Video: Better Thinking Makes Good Business Sense
Orin Salas, Vice President of Sales at Herrmann International, recently had a chance to sit down with Ralph Chauvin, Vice President of Sales at Perfetti Van Melle, to learn how the candy manufacturer has integrated Whole Brain® Thinking throughout its business to improve performance and relationships, both internally and externally. Find out why Ralph calls Whole Brain® Thinking/the HBDI® the "tool of tools." Watch the video.back to top
Business Complexities Require Agile Thinking
The following is an excerpt from Ann Herrmann-Nehdi's new article, "Ten Steps to Developing Agile Thinkers in a Complex World." You can download the full article here.
"Why is it so hard for our people to shift their thinking? It is so obvious to me that their thinking needs to change," a frustrated senior line leader for a global multinational recently grumbled.
"The world has changed, why won't they?"
Although this is nothing new—it's a problem that has plagued managers for decades—the questions it raises today are more business critical than ever.
As the conversation evolved, we discussed all the obstacles that were getting in the way of these needed shifts in thinking. Even though these were all very smart people—dedicated, hardworking and aligned with the strategy of the company—something was missing.
"We defined the needed competencies, administered a 360, and they all heard what they needed to do to make these changes. Then we gave them training…is that not enough?" he continued, shaking his head in irritation. "I know the buck stops with me as their leader, but frankly, I am out of ideas!"
What is a leader to do?
These complaints are not specific to any one organization or country. In fact, they are products of the same underlying issues:
- An ever-increasing workload with no end in sight.
- Role complexity and "bundling" with no time to adjust definition or expectations.
- Challenges leading cognitively diverse teams effectively in virtual environments.
- Lack of time for coaching, training and development, even when it is planned and budgeted for.
- Change fatigue creating an attitude of "why bother—it'll just change again anyway."
- Business imperatives that require more risk taking and innovation when a fear of failure still pervades in the culture.
- Managing and leading up to four generations in the workplace, each of which requires a differentiated leadership style.
At the same time, the expectations—for better results, faster turnarounds, increased growth, higher customer satisfaction, competitive differentiation—aren't decreasing. In fact, we're demanding more.
We are up against momentous challenges, but we're trying to tackle them with ordinary tools, often relying on the tools and processes that have worked for us in the past.
New World, Old Education?
Most leaders were educated for a different world, at least in their formal education. Younger leaders, who grew up in an environment more virtual by design and more prone to disruption and radical change, have somewhat of an advantage in acclimating to today's business realities, but they lack experience dealing with the way large, complicated organizations function. They can be frequently frustrated by the collaborative effort required to get things done, and the moving targets of huge complex projects with continually changing or unclear milestones. That lack of experience can present a big gap they don't know how to bridge.
More experienced leaders have the challenge of moving at the speed of information, trying to get systems and tools that were designed for other eras to work in today's environment. They're also saddled with what "Made to Stick" authors Chip and Dan Heath, call a "curse of knowledge" that hinders their ability to look at fresh thinking with objectivity. In this case, knowledge and experience get in the way of their ability to flex and adapt to a new environment—to have, in a word, agility.
Jeanne Meister, author of "Workplace 2020," recently stated in her Forbes blog, 2020 Workplace: Preparing For The Future, "In the workplace of the future, employees will increasingly need to work in small, self-organized teams and be skilled in agile management, critical thinking and virtual teaming."
She goes on to talk about teachers she has interviewed who are training kindergarteners on how to use Twitter. One of the teachers reveals, "It's not the technology that matters, it's the flexibility of mind. You have to be able to say, ‘Well, OK, that didn't work; let me try this.' Kids are by nature that way, but this needs to be fostered."
Kids, whose brains are still more "plastic" or adaptable than adult brains, do have the added advantage of operating in an environment that fosters mental agility. We adults need to learn to embrace thinking agility, too, as Meister goes on to describe:
"That kind of flexibility will be crucial in order to thrive in the workplace of the future. Learning and working are becoming one and the same, and agility is a major competitive advantage for companies."
In many ways, much of what we are asking our brains to do at work has changed dramatically. We keep changing the assignment, and yet our systems, job descriptions, learning models and platforms, baseline measures, evaluation processes, and thinking about leadership development have not kept up.
