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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
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?
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.
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!
Most organizations hire suppliers based on their capabilities and cost, but integrating five attributes of cultural fit to the mix can lead to healthier and more sustainable supplier relationships. Forbes contributor Kate Vitasek covers a recent social debate about typical hiring practices, and whether they apply to supplier relationships, sparked by the authors of Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships, Deloitte’s Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg.
When you have the opportunity to add a new member to your team, there are lots of ways to go about making your selection. Beyond screening for the proper experience and skills, many selection methods involve some element of testing for fit. Is their working style the right one for the role? Is their personality a fit for the culture? Or, employing the infamous airport test, would you enjoy yourself if you were stuck in an airport together?
Next time you’re selecting a new team member, imagine you’re not stuck in the airport. But the plane makes a crash landing at sea and you’re now floating in a life raft with no hope of immediate rescue. Would you want everyone on that raft to have the same strengths and weaknesses?
The choreography! The tap-your-toe inspirational music! The applause-worthy costume design! The unforgettable performances by the Pioneer, Driver, Guardian, and Integrator! It’s just another day with Deloitte’s Business Chemistry team. What could your team do when it learns to click, not clash? Watch this awesome video and share it with colleagues!
Note: Pioneers love exclamation marks! It’s just so exciting!
Would you enjoy being stuck in an airport with Kim Christfort, National Managing Director of the Deloitte Greenhouse Experience? If after chatting with her–or anyone else–for half an hour you don’t think so, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t choose them to be on your team. This screening technique is commonly known as the airport test, and the basic assumption behind it may be flawed. Kim has another suggestion. Find out more in this LinkedIn article. (And, don’t be shy–share it with others!)
Have you ever struggled to communicate with someone who spoke a different language? Did you perhaps end up raising your voice, hoping to make yourself understood? Chances are it didn’t help get your point across. It’s the same with working styles. When faced with someone who’s different, turning up the volume on what’s most comfortable for you won’t get you very far. Worse, if you’re dealing with a whole team of people, the problems with that approach are amplified.