If anything shows why we need artists, this video does. And pay special attention to the ending and how this creator actually responds to criticism from the outside world.
Here’s something to watch from Herrmann International Asia – originally posted in earlier in the year, but still relevant.
It’s the wrong time of year, but I am reminded of the college graduation ceremony, where the president took a minute or two to talk to the graduates as they were admitted. He asked each one, “What will you do next?” One young man said, “I’m going to become the world’s best brain surgeon”. The next young woman said, “I’m going to move to left, go down three steps and leave the stage”.
Both of course are absolutely right. The first was working in the HBDI quadrant D. The second was working in Quadrant B. I’ve just come back from a conference where both the big picture and the processes were heavily discussed. Since the focus was on governance, we tended to get more involved with the latter. My own presentation focused on a bigger picture where we were trying to deal with the future role of the organization’s leader.
Between meetings I happened upon a really interesting article in a New Yorker issue at the end of August. It observed that we are all prone to the “endowment” factor, – we put a higher value on things that we already have, as opposed to something that we might have in the future. Examples included the gift of college mugs to one group of students – and a question to another group that were not given them. The first group was asked what they would sell them for – and the second what they would pay to buy them. The sellers named a price that was twice as high as the buyers.
In other words, we value what we have more than what might be. So if we want to move forward, we often have to buy into Einstein’s contention that “Imagination is stronger than knowledge”.
As children head back to school, outdoor picnics are going to be a thing of the past – even though the early fall weather here in Toronto is the summer we never had.
My own back-to-school involves reviewing and re-reading to consolidate what I already know about the HBDI – and I enjoyed re-reading Ned Herrmann’s account of a picnic attended by four quadrant families with extreme preferences for particular styles of thinking.
The A family – Mr. and Mrs Rational, and their kids, Logical, Analytic, Quantitative and Factual left their upper right apartment in the complex and brought their stainless steel high tech barbecue grill. Mr. and Mrs. Organized insisted the a strict time schedule would be necessary for their children, Sequential, Structured, Detailed and Linear – and they were extremely wary when Mr. and Mrs. Feeling thought they might invite relatives to come along with their offspring, Interpersonal, Emotional, Musical and Spiritual. How were they going to assess costs fairly?
Mr. and Mrs. Experimental essentially ignored the others and put their children, Imaginative, Synthesizing, Artistic and Conceptualizing to creating seafood stuffed sausages.
Well you get the picture. We all bring our preferences to everything we do. Let’s hope that the kids enjoyed the picnic in their own way – and that they now have teachers who will respect their differences. Teachers as a group generally have less tolerance for the kids in the Experimental family – and yet these are our best hope for true innovation and creativity – so long as they can learn to respect and cooperate with all the other kids.
Here is an HBDI four quadrant model to play with in your mind. And here are some words to add
In the blue quadrant, imagine “Count”
In the green quadrant, imagine “Do”
In the red quadrant, imagine “Feel”
In the yellow quadrant, imagine “Dream”
Is one of these a favourite? If you really like one more than the others, have a look at the one that is diagonally opposite. There is a good chance that this is the one you like least.
Often the real trick is balancing the diagonals. If you like to dream, at some point you have to do. If you like to count, you also have to take feelings into consideration. While balancing all four quadrants well is best of all, to balance the opposing two in any situation will bring immediate benefits.
I have been rereading Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds‘ wise take on the design of presentations, since I am about to make three in the next two months. He reminds us of several important elements in the use of PowerPoint or its Mac counterpart. I have been guilty of giving audiences copies of slides – for which he coins the term, slideuments – and reminds us that they could be meaningless as a summary of a presentation, – that is unless it was a document in the first place that was simply pasted into a slide format.
The six elements illustrated above are Reynolds’ prescription for an effective presentation.
I was struck by how whole brained they are:
Design involves the upper level quadrants – A and D
Story involves C primarily
Symphony – involves them all – ABCD
Empathy involves C too
Play involves D
Meaning – certainly involves them all.
So many presentations are simply reiterating what the speaker is saying. I sat through one like this that lasted for one and a half hours and it was pretty deadly. So another way of looking at any presentation is to walk it around the quadrants.
If you would like to know more about the HBDI model and its features you can find more here
Robert Schiller writes in the New York Times today about the pyschology of economists
“Why do professional economists always seem to find that concerns with bubbles are overblown or unsubstantiated? I have wondered about this for years, and still do not quite have an answer. It must have something to do with the tool kit given to economists (as opposed to psychologists) and perhaps even with the self-selection of those attracted to the technical, mathematical field of economics. Economists aren’t generally trained in psychology, and so want to divert the subject of discussion to things they understand well. They pride themselves on being rational. The notion that people are making huge errors in judgment is not appealing.”
If Schiller knew more about the HBDI, he would realize that it would provide a reminder that not all people think like economists, – in other words, not all of us operate primarily from a rational perspective. Training and experience cause economists to prefer rational thinking – and hanging out primarily with those in their own profession, causes them to reinforce their thinking.
So the big lesson from this is to keep connected with people in diverse fields. And the small lesson might be to use a tool like the Herrmann walk-around on my website to ensure that you are looking at a bigger picture.