Success Story in Brief

A case study of how CLP India Developed the Forward-Thinking Management Culture to Lead the Industry in Talent and Innovation.

“Whole Brain® Thinking is helping CLP create a culture where you can do things differently. It’s building the brand in a way that attracts the best young technical people capable of Whole Brain® leadership. That’s going to be critical for success in tomorrow’s business world.”

Prasad DeshpandeDirector of Empowered Learning Systems
About CLP India

CLP India is a wholly owned subsidiary of CLP Holdings Limited, which is listed on the Hong Stock Exchange and is one of the largest investor-owned power businesses in Asia. CLP India is the largest foreign investors in the Indian power sector with a total committed investment of over ` 14,500 Crores. This investment is spread across a diversified and environment friendly generation portfolio that covers renewable energy, supercritical coal and gas fired generation, amounting to over 3000 MW.



To develop a collaborative decision-making culture and build the leadership agility to manage growth efficiently and effectively.

India is the second most populous nation in the world, and with strong GDP growth forecasts for the next 8-10 years, it is experiencing a rapidly escalating demand for energy. As one of the largest foreign investors in the Indian power sector, CLP India realized that meeting the anticipated capacity needs of the country would require a new focus on power generation, and with it, a potential to radically change the way people work. Shifting from a status quo mentality to a growth mode would require leadership, talent, culture, processes and mindset to be able to scale up and manage growth efficiently and effectively.


To create a more engaged, interpersonally focused culture among a staff of highly analytical engineers and IT professionals.

CLP India was facing several major obstacles to growth, including:

    • Scarcity of talent within the sector and the difficulty in attracting the “best and brightest,” particularly with many jobs requiring postings in remote locations.
    • Communication and collaboration issues exacerbated by a heavily silo-ed and hierarchical culture.
    • Managers who, though highly skilled technically, did not have the leadership skills required to effectively manage the challenges.
    • An increasingly diverse and young employee base with limited relevant experience, requiring significant time investment in training.

The company also saw this as an opportunity to build a robust foundation for sustainable growth over the next many years. This would allow CLP India leadership to develop a balanced portfolio comprising both fossil as well as renewable fuels. Portfolio management at such an early stage of its footprint in India helped CLP India work with a responsible approach to growing its business and to meaningfully engaging with the communities it serves and operates in.

Altogether, the CLP leadership team realized that these goals and challenges would require a change in thinking throughout the organization.


Use the Whole Brain® framework as a unified launching platform for changing mindsets, building the desired culture, developing leadership skills, and improving collaboration in all areas of the organization.

To address these issues individually and to achieve the growth goals overall, CLP India needed a solution that would be highly relevant, actionable and appealing to the technical and analytical orientation of the organization in order to gain buy-in at every level. The company also wanted to adopt an approach they could carry consistently through the entire organization as an underlying framework—not just as part of a single initiative but as part of CLP India’s ongoing culture. Changing mindsets and giving people the tools to operate successfully as the company transitioned would be critical.

Herrmann International’s Whole Brain® Thinking system was seen as the ideal fit. As a framework for understanding, analyzing and harnessing the thinking within an organization—at the individual, team and organizational/cultural levels— it would provide a unified launching platform for introducing everything else people needed to learn and expect during the company’s transformation. In addition, with its broad applicability and simple, adaptable approach, it could easily be embedded into the organization and throughout the culture.

The organization was extremely receptive to the Whole Brain® system because it is a validated approach based on thinking and the brain which, unlike behaviorally focused methods, was relatable, easy to understand and immediately relevant to the highly technical audience. According to Prasad Deshpande, Director of Empowered Learning Systems and the lead consultant working with CLP India, “There was buy-in for this approach at every level—the organization, leaders, teams and individuals.”


As the growth of the company has taken off, Whole Brain® Thinking has become integral to the company’s ability to manage effectively, achieve new levels of innovation and avoid the potential negative effects of scale. Prasad Deshpande says that “actions are always approached through a Whole Brain® lens now,” and the results can be seen throughout the organization, including:

  • Increased participation and discussion in meetings—a significant change for a traditionally hierarchical company.
  • Increased confidence in the way issues are addressed, which has led to faster, more effective problem solving.
  • Increased employee engagement since managers have started applying Whole Brain® Thinking skills.
  • A major shift from a strictly operational, “don’t question, just do” mindset to a more collaborative, inclusive approach.
  • A unified culture rooted in the language of Whole Brain® Thinking, with people using the colors of the Model as a kind of shorthand to describe situations and issues.
  • A culture that embraces different thinking and appeals to younger employees— critical for attracting the next generation of talent, particularly in a country with such a large population of young people.
  • Management tools and methods, such as Collaborative Decision Making, that are more valuable and more effectively deployed due to their grounding in the Whole Brain® framework.
  • Innovative thinking that has led to CLP India’s status as one of the few power companies in India currently focusing on both conventional and renewable energy.

Leaders are now participating in Collaborative Decision Making workshops that are built around the Whole Brain® framework. They learn to develop action plans using the four quadrants to ensure a balanced approach and better outcomes, and they’re applying Whole Brain® Thinking to tackle a variety of “live projects” in areas such as water wastage and sustainability.

Because it is now embedded into the culture, the Whole Brain® framework is expanding to meet the organization’s changing needs. While the collaborative business and leadership development focus continues, the company is now working on building the leadership pipeline through coaching efforts. In addition, most managers who join CLP complete the HBDI®, and the common language of Whole Brain® Thinking is serving as a