As stated in last week’s blog, “HBDI measures the mental activity a person is more inclined to engage in at a particular time.” (Herrmann) This is also referred to as learning preferences. It is the way that we take in information and process it. There is no judgment when it comes to learning preferences; they are not good or bad, right or wrong, only preferences.
In over 500,000 HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument) surveys, Herrmann found these profiles when studying brain dominance: only 7% of the population are single dominant, 60% of them are double dominant, 30% of them are triple dominant and around 3% of them are quadruple dominant. (Herrmann) What does that mean to creativity?
According to Herrmann, those with a single dominant profile tend to have little internal conflict yet may have trouble moving back and forth between quadrants, thereby reducing their ability to be creative. For double dominant profiles, which the numbers show most of us falling into that category, we need to look at the three different types: same hemisphere A and B or D and C quadrants; cerebral or limbic A and D or B and C quadrants; and diagonal opposites A and C or B and D quadrants.(Herrmann) Within the same hemisphere, those on the left may look more controlling and more challenging to be around whereas those on the right may appear flaky and less reliable. You can see how it could be difficult to work with others if double dominants do not develop an appreciation for those with opposite preferences than themselves. When we look at the cerebral versus the limbic double dominances we can see a person may be able to process both sides, but it takes longer due to all the options. (Herrmann) At least creativity is not stifled. Diagonal opposites (even the wording sounds bad) are the most problematic. They are always opposed. It is doubtful there is much creativity going on in this situation.
Triple dominant profiles tend to take longer to mature, but their linguistic abilities exceed double dominants because they can speak with three fourths of the population without any problems. (Herrmann) Quadruple dominant profiles can communicate with others easily and work as translators between those with different preferences. Due to their unique situation, quadruple dominants tend to have a balanced view in different situations, yet they, too, have their struggles and any struggle a single, double, or triple dominant has, they experience it as well. (Herrmann)
See the chart below for a further breakdown of the quadrants and what it means to be dominant in those categories. At the bottom of the chart are some of the professions that Herrmann found within his studies and how they measured on the HBDI survey. These professions merely represent a preferred dominant profile within each quadrant. All the professions have relationships to the other quadrants while some may be stronger than others. The key is to remember that only 7% of the population are single quadrant dominant. Looking closely, one can see the crossover in some of these professions.
|Facts are crucial||Only wants answers||Most sensitive||Fears structure|
|May appear aloof||One task at a time||Spiritual||Thrives on new ideas|
|Not visual||Rigorous- Demanding||Kinesthetic||Visionary|
|Avoids emotion||No shortcuts for B||Flaky (can be)||Trouble meeting deadlines|
|Engineer, Financial Officer, Physicist||Administrator, Foreman, Secretary, Homemaker||Social Worker, Nurse, Secretary, Homemaker||Sales Manager, Entrepreneur, Artist, Physicist, Homemaker|
So, what does this all mean to us as inspiring entrepreneurs? HBDI is another tool to be used in the workplace to help us be successful. An example of many types of assessments used in the workplace can be found on Livecareer.com. https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/career-assessment What is interesting about HBDI is that it gives insight into one’s own learning and processing of information and why we are the way we are. If we are honest with ourselves, we might already know where we fall. If you dare to acknowledge your profile preferences, then think about your work relationships and where your colleagues fall. Do you see any strong differences or similarities in the way each of you approach tasks and projects? Is there conflict or is it easy? Either way, perhaps the knowledge of your preferences and your colleagues’ preferences can help you be more open to other’s preferences.
For those who have read the Founder’s Dilemma, remember the discussion around homogeneous groups/teams and the results? Groups which were more heterogeneous were more creative in the workplace. This is the same for diversity within brain dominance in the workplace. The more variety of brain dominance, the more ideas are available and options can be seen. An interesting article by Marty Zwilling, Is An Ideal Entrepreneur Right Brain or Left Brain? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marty-zwilling/is-an-ideal-entrepreneur_b_5155730.html suggests we need both brains (left and right) to work together to be entrepreneurs. He contends it is difficult for any of us to be both right and left brained at the same time. Of course, only 3% of the population can do that. Therefore, we need to work together as “a whole team” to create “whole brain thinking.” (Zwilling) I am sure Mr. Herrmann would no doubt agree, wholeheartedly.
Herrmann, Ned. The Creative Brain. North Carolina: The Ned Herrmann Group, 2008.
Wasserman, Noam The Founder’s Dilemmas. New Jersey: Princeton UP, 2012.
“Is An Ideal Entrepreneur Right Brain Or Left Brain?” Huffingtonpost.com, 2014.
Web. 15 Apr. 2014.