A Way out of Mind-Full

A Way out of Mind-Full. Help in a world with too much informaiton

A Way out of Mind-Full

Here’s what Herrmann International says about the modern workplace and an opportunity to learn how to work better in it  Timely in a new year.  I continue to provide HBDI Assessment and training in Toronto.

Thinking about Thinking – for working parents

I spend one-half day a week in a kindergarten classroom – and watch the parents deliver the small people to the door before hurrying off to work. I’m not following that harrowing routine anymore but I have been there.  Working lives are so much more complicated now that we are overwhelmed by information from all directions.  We are thinking all the time – but we spend little time thinking about the process itself.  There is help – and you can find out much more on the menu above under HBDI.

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Telecom New Zealand likes Whole Brain Thinking

This just in from TV New Zealand

Some of New Zealand’s biggest companies are using psychological techniques to improve their call centre services. (Note: The HBDI is actually based on brain physiology – not psychology)

They can profile a caller’s thinking within the first 20 seconds of their call, said Wayne Goodley this morning on TVNZ’s business show. The techniques are an extension of the well-established “left and right brain thinking” concept.

Telecom has taken on profiling methods to improve call centres’ service and as a result won the Hermann International Learning Award. The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) was developed by Ned Herrmann when he worked at General Electric.

Goodley said Herrmann created the instrument when he noticed that the “learning taking place wasn’t coping with all the events that people had to contending with”. To enhance learning, Herrmann decided to profile the thinking of his staff. “This is a result of nature, your mum and dad, nurturing, your schooling and the free choice you exercise as an adult human being,” Goodley told AMP Business.

The technique is now being adapted to enhance services within call centres. Staff members fielding calls can “clue spot” the thinking of the caller and categorise them into “red” and “blue” thinkers. Goodley says if a person calls and says “look, I’m in trouble can you help me”, the person is a “red thinker”. According to the HBDI a red thinker’s thought processes are based around people, feelings and values. But if the person says “I need to address the situation with my broadband – I’m paying too much”, they are a “blue thinker”, says Goodley.
A blue thinker naturally prefers dealing with facts and figures and is more logical and analytical. Staff can then respond in a way best suited to the caller’s thinking preference.

According to Goodley, in the first period of using the HBDI, duplicate calls can be reduced by over 50%. Most big companies use it, says Goodley. He says “97% of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies use it”. In New Zealand, Fonterra, Air New Zealand and Sanitarium use the methodology.

Kinect – and the HBDI

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Before Microsoft could develop “Kinect Adventures,” the game that ships with Kinect for Xbox 360, it had to get innovative with its design process. For that, Microsoft Game Studios and the Good Science Studio team turned to Herrmann International’s Whole Brain® Thinking approach to assemble the right team, generate the best ideas and develop a product that would appeal to everyone, not just the traditional gamer audience.

“Microsoft’s goal was to create the Kinect pack-in title with broad appeal and something for everyone,” says Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International. “And in that way, it’s fitting that ‘Kinect Adventures’ is the first time a Whole Brain® framework and Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) data has been applied to the product development process from start to finish.”

“Based on the research, we know that innovative design requires a Whole Brain® process and team,” Herrmann-Nehdi says. “We also know that we live in a Whole Brained world. So if you want to appeal to a broad audience, you have to first understand how different people think.”

Shannon Loftis, head of the Good Science Studio, brought in Herrmann International consultants to work with the team as soon as the project began. To ensure all thinking styles were represented as they staffed up to meet development needs, the team was structured based on the results of the 120-question HBDI® assessment, which evaluates and describes the degree of preference individuals have for thinking in each of the four brain quadrants, as depicted by the Herrmann Whole Brain® Model.

The Whole Brain® Model also served as a filter for evaluating every aspect of the game as it was being developed. During the consumer testing phase, the team used criteria based on the each of the thinking styles (analytical, organized, interpersonal and strategic) to make sure the activities and game elements would have broad appeal.

“Our research has shown that you can use clues to diagnose the thinking styles of potential customers and then identify product features and benefits that will appeal to different preferences,” Herrmann-Nehdi says. “The development of ‘Kinect Adventures’ is a great example because they took this approach and used it to produce something that really is for everyone.”

Microsoft Game Studios believes that from the way “Kinect Adventures” was designed to the features it showcases, the Whole Brain® Thinking approach helped them create entertainment for a Whole Brained consumer base, just as intended.

Herrmann International is the originator of Whole Brain® Technology and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®). Founded in 1981 on research into how thinking preferences can affect performance, the company develops Whole Brain® products and solutions that help organizations better understand and engage internal and external customers, get more from their collective intelligence, and achieve a significant competitive advantage.

With Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® – the highly validated assessment tool used by nine out of 10 of the Fortune 100 – clients gain a proven, practical method of harnessing the brainpower of the entire organization to improve productivity, creativity, teamwork, sales and other business results. Clients include American Express, BMW, Cisco, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Shell Oil, US Navy and Wharton School of Business. More information: http://www.hbdi.com. You can also find out more about it at our website

Ready for Halloween?

The folks at Herrmann International certainly are. Here is how your HBDI profile shapes up in terms of all four quadrants. Better get a little of all these quadrants into your preparaion whatever your actual thinking preferences. After all, the game is to use each one in the appropriate situation, and you will benefit from all of them.

Networks and Associations

Sample Mind Map created in VisiMap
Roger Cohen has some interesting things to say in today’s New York Times op-ed article.He distinguishes between countries that see themselves as victims rather than acknowledging shortcomings and moving on and those who continue to blame others for their difficulties. He also points out the values of networks. Both Mind Mapping and the Herrmann model are useful here. A Mind Map looks very much like a neural network. The nature of the technique leads one to see associations and interconnectedness. A group profile using the HBDI model shows collective strengths – and sometimes shortcomings. Both tools have value in helping us relate to changing times.