Download the full article to learn more and to get 10 steps for increasing your own and others' thinking agility for a significant "thinking advantage."back to top
New Talent Development Book Provides Wealth of Advice, Tools
Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International, is among the renowned learning leaders who has contributed to the newly published talent development book, "Developing Talent for Organizational Results: Training Tools From the Best in the Field."
Published in 2012 by Pfeiffer and edited by Elaine Biech of ebb associates, the book brings together the combined knowledge and experience of training and development experts who belong to ISA-The Association of Learning Providers. Ann is also an ISA Board Member.
Ann's chapter, "Engaging All Learners in an Age of Information Overload," provides a step-by-step approach and practical tools for addressing the increasingly common challenges of capturing the attention of multi-tasking, time-strapped learners and ensuring the learning really lasts.
Readers will learn how to:
- Develop effective learning for time- and attention-strapped learners
- Use the Whole Brain® Model to design and deliver training that appeals to a diverse audience
- Choose the right blend of online and offline delivery approaches for optimum engagement, retention, application and reinforcement
The book is already receiving accolades from leaders in business and learning. Mindy Meads, former Co-CEO of Aeropostale and former CEO/President of Lands' End, says it's "like having a million-dollar consultant sitting on your book shelf," and million-selling author Marshall Goldsmith says it provides "practical advice for achieving company goals and the tools to make it happen."
Other contributors include The Ken Blanchard Companies, DDI, Forum, Career Systems International and Zenger Folkman.
The book is available in print and e-book formats. Learn more and purchase the book.
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How To: Tips and Insights for HBDI® Certified Practitioners
Whole Brain® Thinking at Vanderbilt Health & Wellness
In last week's THINC™ Webinar, Bob McKown, President of XMi Human Resources, took us inside the work he's been doing at Vanderbilt Health & Wellness. If you missed it, be sure to view the on-demand recording.
Bob and the participants shared tips you can immediately start using to improve your effectiveness and outcomes, including:
- Creative ways to reinforce Whole Brain® Thinking and encourage people to explore and use the full HBDI® Profile Package
- New ideas for introducing and incorporating the Whole Brain® Model into regular departmental work
- How to use modules from the Business of Thinking® to support departmental goals and get results fast
Upcoming THINC™ Webinars
All THINC™ Webinars are held at 1:00 PM ET
(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
Recent News on Thinking and the Brain
- The woman who controlled a robotic arm with her brain. A landmark experiment shows promise for helping paralyzed people control robotic prostheses with only their thoughts.
- So ambitious it's almost unthinkable. Scientists are on a quest to learn how all 85bn neurons in the human brain are wired up. Related: The Brain's Highways: Mapping the Last Frontier
- "Bad" fats could be hurting your memory, too. New research explores the association between saturated fat consumption and decline in memory and brain functioning.
- An inspiring commencement address will get you thinking. In his address to the University of the Arts Class of 2012, best-selling author Neil Gaiman shares the upside of not knowing what you're doing, the problems of success, and other insightful advice... not just for artists.
Join Our Team!
Herrmann International has the following immediate openings:
Product Project Manager: Reporting to the Global Project Manager, the Product Project Manager will provide project management expertise for the revision of existing products and the development of new products using Whole Brain® methodology.
Client Relationship Manager – Consultative Sales: Reporting to the VP of Sales, this is a business development position with approximately 75% of the work being accomplished via inside sales and 25% via client visits. Key responsibilities include developing new accounts and cultivating existing ones through consultative selling, building relationships with customers, managing accounts effectively, and managing internal resources to support the customer and the sale.
Executive Assistant: Reporting to the CEO, this detail-oriented role entails organizing and coordinating the CEO's office operations and special projects in fast-paced environment. The position requires someone who will take initiative and be flexible, resourceful, organized and efficient to successfully perform an array of administrative and special projects duties with a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality.
How to Apply: Contact Jennifer Lyons at Jennifer@hbdi.com for full qualification requirements, a detailed job description and application instructions.back to top
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
June 12 – 15, Atlanta, GA
July 24 – 27, Denver, CO
For detailed location and registration information, please email email@example.com or call 828-348-6391 and select option 2 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!