Posts Tagged ‘whole brain thinking’

The Secret to Organic Diversity

February 2, 2011 3 comments

leadership diversityNew York City is a cultural smorgasbord. Walk down the street and you might hear three or four different languages spoken in five minutes. On any given night you can find great guacamole, or delicious shawarma, or yummy pad thai. It’s like no other city in the world. How did this happen? Did someone plan it out? Were quotas established for each ethnic group? No, of course not. Organic diversity can’t be planned.

True diversity is more than a policy; it’s an attitude.

The most common mistake I see leaders make in trying to achieve diversity is this: They try to achieve diversity. Diversity is one of those things you can’t aim at directly and expect to hit. If you focus on achieving a diverse organization, you may succeed in meeting quotas, but you’ll miss the power only organic diversity unleashes.

The power of organic diversity is in the volume of varying viewpoints allowed to thrive in an organization. It’s not just about how many different colors are in your palette, it’s about how free they are to mix and mingle and add depth and richness to the picture. More perspectives—handled well—lead to better solutions, greater relevance, and wider success. That’s why diversity can’t be limited to race, gender, or age. You must consider thinking preferences, personalities, and disciplines. Are you open to diversity in these categories?

So, how do you achieve organic diversity if you can’t aim directly at it? Seek Inclusiveness. If you’re open to—and foster a climate that’s open to—all types of people and perspectives, diversity will naturally follow. Forcing diversity as an end in itself, will never produce the fruits of organic diversity.

How do you think seeking inclusiveness differs from seeking diversity?

4 Reasons to Lead with your Whole Brain

June 24, 2010 5 comments

Are you using your entire brain to lead? I think Whole Brain® Thinking, developed by the folks at Herrmann International, is a powerful model for helping you become a better leader. There are four areas where a Whole Brain approach can help you lead yourself, your people and your organization at a higher level. It can help you:

1. Know yourself better. Your thinking preferences filter the way you see the world and, hence, how you solve problems, make decisions and communicate. Without acknowledging that you have a proclivity to process information in a certain way, you’ll have a hard time recognizing your own blind spots and understanding other points of view. Exceptional leaders know themselves – their strengths and weaknesses, their capabilities and limitations.

2. Know your people better. If you understand how your people prefer to think – the thinking styles that come naturally to them – then you can lead them better. You can craft targeted messages and deliver them in a way that makes it easy for them to understand and believe. You’ll also have a better idea of what motivates them so that you can create alignment, build buy-in, and generate solutions that meet the needs of both your people and your organization.

3. Build better teams. Armed with an understanding of everyone’s unique style of thinking, you can build mentally diverse teams, help them understand one another, and build trust. Then you can focus each person on tasks that they’re most suited for – tasks that they’ll enjoy, be successful at, and find purposeful.

4. Create better solutions. Approaching problems, projects, and programs from a Whole Brain® perspective allows you to generate more thorough and well-rounded solutions. It stretches your thinking to find ideas you wouldn’t naturally see. It keeps you from missing key perspectives. You’ll come up with ideas that address the big picture without overlooking crucial details and you’ll find rational answers that take care of people while taking care of business.

How are you leveraging your thinking preferences as a leader?