Pioneers value possibilities and spark energy and imagination


*This first post in a four-part series is about Pioneers (one of four Business Chemistry types). Stay tuned for posts two (about Guardians), three (about Drivers), and four (about Integrators). [All of which I’ll tag #BCtypes] Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!

If we could capture the essence of the Pioneer in one word, it would be POSSIBILITIES. Pioneers love imagining what could be and don’t hesitate to reach beyond the status quo. Expressions like “What if…?”, “Picture this…”, “Yes, and…”, and “Why not?” are music to a Pioneer’s ears, and often are lead-ins to lively brainstorms. Pioneers are big fans of collaborative idea generation. They’re very comfortable with ambiguity, and highly adaptable to change—whether they’re the ones initiating it, as is often the case, or not.

Strong Pioneers tend to be easy to spot because they’re typically high energy and outgoing. They’re the ones you can hear all the way down the hallway before you even get to the conference room. Or more likely, you’ll hear them coming down the hallway as you wait in the conference room, because they’ll be running late. They have little regard for rigid structure, and an almost allergic aversion to details. That agenda the team put together so painstakingly? Don’t expect the Pioneers to follow it. Their thinking can be non-linear and resists constraint. That detailed review of the pivot table analysis you had planned? Their eyes will blur and their minds will wander as you strain what paltry patience they possess. But give them a juicy, open-ended challenge and a whiteboard, and they’ll be formidable idea generators.

Continue reading “Pioneers value possibilities and spark energy and imagination”

Can an introvert be a good leader?

Stereotypes about leadership could be preventing you from seeing the unique strengths and potential of some of your most talented employees.

Do you think of leaders as outgoing, sometimes larger-than-life individuals who command attention? If so, you may have a hard time seeing an introvert as a good leader. And those misconceptions may be stopping you from promoting some of your best and most talented employees.

While some people may view being quiet and reserved as a leadership weaknesses, an introvert’s ability to be a thoughtful listener can help them be successful in strategic roles. 

Learn more about recognizing the unique advantages of introvert leaders and the strengths they offer their organizations in this new article published by Multibriefs “Can an introvert be a good leader?

Yes! You can save a challenging business relationship

Business Chemistry can help you build stronger business relationships.

Executive leaders can build successful teams and maintain productive relationships with business stakeholders by understanding and leveraging cognitive diversity.

The CIO of a global manufacturing company was elbows-deep in a multiyear enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation when her organization hired its first marketing chief. She enthusiastically made room on her busy calendar to meet with the new CMO, but her interest began to fade when the CMO arrived late to the meeting. As he presented a series of visionary ideas about mobile marketing analytics and AI, the CIO found herself impatiently tapping her foot. “I don’t have time to waste on blue-sky ideas,” she thought, making a mental note to avoid him until after the ERP implementation was complete.

Can this relationship be saved?  Deloitte LLP’s Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg share perspectives on building stronger relationships in a new article published in the Wall Street Journal.

How Understanding The Four Workplace Personalities Can Change Your Office For The Better

ind_ps_glb_ho_2007_lo (1)Tensions in the workplace and conflicting personalities have gotten the best of even the most patient of managers. Conflicting personalities amongst staff members are certainly nothing new, and it’s a problem that usually scales with a company as it grows. Many organizations go through growing pains as new staff are added, but what happens when you organization experiences more cases of disagreements, jealousy, and tension? In the best cases, it makes the break room mildly unpleasant; in the worst, turnover.

Read more about how understanding different work styles can make your office a place where all types can thrive in this article from Forbes.

Gift giving ideas inspired by work style preferences

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Are you a leader looking for an end of year gift?  Are you a Secret Santa?  Or, looking for business client gifts?  Don’t fret.  We’ve got some inspiration to help you find the perfect gift to say, “Thank you for a great year!”

“By observing how individuals prefer to work, you can find inspiration for gifts that complement their ‘Business Chemistry,’” suggests Suzanne Vickberg, Ph.D., and research lead for Deloitte’s Business Chemistry, and co-author of the new book, “Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships.

Here are the different types you’re likely working with and some gift options that might appeal to them:

  • Pioneers are adventurous, energetic and imaginative. They likely cherish creative or out-of-the-box gifts. For this employee, think memorable concerts or performances, improvisation classes or unique experiences.
  • Guardians are practical and reserved, and they care about the details. They may discourage you from making too much of a fuss. So, shop for gifts that allow them to relax and enjoy their time off during the season’s festivities. Noise cancelling headphones, a monthly book subscription, or a coffee shop gift card could be a hit.
  • Drivers are logical, competitive and curious. They like to set goals and track their progress, so they might value wearable technology or other gadgets that help them jump start their 2019 ambitions. They also like a challenge, so a mind-bender, strategy or construction games might appeal to them as well.
  • Integrators are empathetic and relationship-oriented, and they love bringing people together. They may particularly cherish gifts that help brighten their social gatherings and the memories that go along with them. Delight this coworker with an interesting food basket, or a gift certificate for a custom photobook. Or, consider a gift that brings them enjoyment through helping others, such as a charitable donation in their name.

Of course, no gift-giving strategy is fool-proof, but reflecting on individual working styles may help you avoid gift-giving pitfalls this holiday season and help keep the peace around the office.

Want more tips about using Business Chemistry to guide interactions with employees and teams are available in the new book, “Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships.” (It also makes a great gift for teams!)

 

Share your thoughts on what disrupts your workplace most

Workhell_BC

Hell  /hel/  noun: A state or place of great suffering; an unbearable experience.

Example usage: “I’ve been through hell”

Synonyms: a misery, torture, agony, a torment, a nightmare, an ordeal;

Antonyms: paradise

We’d like you to think about what type of work environment fits in with your own definition of an unbearable environment.  The types of things people do that zap your potential.

