Creating Beyonder Organizations

31 May 2019

Creating Beyonder Organizations

Part 2 of the fireside chat with Dr. Kobus Neethling, Dr. Rache Rutherford and Dr. Deep Bali on creating “BEYONDER” Organisations

There is no doubt that organisations cant pivot while the leadership is staying in the ordinary zone. This requires that its leaders leverage the technique of “Whole Brain” thinking for creativity, engagement, strategy and decision making. Whole Brain expert Dr. Kobus Neethling developed the Neethling Brain Instruments (NBI) for highly accurate brain profiling which forms the basis for training in the whole brain and creative thinking. He subsequently advanced the ‘Beyonder’ concept, developed by Dr. E. Paul Torrance(1915 – 2003), one of the fathers of modern creativity and innovation, and developed the ‘Beyonder Creativity Programme’ – a very powerful, unique and much sought-after development journey, based on Whole Brain Thinking(NBI), for “driven” organizations with ambitious goals. Beyonder pivots the organisations and moves them from ordinary to beyond.

Who is a ‘Beyonder’

Dr. E. Paul Torrance, coined the word “Beyonders” to describe those at the very high end of creative achievement.

Defining Beyondness

Dr. Rutherford notes that most people and organizations feel there is something out there that they can still do and achieve. The ‘Beyonder’ program essentially asks them,

What is your line in the sand? What are your strengths and opportunities? Is it possible for us to go there? How far can we go?” And this is aha for most of them.

Dr. Neethling emphasises that the concept of ‘Beyonder’ hails from the fact that in a sense we are all born a ‘Beyonder’ but because of parenting, education and conditioning, it changes and we become ordinary.

The amazing thing about this is that it is for everyone and it’s not rocket science,” says Dr. Neethling. “ Beyonder thinking pushes one to see possibilities”. The whole concept we work with is the courage that needs to be developed to move beyond levels. ‘Beyonder’ is a tool to build that courage.

Benefits of ‘Beyonder’

Dr. Rutherford says that “people don’t realize how many fears and limiting beliefs they usually have.” With Beyonder tools, people are confronted with those.
“Why are people ordinary?” Dr. Rutherford notes that is because we grow up in a fault-obsessed culture and because most people are afraid of making mistakes, facing criticism or wanting to stay in the comfort zone.

“We are not saying making mistake is the same thing as a Beyonder. If you are not prepared to make mistakes, you will never be a winner,” she says. “Beyondness in its essence is a journey of doing things in a different way.”

Dr. Neethling adds, “The ‘problem mindset’ is something that you choose. The moment you choose to have an ‘opportunity’ mindset and a ‘Beyonder’ mindset is when you begin to realize how it is different, he says.

Some questions on Beyonder and NBI assessment tool that came up during the Q&A session:

Q. What do corporates get when they go on a beyonder journey?
A. Its a 3 phase program which can be picked up as a journey or just standalone phases (which are 2-3 day working sessions) .The programme presents 3 models on ‘Beyonder’ and techniques on Whole Brain Thinking, that assist in seeing beyond the ordinary and stretching the participants to produce the ultimate personal and organisational performance so that they can move from ordinary to beyond in the field of creativity, business strategy, relationships and decision making.

Q. How should one approach customers when we don’t have a clear view of their thinking preferences?
A. Dr. Neethling says simply by asking questions, you can determine what their comfort zones are and that can lead to insights about which quadrant they belong to. Even by asking non-intrusive questions about their lifestyles, salespeople can pick up important cues about their prospective customers.

Q. Who is an ideal leader as per the 4 quadrants of the brain?
A. Dr. Bali notes that there is no necessary ‘ideal.’ For example, if a company is pivoting, and you have a leader in the L1(People who prefer to look at facts, data and analysing the same), he/she cant only continue to look at facts (which is L1 preferred style of thinking) but that leader would have to move to R1(Where imagination and strategy is preferred thinking style) and similarly to R2(Prefer to do activities in teams and empathises with everyone)  as well. The leader would have to leverage whole brain to ensure all aspects of the change are covered. The NBI tool also helps leaders see how best to work with others in the team that are more suited for that change.

Q. How do you communicate differently with different preferred thinking styles?
A. Dr. Bali explains that if you are speaking to someone in the R2 (People who prefer to socialise , be around people , like doing things in teams and have good level of empathy) dimension, then talking helps. But if you are talking to an L1(People who prefer to look at facts, data and analysing the same), then one has to stay more succinct, crisp and stay with facts and details.

Q. What is the validity of the Whole Brain (NBI) assessment ? How early can you take it?
A. Dr. Neethling shares that there is an instrument for adults as well as for children – an indicator for parents and children and where the preferences are. While the profiles of children can change, the adult profiles stay the same almost 80% of the time.

Q. Is the Whole Brain Thinking assessment time-consuming?
A. Dr. Rutherford assures that they take about 20 minutes to complete and takes less time than many psychometric tests. Ultimately, the biggest benefit of the tool is twofold:

  • a) you start having a lot of respect for other people;
  • b) conflict becomes easy to resolve.

Dr. Bali: I can vouch for that. Psychometric assessments are so long.

The Beyonder Programs, incorporating the NBI Assessments, address the challenges of personal and/or organisational performance through a range of tools to assist people in reaching their top potential by moving their thinking from ordinary to beyond.

To learn more about Beyonder, write to and visit

**This is the second and final part in the series explaining the whole brain thinking approach pioneered by Dr. Kobus Neethling.

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