The team at Connections have extensive experience in using Whole Brain Thinking through the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) to transform business performance and culture. The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument is a four quadrant model, creating a great metaphor for how we prefer to think and communicate. Applying understanding of different thinking modes enables more:

  • engaged and collaborative teams,
  • effective communcation, and
  • considered thinking to create better business results.

We help organisations, both in New Zealand and overseas, to plan how to integrate whole brain thinking into their transformation efforts so that the language of HBDI becomes a key enabler of change.


Key projects using HBDI

Reduced subsequent calls by 50% in some contact centres

By embedding the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) as a key tool to assist contact centre agents to pre-empt the drivers of subsequent calls. This also increased team engagement. Sue designed a programme at Telecom New Zealand Ltd (now Spark) to use HBDI as a tool for agents to help them understand more about how to personalise their customer conversations to match customer preferences. Several members of the team were involved in embedded HBDI in the business.
All leaders were up-skilled so that they had an in-depth knowledge of the model so could apply it in their leadership conversations, all customer service agents were profiled and trained to spot clues that would indicate customer’s thinking and communication preferences and how to change their approach to match, HBDI was included in all new agent induction to upskill new team members, and HBDI was integrated into coaching. Ann Herrmann-Nehdi presented Telecom with a Global Award in 2011 for the contribution made to advance the application of the HBDI model. At the time, there were only two other recipients, IBM and Microsoft Kinect.

Increased customer loyalty

By leveraging the power of HBDI in a number of key workstreams within a successful service transformation programme to enable service to be a key market differentiator. The programme was often referred to internally as “HBDI on steroids” as HBDI was integrated into several core workstreams:

  • HBDI was a core element of the leadership change programme that resulted in the customer experience measure increasing by 39% (as well as team engagement).
  • HBDI created whole brained writing for digital knowledge content used by customers, contact centre and store staff (customer usage increased by 225% over 18 months, and internal usage increased by more than 500%).
  • HBDI was core to the call quality guidelines and conversation frameworks, which helped deliver a more personalised experience in every customer interaction.
Grew top line revenue

By using HBDI to reposition company strategy and brand positioning. Here are a few examples:

  • An interior design company had a complete strategy and positioning overhaul based on learnings from HBDI which resulted in a step change in customer satisfaction. HBDI helped undercover that whilst most interior designer are creative (yellow/red thinkers), they spend most of their time doing project management and managing budgets (green/blue thinking) leading to stress and job dissatisfaction. Project updates dominated client interactions, resulting in poor customer experience. By redesigning the operating model, and introducing working on social projects during each commissioned project, almost 95% of the company’s work now comes from repeat or referral business. Employee satisfaction and loyalty has increased to the level where the average tenure is around 4 years.
  • A make-up business was rebranded and re-positioning by using understanding of the specific thinking modes identified through the HBDI as being within the same quadrant. This new positioning has enabled the business to stand out in a highly competitive environment.
Improved staff engagement and business performance

By embedding HBDI as a key tool to build shared leadership capability – from the Executive to Team Leaders. We use HBDI as a tool to help leaders understand more about their own thinking and communication preferences, as well as the team they lead. We also help them to understand how their thinking preferences influenced their leadership style and the way they used their time. HBDI is used to help teams spend more time in different thinking modes to achieves better whole brained outcomes.

Improved coaching for performance

By designing and implementing coaching programmes that leverage HBDI as a tool to help coaches understand more about their team member’s thinking and communication preferences so that they can tailor their approach to coaching. This creates more effective coaching, and helps motivate team members to lift performance.

Improved operational effectiveness

By integrating HBDI practices into the traditional structured problems solving approaches (Lean Six Sigma / Kaizen). We use a more whole brained approach to problem solving and continuous improvement which help more people to engage and contribute and to better embed enduring business practice.

Improved effectiveness of digital content

By integrating HBDI into the writing guidelines so that words chosen either appeal to all thinking preferences, or are tailored to specific thinking preferences when the topic will only be of interest to people who have either a dominantly left or right brain thinking mode.


Our Team

Sue Atkins

Sue first used HBDI in 2004 when she was part of a senior leadership team who used HBDI as a core approach to value diversity of thinking and change the way they approached business problem solving. Sue became a Herrmann certified practitioner in 2005 to further deepen her understanding of the model and its application.

Sue has used HBDI as a tool to help many leaders and teams across New Zealand change the way they work to support strategic transformation programmes.

Mark Macdonald

Mark first used HBDI in 2008 when he was part of a transformation programme team who used whole brained thinking as a core approach to value diversity of thinking and change the way they approached business problem solving and implemented change.

Mark regularly uses HBDI as a tool to help leaders and teams change the way they work to support strategic transformation programmes and problem solving.

Sachin Jain

After becoming a certified Herrmann Practitioner in 2007, Sachin has been part of the core group of HBDI trainers coaching and rolling out HBDI workshops across Telecom New Zealand (NZ).  He has conducted more than 50 workshops for team members and leaders across different verticals in the company. He has hands on experience in debriefing individual and team profiles. HBDI has since been an integral part of his customer experience and business transformation journey in India.

Andrew Burton

Andrew became an Certified Herrmann Practitioner in 2017. He is a great coach, mentor and change management practitioner. Andrew has worked with a number our Waikato and Auckland based clients, using the HBDI tool to improve leadership and coaching conversations. Andrew is also an active member of the Waikato Change Management community and facilitating conversations with the community members about the application of HBDI in change management.