Do you love the details or detest them? Are you a free thinker or would you prefer more structure? Do you prefer working with the broader team or are you focused on individual contributions?

We all have differences and preferences. Understanding more about these can help everyone learn how to work better together and lead to a more productive workplace. Take our poll below and tell us what type of work environment that causes you great frustration.

BCHell_WorkStyles

 

Is your board of directors ready to enlist a Motley Crew?

06Motley Crew Poster.jpgAs your board considers its own succession planning, or the next time your board embarks on any kind of change, don’t just look to the usual suspects.

Successful leaders recognize the power that diversity of perspective offers. When people with different ways of thinking and working come together, there’s great potential for more creative problem solving, sounder decision making, and stronger performance — all enviable outcomes.  But, what impact does could this have on the Board of Directors?  Read the entire Wall Street Journal to find out why they may benefit.

The link between empathy and leadership performance

Christfort_0510Final_CroppedWhat is the link between empathy and leadership performance?  Find out in a new and interesting podcast from “Getting to Yes, And” hosted by Kelly Leonard, Executive Director, Insights + Applied Improvisation at The Second City Works.

Kelly is the co-author of “Yes, And,” a book that explores the power of improvisation to transform businesses and individuals.  In this episode, Kelly sits down with Kim Christfort, co-author of the book, “Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships,” to discuss the magic and science to crafting powerful work relationships.

The Second City “has produced some of the most unforgettable influential comedians of the last sixty years. Its pioneering methods inspire the mindsets and behaviors that lead to rapid innovation and incomparable content. Second City Works uses those same methods to create programs that drive personal growth and organizational improvement.”

Don’t miss this podcast from WGN Radio.  #TuesdayThoughts #TuesdayMotivation

 

Dr. Suz introduces Business Chemistry next week to the Crossroads of America

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Suzanne Vickberg 2018 E WebAre you headed to the Indiana Conference for Women next week?  Us, too!  Dr. Suzanne Vickberg, Business Chemistry’s Lead Researcher, is scheduled to speak on Nov. 8 at one of the largest one-day events for professional and entrepreneurial women in the Midwest.  Come join us at this exciting conference!

Suzanne will introduce the power of Business Chemistry during this educational and inspirational women’s conference, which seeks to build a strong ecosystem to help women build careers, create companies, and experience lives that are rewarding, healthy and fulfilling. The Founders believe (and research shows) that environments that foster the growth and development of women lead to healthier and more resilient communities and stronger economic growth.

To support the goal of personal growth and development, Dr. Suz will lead participants through an interactive and engaging experience that will help them learn about what  makes some teams excel, while others fumble.  She’ll introduce techniques that help teams thrive, tips for leaders that will motivate individuals, and insights that can help you build powerful work relationships.  It will be an engaging and fun learning event you don’t want to miss.

We hope to see you in the Crossroads of America!

 

 

Can you spot the Business Chemistry type in Halloween costumes? (It’s just for fun!)

My boss, who is a Pioneer and a big Halloween fan, challenged our team to submit our Halloween costume photos for our next team meeting.  A few of the team members instantly began to get excited and collaborate on costume ideas, while others were less enthusiastic.  As I was observing the ideas by my colleagues, I quietly pondered the question: Do Business Chemistry types align with particular costume preferences?

Shelley is Practical Magic
Surprise Kim & Suzanne! I’m “Practical Magic” Shelley for my 2018 Halloween costume.

So, in the spirit of Halloween fun, we thought we’d hunch about what one’s costume selection might say about their working style (now you know how we have fun when we’re not working at the Deloitte Greenhouse):

  • Beneath a warrior, superhero, or king costume you could find a Driver. These characters are focused and competitive, and let nothing stand in the way of making progress on achieving their goals. They save the world from impending doom and make it home for supper—on time. They’re not particularly worried that they tore up an entire city to save you from an alien invasion because it had to get done. And, when facing their nemesis, they are logical in finding a solution to thwart the evil-doer’s plans.
  • The good witch, friendly ghost, or furry animal costume just might have an Integrator inside. These characters are diplomatic and non-confrontational. They are found in fairy-tales in which everyone gets along, finds the other slipper, and lives happily-ever-after. They say hello to everyone in the village and do no harm.  Integrators’ costumes aren’t scary and encourage the spirit of sharing candy.
  • A Pioneer may choose a costume no one saw coming. They are the “hanging chad,” the Southern belle turned into “Taco Belle,” or the couple that shows up as peanut butter and jelly. They didn’t buy their costume ahead of time when there were plenty of choices. Instead, they must go through everyone’s closet a couple of hours before the party to pull together something you’ll never forget.
  • A Guardian might be a bit reluctant to embrace this whole dressing up thing. They may feel they’ll look silly, or be concerned they won’t have time to find the right costume, or want more specific parameters for dressing like something they are not.  Or, they just might surprise everyone by using a costume as an opportunity to leave their reserve behind and become their alter ego for a day. A Guardian, who doesn’t want to dress up, may want to join the fun by serving as a judge for the costume contest. They will judge everyone fairly, ignore crowd influence, and follow to the letter the rules and guidelines set for the contest.

You are just my type
You are just my type… to buy your team a copy of Practical Magic!

Of course, while the Business Chemistry types are based on a mathematical algorithm, our costume theory is just a fun hunch. What’s your take? Does your Halloween costume fit with your type? Send your photos and let us know!

For more treats (not tricks) that can turn challenging work situations into something more heavenly using the science of Business Chemistry, pick up a copy of Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships today.

Happy Halloween Business Chemistry fans!