<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=388012&amp;fmt=gif">

“Thinking Managers” More Critical Than Ever

/
In his groundbreaking book, The Creative Brain, Ned Herrmann wrote about the important move to Whole Brain® management as a necessity for business survival and success. The primarily left-mode thinking (A and B quadrants of the Whole Brain® Model) prevalent in most organizations’ leadership teams would hold them back, he warned, because:

The right brain (especially D quadrant) is the only part of our brains that deals effectively with change. As essential as left-modes are to business success, they spell slow death for a company when used without the right-brain modes…If change is constant, in order to compete effectively in a world characterized by change, business managers must function in all four of the brain’s different modes, right as well as left, upper as well as lower.

Today, we’re seeing this play out almost to the extreme. Managers at all levels are requiring increased agility to deal with a level and pace of change, complexity and uncertainty that’s even more intense than it was when Ned first wrote about it.

But what exactly is Whole Brain® management? Ned emphasizes that it’s not about de-emphasizing the left modes of thinking or putting the right modes into “exclusive ascendance.” It’s also not about mentally restructuring the corporation:

What I do mean is this: When designing and implementing responses to business issues and challenges, the human brain functions at its most innovative, productive best only when all four quadrants engage situationally and iteratively in the process.

In mental terms, this means no organization that restricts its mental options to A and B quadrants alone can hope to prevail over the organization that uses A, B, C and D.

For managers, in particular, that means realizing “that we function situationally—that we have equal access to all four [styles of thinking] so that when the situation calls for a given type of mental function, we can give it our best response.”

Check out our recent white paper, Navigating in an Unpredictable and Complex World: Why Thinking Agility is Critical to a Manager's Success, for tips and strategies to help today’s managers use their own—and others’— thinking in the most optimal way.

Because the more things change, the more we need Whole Brain® management!

How will you adapt? White Paper

Read More

What Makes a Team Work

/

One thing that’s becoming clear in today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world is that effective teams can give organizations a distinct advantage. They bring together the people power and the thinking power to get things done faster, more efficiently and more successfully.

But we also know it’s not as simple as that. There’s a reason less than a quarter of workers prefer to work on teams.

Are more team-building activities the answer? Sensitivity training? Personality and communications workshops?

These activities can be helpful, but on their own, they’re not enough. The frustrations, miscommunications, subpar results, and same issues that keep coming up, time and again, bear this out.

The problem is that too many organizations try to build trust — a key attribute of effective teams — by focusing on behavioral issues first. But because behaviors can be affected by a variety of external factors, the fix is often only a temporary one at best. To build trust, we have to focus first on what drives the team’s behaviors and actions at the root level: thinking.

Missing this key ingredient means organizations will also miss out on the full potential, power and competitive advantage teams can provide. Particularly in today’s world, as cross-functional teaming increases, more team members operate virtually and globally, and projects and problems are becoming more complex, a focus on how the team thinks will become even more critical to developing exceptional, consistently high-performing teams.

We’re creating teams to bring together and then funnel the knowledge and skills of the members towards solving business problems and achieving business outcomes. While teambuilding exercises can build camaraderie, and personality and sensitivity workshops can develop interpersonal understanding to help improve communications, none of these can really take hold without a foundation in how the team’s collective intelligence fuels business outcomes.

And after all, achieving business outcomes is what they’re there for, right?

Our next white paper will address key ways you can apply a thinking-based approach to get the most from every “meeting of the minds” so you can truly leverage the power of teams. It will also explore how to use the designed-for-business Whole Brain® framework to:

  • Optimize a department’s strategic and day-to-day effectiveness
  • Set virtual and far-flung teams up for success
  • Make cross-functional really work
  • Give “voice” to the full cognitive diversity within the team
  • Strategically deploy teams to solve critical business problems

In the meantime, tell us: What are the biggest challenges you’re facing in getting the full benefits of the team’s collective intelligence? Are there any standout team experiences that come to mind? What made them work so effectively?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to check back next month to download the free white paper.

Read More

Developing Managers? Start With Their Thinking.

/

“Agility” has become one of the hot buzzwords of the workplace today. As we settle in to a reality of rapid changes, continual uncertainty and new circumstances that have very little precedent and no clear-cut answers, everyone is feeling the pressure to adapt, to flex, to shift on a dime.

In many organizations, it’s the managers and emerging leaders who are on the front lines of this pressure. As Tom Davenport of Towers Watson put it, "Creating a resilient workplace that can deal with trauma and come out engaged on the other end is not a senior executive's role. It's a line manager's job."

Read More

Sales Leadership White Paper Provides Framework for Better Results

/

Last year the McKinsey article Getting More From Your Training Programs made an interesting point about sales training and how organizations are investing their time and resources to optimize their sales organizations:

The content of the training itself is not the biggest issue…The most significant improvements lie in rethinking the mindsets that employees and their leaders bring to training, as well as the environment they come back to afterward.

Why are thinking and mindsets so important, particularly in the sales arena?

Read More

Search

Tags

see all

The Whole Brain Business Book 2nd Edition

Read the first two chapters and order your copy today!