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How the Pandemic Fueled the Fire for Product Innovation at Herrmann

/by Kim White

Redefining the HBDI® Debrief

During the pandemic we at Herrmann spent time examining the HBDI® debrief experience and challenging our thinking (hey, it’s what we do) about how we educate Thinkers about Whole Brain® Thinking. Our approach, of course, was to use a walkaround.

Product Innovation Walkaround

We started with the A quadrant by looking at data about the debrief experience.  We examined how many companies were holding back from greater use of the HBDI® for the whole company and how long our CPs are spending on debriefs.  We learned that for some companies it can be both cost and time prohibitive to roll the HBDI® out to the whole organization and so we sought to find a way to solve these issues.

In the B quadrant we examined the different types of debrief processes being used by certified practitioners. We found that often single person, face-to-face debriefs aren’t possible – especially for a growing number of our enterprise customers who use the HBDI® as part of their onboarding. The more common process across organizations is a group debrief or debriefing a team, with personal debriefs reserved for executive teams or emerging leaders only. 

Next, for the C quadrant, we queried our stakeholders.  We spoke with some of our most active CPs and our two customer advisory boards and asked them for their input on the debrief. We asked “what does a new Thinker need to know? How are they feeling at the beginning versus at the end?” We asked the CPs what they themselves needed and how we could make it easier for them to help their organization roll out Whole Brain® Thinking to everyone. Our biggest takeaway was that too much precious in person time was spent on teaching the model and not enough time is spent on practical application that leads to tangible benefits. 

Finally, we took what we learned and, in the D quadrant, spent months experimenting with a new micro-learning self-paced online experience for learning the Whole Brain® Thinking Model and receiving profile results.  We worked on what content should stay, what content could be added, how long it would take to complete it, and how to keep it entertaining. One of the biggest questions we asked ourselves during this process is, “How can we get to the “ahas” with a self-guided micro learning experience?”

Unprecedented Focus and Space to Innovate

The pandemic provided our product team a time of unprecedented focus and space to innovate. It was time to dig deeper into Whole Brain® Thinking as a design principle. It was time to take all the lessons learned from 40 years of debriefs and standardize the experience into the self-paced learning environment. We listened and observed hours of debriefs done by our Master Facilitators. We conducted surveys, workshops, and one-on-one interviews. We created a prototype using Miro whiteboarding software and developed over 150 screens.

After piloting our new learning experience for several months we are officially launching it to our customers this quarter. We call it “journey”. That’s journey with a lower case “j”,  not a heavily branded product with a capital J. Why? Because we see the micro learning experience that we created as just a part of the pathway to a lifelong practice of Whole Brain® Thinking application experiences. As we continue to learn from customers who use it, new pathways will form and branch out. We want the pathway to grow to meet the needs of all Thinkers, practitioners, champions, catalysts, and organizational sponsors. 


Journey Modules - Phone Frame - GIF

We invite you to start your journey with us or invite others to start on their learning path.

Get more information on the new Journey.

Tags: HBDI, Whole Brain Thinking, Journey

The four-color, four-quadrant graphic, HBDI® and Whole Brain® are trademarks of Herrmann Global, LLC.



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