Ned Herrmann, Director of General Electric Management education program in the USA, used brain research as a basis to develop the HBDI® (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument®).
Based on a large number of behavioural analyses, he created a profile grid which works as a simplified “map” of the different thinking styles used by the human being. This map establishes the HBDI® Thinking Preference Profile.
The individual HBDI® assessment, whose results are shown on the profile grid, describes the dominant modes of brain functioning of an individual. His Thinking Preference profile, which we obtained as a result, shows the activities for which he will have the least difficulties and those that he will tend to prefer the most. This profile goes beyond the binary pattern left brain / right brain. It is based on a metaphorical model of the brain and includes four quadrants. All these four quadrants represent what Ned Herrmann calls a “Whole Brain”.
Keep in mind that the brain, according to Mac Lean, is physiologically structured into 3 layers: the reptilian brain, centre for instincts, the limbic brain, responsible of emotions, and the cortex, centre for reason.
The Herrmann instrument takes into account the distinction between the two upper levels and combines them with the initial model of Sperry about left brain (logical, analytical, rational) and right brain (intuitive, holistic, imaginative).
Each of us possesses, in different proportions, the capacity to deal with situations in several ways. Each of us naturally “avoids”, “uses” or “strongly prefers” to behave with one or the other of his 4 quadrants A, B, C and D.