBDI® Certified Practitioner, you have access to free professional development opportunities throughout the year. Don’t miss out! Check our calendar regularly for the latest events, and reserve your spot today for the March THINC™ Webinar.
THINC™ Webinar: Brain Science Goes to Work—Solving 4 Common Business Problems
We're bringing lofty brain research down to earth in this practical webinar. You'll learn:
- The latest brain research and trends you need to be aware of as an HBDI® Certified Practitioner
- How to optimize the problem-solving process by applying what we know about thinking preferences and the brain
- How to use Whole Brain® Thinking concepts to solve common, everyday business challenges
Brain Science Goes to Work: Solving 4 Common Business Problems
Presenter: Dr. Mark Schar, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Three Point Solutions
Date: March 28, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM CST / 10:00 AM PST
Mark Your Calendar for These Upcoming THINC™ Webinars
All THINC™ Webinars are held at 1:00 PM ET
Hitting the Right Notes: How the Whole Brain® System Keeps This Department Singing, Bob McKown, President and Corporate VP of HR at XMi Human Resources
(Brain)Power to the People: How to Help Employees Take Charge of Their Own Development, Donna Moniot, Senior Vice President and Executive Coach, Lee Hecht Harrison
Whole Brain® Teams: Application Case Examples, Panel Discussion
Thinking Styles and the Learning Cycle: How to Design for Optimum Learning Outcomes, Dr. Henry Senko, Founder and Managing Partner, MHA Institute Inc. and instructor, The University of Alberta Faculty of Extension
Please Note: THINC™ Webinars are open to HBDI® Certified Practitioners only. You will need to log in to the Practitioners Area of our website to access the registration page.
Check the webinars page on our website for a full listing of upcoming webinars.back to top
EVENT SPOTLIGHT: EXECUTIVE BREAKFAST, DALLAS, TX
Harnessing Your Company's Brainpower to Outthink, Outpace and Outperform the Competition
Date: April 26, 2012, 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM EDT
Location: Tower Club, Dallas
Register: Reserve your seat online, or call Herrmann International at 800-432-4234 (ext. 308) for additional details. This is a free event, but advance reservations are required.
Hear from the leading authorities on leveraging what we know about thinking and the brain to gain a strategic edge in today's market. This complimentary event is a don't-miss opportunity for leaders leaders in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to network with peers and get the inside story on how to harness the collective intelligence in the organization for better results. Please note: Space is limited. Register now to guarantee your seat!
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:
ASTD 2012 International Conference & Expo
Session TU325: Outthink, Outpace, Outperform: Developing Agile Thinkers to Lead the Way (Trends Track)
Presenter: Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO, Herrmann International
Date: May 8, 2012, 4:00-5:30 PM MDT
Location: Denver, CO
Visit Herrmann International at Booth #711.
Be sure to check our Calendar for the latest event news.back to top
Recent News on Thinking and the Brain
- Why being sleepy and drunk are great for creativity. The inability to focus can lead to better insights and unexpected associations.
- Uncertain choices light up “explorer” brains. People who consistently choose to grapple with uncertainty head on may harness the computational power of a specific brain region.
- Are parasites controlling your brain? It may sound like science fiction but surprising new brain research reveals a common parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are and even our preference for certain scents.
Upcoming Certification Workshops
Did you know? The Herrmann HBDI® Certification Workshop has been pre-approved for 30.00 (Specified Business Management and Strategy) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.
Herrmann HBDI® Certification
March 20 – 23, Boston, MA
April 24 – 27, Dallas, TX
For detailed location and registration information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-432-4234 and select option 6 for Client Services.
Did you recently attend a certification workshop? Be sure to complete your practicum to become fully certified, and then use your certification coupon to get your implementation off the ground!