This is Why Your Creativity Initiatives Are Failing


Everybody’s talking about creativity in business. From global leadership studies to the popular press to CEO speeches, the value of creativity and innovation continues to get plenty of attention on the management agenda.

And for good reason. The world is changing spectacularly fast. Volatility and uncertainty aren’t going anywhere. Each day can feel like you’re venturing into uncharted territory, a place where there are no existing playbooks and no tried-and-true-formulas to go by. To stay ahead and stay relevant, leaders have to stay on their toes. They need creativity, novel thinking and inventive ideas.

So they set “creativity missions.” They talk about how they want people to be more innovative. They share stories and inspiring TED Talks about the secrets of creative startup cultures.

But all this talk and attention aren’t enough. If it were, fewer companies would be struggling.

So what’s getting in the way?

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These Team-Building Exercises Will Prepare Your Team to Dominate in Q1


This morning, I experienced the annual ritual that reminds me it’s the beginning of a new year: I had trouble finding a parking spot at my gym.

With the holidays behind us and the clean slate of the new year laid out in front of us, fitness is on the minds of many. But this doesn’t have to be just about physical well-being. Now’s the perfect time to redouble your focus on building the health and fitness of your team at work.

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Think Before You Resolve: How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions


Lose weight. Get organized. Learn something exciting. Fall in love. These are just a few of the top new year’s resolutions.

All worthwhile goals. Which makes it even more of a shame that, according to a study by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their new year’s resolutions.

But if you’re thinking that dismal statistic gives you all the justification you need to pass on the resolution tradition this year, think again. The same study found that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than those who don’t.

Before you forgo the resolutions altogether—or make that same old pronouncement about how you’re going to stay fit and healthy this year (and this time you really mean it!)—why not put a little intention into the process to up your odds of success?

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Gain Clarity About Your Future With the One Sheet Technique


My dad was an accomplished guy. For years before he started his own assessment and consulting company, he directed management education at General Electric. In his mission to apply brain dominance theory to learning, he created a body of work that included two books and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI®). He also actively pursued his avocations—landscape painting and singing. In college, he majored in physics and music, and he once performed in an opera at Carnegie Hall.

One day I knocked on the door of my dad’s office and said, “Okay, level with me. How did you get all this done? What’s the real scoop?”

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The Perfect Holiday Gift? Quick Tips for Smarter Stress Management!


‘Tis the season…and for many of us, that means stress.

Stress gets a bad rap, but stress, per se, isn’t necessarily a problem. It’s simply how the human body-mind reacts to change. That change might be an unpleasant one, like a last-minute request that throws your entire project off course. Or it could be a pleasant one, like finding out that you’ve received a promotion. Your physical reactions to either—increased pulse, more rapid breathing and the release of certain hormones into your blood stream—might be the same.

The point is that all the varieties of stress are not created equal. Don't assume that all stress is negative. In fact, you can befriend stress by using it to your advantage.

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5 Learner Mind Hacks To Help You Grow Beyond What You Know


In a recent post, we talked about why it’s important in today’s world to be a learner, not just a knower. But what does being a learner really look like? Here are some quick mind hacks to keep you learning and growing so you don’t fall behind.

1. Try Something—Anything—New

Brain research shows that novelty boosts memory, enhances learning and even motivates us to seek out new rewards. But you have to be intentional about looking for the new, because the brain naturally discards and filters for what we know, filling in the blanks to be most efficient.

The good news is, there are countless ways you can inject some novelty into your routines. Change up your office. Rearrange the furniture or adjust the lighting. Visit places off your beaten path. Read websites, books and opinions you’d typically ignore. Mix up your “go-to” problem-solving methods. Build on your knowledge with new facts that push the boundaries of what you’ve always known.

Choose behaviors that open you up to a world of fresh sights, sounds and ideas. These are the seeds of learning.

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Be a Learner, Not a Knower


Everyone knows butter is bad for you. Or we used to know. Then new research proclaimed butter is back. But is it out again? Who knows?

From the personal to the large scale, our knowledge of everyday issues continues to evolve, and that pace of change is only picking up. What “everyone knows” today could be obsolete tomorrow.

This is particularly true in business. There’s a reason why the business world has latched onto the US Army War College acronym “VUCA.” What better words could you find to describe today’s business environment than Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous?

It feels good to build up deep knowledge in a certain area. It gives you confidence and comfort, and it can allow you to keep chugging away without having to stop and think. You’re in the groove. Organizations also have many grooves, which become collective pathways that can accelerate getting things done. They can also create inertia and become major roadblocks.

Getting in the groove is easy. Getting stuck in a rut is the danger.

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So Many Reasons To Be Thankful


As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, we at Herrmann International have a lot to be grateful for.

In just over a month, we’ll be saying goodbye to our long-time headquarters location in Lake Lure, North Carolina, as we transition to a fully virtual operation. It’s a bittersweet moment as it is—nostalgia for the past mixed with excitement about all the new things we’re planning for the future.

But Mother Nature has added a new twist to this story.

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How to Keep a Virtual Workplace Engaged, Productive and Happy


We’re making a big move at the end of 2016. After three decades in our current headquarters location, Herrmann International is going virtual.

This new virtual workplace reflects the increasingly global and dispersed nature of our organization—even here in the U.S., many of our employees are scattered across states and time zones. At the same time, technology is offering more ways than ever for people to stay connected and interact with each other, whether they’re in the same building or not.

But we also recognize that you can’t just flip a switch and expect everything to continue business as usual. So we’ve been approaching this move from a Whole Brain® perspective: The goals and objectives are clear (A quadrant), and we’re keeping our eye on the future (D quadrant), but we also have to prepare for the journey (B quadrant) and keep people engaged every step of the way (C quadrant).

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Embracing Entrepreneurial Thinking for Greater Employee Engagement


Are Millennials the most entrepreneurial generation ever? The jury’s still out, but one thing’s for sure: The Millennial generation’s interest and desire for entrepreneurial opportunities, along with an increasingly disruptive and fast-paced business climate, have sparked new conversations in organizations of all sizes about the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset.

All this attention focused on the need for employees to be more entrepreneurial echoes a lot of what we’ve heard for years about the importance of innovation. It plays out in a similar way, too. Executives say they want it. They recognize the benefits to the business. They talk about it in meetings. They put it in the values. They make it part of the employee value proposition. And then…not much changes.

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