Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Whole Brain Model

The Whole Brain management training model.
Ned Herrmann developed the Whole Brain Model while working as a training manager for General Electric. Dr. Roger Sperry's Nobel Prize winning Split Brain research is the inspiration for Hermann's model.

The Whole Brain Business Book

The Whole Brain Business Book summarizes Hermann's work and thinking. He describes and illustrates (on p.15) four quadrants of thinking styles as:

Quadrant A=Analyzer
Quadrant B=Organizer
Quadrant C=Personalizer
Quandrant D=Visualizer

To help identify/quantify individual degree of preference for each quadrant, Hermann developed a Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) in 1977.

Whole Brain Thinking

Herrmann describes an inter-connection between the four quadrants and a preference or dominance of one or more of the thinking quadrants in all of us. Just as our arms, hands or eyes become dominant through use, Herrmann felt our brains take on quadrant dominance through use or disuse. With a clear understanding of what preferences we have, Herrmann felt we could better develop our "whole brains." His HBDI inventory was developed as a tool to better understand our thinking preferences.

New research since the time of Herrmann's experiences indicates the picture of dominance is not as clear cut or simple as once believed.

Levels or Styles

In their book chapter of Learning Styles found in the Encyclopedia of Creativity by Mark A. Runco and Steven R Pritzker, the authors, Linda O'Hara and Robert J. Sternberg, describe Learning Styles as bridges between cognition and personality. They also point out the confusion that has resulted from multiple and interchangeable use of terms meant to define the behaviors and actions associated with thinking and learning.Terms such as:

Learning Styles
Cognitive Styles
Thinking Styles
Personality Types

O'Hara and Sternberg suggest:
An investigation of level asks...
How creative are you?

An investigation of style asks...
How are you creative?

Animal School Movie

Animal School Movie

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument

The HBDI consists of 120 questions designed to better understand the "natural style" preferred to process information also decribed as "thinking style," As in other learning style inventories, an awareness of style will help enlighten personal style preferences and develop an appreciation for other styles. The HBDI covers communication, teams, problem solving, decision making, career development, management development, creativity, teaching and learning, and strategic planning.

The HBDI has been used to set up engineering teams, Forest Service Scientist

Online Inventories