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Creative Thinking Not 'Your Thing'? Think Again!

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In studies of global business leaders and CEOs, “creativity” routinely shows up as one of the top qualities for effective leaders. But you don’t even have to read the studies to know that people value creativity in business. We talk about emulating the Steve Jobs’s of the world, the new technology innovators, those who come up with clever solutions or new products that transform entire markets and industries. In fact, CEOs have been making speeches proclaiming a “fresh commitment to creativity” and urging an entrepreneurial approach to business for decades.

So why are the results so consistently disappointing? What’s holding back creativity in business?

Are we just not that creative?

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How to Get Business Impact Out of Employee Assessments

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In her recent post on comparing employee assessments, our Whole Brain ® Thinking Catalyst Anne Griswold pointed out a simple truth about assessments: Application can be a challenge. How do you turn awareness and insight into actions that make a tangible impact on the business, especially once people are back in the daily whirlwind of the job?

It’s an important question, particularly as L&D is increasingly being pressured to clearly connect the work it’s doing with specific business results. Every developmental tool needs to serve as a link in a broader value chain. We know this, and still...all too often the employee is the one who’s left with the burden of figuring out how to apply these newfound insights—and then remembering to do it on a consistent basis. It’s a pretty tall order when so much else is going on, no matter how powerful that moment of awareness might have been.

The organizations that are successful in getting to application and business impact take a more strategic view of employee assessments from the get-go. Need some inspiration? Here are just a few of the ways our clients have integrated the HBDI and other assessments into their business operations to get tangible results.

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6 Must-Have Tips for Using Thinking Styles in Job Design

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Would it surprise you to learn that the more independence and self-determination someone has over their work, the more satisfied they are with their job?

Probably not. After all, it seems pretty obvious that the more say you have in terms of how you get your job done, the happier you’ll be in it. And the happier and more engaged you are in the work, the more productive you’re likely to be.

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham Business School confirms the connection between work autonomy and job satisfaction. As one of the researchers, Dr. Daniel Wheatley, puts it, "Greater levels of control over work tasks and schedule have the potential to generate significant benefits for the employee, which was found to be evident in the levels of reported well-being."

But most roles aren’t designed to give people that kind of autonomy. In general, jobs are structured around specific tasks, and accountability is assigned so that the person’s performance can be measured and evaluated. This makes sense as far as it goes, particularly in jobs where collaborative, creative effort isn’t a priority (increasingly rare as that is), but even in narrow functional roles, one size doesn’t fit all. Sure, you can go with a “force fit” approach that says, “it’s this way or no way.” But you might just lose some talented, hard-working people in the process.

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Whole Brain® Thinking in Action: Software Development Walk-Around

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Here at Herrmann International one of our key fundamentals is that we try to "eat our own cooking" and use Whole Brain® Thinking in our own work. This post is part of a series where some of our team members talk about some ways they use Whole Brain® Thinking for their day-do-day work.

This post is by our Lead Software Engineer, Andrew Swerlick.

At first glance, software development might not seem like a job that involves a lot of day-to-day Whole Brain® Thinking. After all, a lot of what our team does seems like it's firmly situated in the technical, analytical A quadrant. Sure, we do have to collaborate with other internal teams on product design, requirements gathering, etc., but when it get to the point where our developers put their fingers to the keyboard and start writing code, all the other quadrants go away, right?

When I first started at Herrmann a couple of years ago, I probably would have said yes. But recently, our development team has adopted some practices that are showing me the value of writing Whole Brain® code.

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The Future of Employee Assessments: Integrating Diagnostics, Insights and Application

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The world of learning and development is changing at an unbelievably rapid pace. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, some of the concepts and mechanisms that, on the surface, might seem “out there” are actually already gaining traction in today’s learning environments. And like that rearview mirror warning, innovations of the future are closer than they appear.

It’s an exciting time to be working on innovations around learning, to say the least. One area that we’ve been focused on in particular is the future of thinking-based employee assessments and how they fit into the process of building insights that can be applied to everyday business issues. Our London-based innovation lab is looking at everything from the way people communicate to how they use social media to the way they play games and use technology.

We connected up recently with Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (CEO of Herrmann International / Herrmann Global), Karim Nehdi (Global Head of Innovation), and Danny Stanhope (Applied Data Scientist and Psychometrician) for a wide-ranging discussion about the evolution and future of assessments in light of new directions in learning, new technological advances and new learner expectations. Here are some highlights from that conversation.

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How Great Sales Coaches Build Smart Game Plans

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Sales leaders often tell us that coaching is one of the most important developmental tools they have for helping sales reps improve performance. Good sales coaching can have a direct impact on motivation, commitment and goal attainment. But many organizations aren’t realizing those benefits.

One reason? Too many sales managers are being put into coaching roles without a workable game plan.

In the sales world, coaching and development strategies often focus on behaviors, specifically, changing behavior. And behaviors are important. But the problem is, this approach tends to ignore the thinking that drives behavior. How someone behaves is situational and can be affected by many external factors—just consider all the variables and external pressures a salesperson can have to deal with on a daily basis.

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35 Thinking Tips and Applications to Celebrate Brain Awareness Week

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Since March 13-19 is Brain Awareness Week (BAW), we thought it was the perfect time to compile a few of our favorite thinking-related tips and “brain hacks”—some “collected intelligence,” so to speak. And since we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary this year, we had a nice number to shoot for as we put together our list.

Start celebrating Brain Awareness Week with the 7 tips below, and then be sure to download the full list (at the end of this post) of 35 tips and ideas shared by our global network of HBDI® Practitioners and colleagues.

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9 Tips for Becoming a Master Negotiator (Guest Post)

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This guest post is by Andy Palmer of Making Business Matter (MBM). MBM is a training provider to companies that supply the big 4 UK supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Andy is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner.

The UK grocery industry is tough. Companies are made and broken each day by the deals that are won and lost with the buyers. But our clients have discovered a key strategy for achieving a win-win: knowing their thinking preferences and understanding the thinking preferences of those they’re negotiating with.

A Whole Brain® approach to negotiation can be extremely useful in helping you get the deal that you want. Follow these 9 Whole Brain® Negotiation Tips to build your confidence, become a more effective negotiator and win more frequently.

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Watch Now: Think Like Your Future Depends On It, Because it Does

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For most of our lives, we’ve been told that to be a success you need to become an expert. Find your sweet spot—what you’ll major in, your career path, what you’ll be when you “grow up”—and then get great at that one special thing you do.

But industries are evolving faster than ever. Specializations are becoming outdated. Single-mindedness is closing us off from opportunity. The question is, how can you become future ready when “what you know” won’t necessary apply and, in fact, might be blocking your view and ability to learn?

Sometimes it takes a big, “aha” moment to answer that question. In her new TEDx Talk, Think Like Your Future Depends On It, Because it Does (below), Ann Herrmann-Nehdi opens up about an intense moment in her life that changed everything—and how that changed everything else.

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Why Your Sales Training Isn't Making an Impact

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In any given year, sales can be a roller coaster of exhilarating highs and crushing lows. But lately it seems as though the ride is getting more thrilling—and stressful—by the minute.

Technology is giving us (and our customers…and our competitors) access to more information than we sometimes even know how to manage. Decision-making is more complex and often involves more people—but just as often needs to happen at a faster pace. And through it all, relentless marketplace volatility is threatening deals and making it harder than ever to plan, forecast and shift attention in the moment, even as those activities become more critical to ensuring sales teams hit their numbers.

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