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Write a reflection based on the reading.


Open Posted By: taniatemoor Date: 14/08/2020 Academic Level: High School Paper Type: Assignment Writing

Read the attachments for details and an example.


“What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team”
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html?mcubz=0

“Team Building in the Cafeteria”
https://hbr.org/2015/12/team-building-in-the-cafeteria


Category: Arts & Education Subjects: Education Deadline: 24 Hours Budget: $60 - $90 Pages: 2-3 Pages (Short Assignment)

Attachment 1

MARCH–APRIL 2017 ISSUE

THE NEW SCIENCE OF TEAM CHEMISTRY IN THIS PACKAGE WE LOOK AT THE PERSONALITY TYPES THAT MAKE UP A TEAM—AND HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM ANY COMBINATION.

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Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians by Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg and Kim Christfort

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Organizations aren’t getting the performance they need from their teams. That’s the message we

hear from many of our clients, who wrestle with complex challenges ranging from strategic planning

to change management. But often, the fault doesn’t lie with the team members, our research

suggests. Rather, it rests with leaders who fail to effectively tap diverse work styles and perspectives

—even at the senior-most levels. Some managers just don’t recognize how profound the differences

between their people are; others don’t know how to manage the gaps and tensions or understand

the costs of not doing so. As a result, some of the best ideas go unheard or unrealized, and

performance suffers.

To help leaders claim this lost value, Deloitte created a system called Business Chemistry that

identifies four primary work styles and related strategies for accomplishing shared goals. Existing

personality tests didn’t do the trick—they weren’t tailored to the workplace, and they relied too

heavily on personal introspection. So we consulted biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, of

Rutgers University, whose research on brain chemistry in romantic relationships sheds light on

people’s styles and interactions. From there, we developed a list of business-relevant traits and

preferences that can be observed or inferred from behavior at work. A survey development

company then helped us build an assessment, which we tested and refined with three independent

samples of more than 1,000 professionals each. Finally, we collaborated with molecular biologist

Lee Silver, of Princeton, to adapt the statistical models he uses for genetic population analysis to

look for patterns in our business population data and to mathematically derive four work styles.

Since then, more than 190,000 people have completed our assessment, and we’ve conducted

follow-up studies to determine how each work style responds to stress, the conditions under which

the various styles thrive, and other factors that can inform how to manage the styles effectively.

We’ve also engaged leaders and teams in more than 3,000 “labs”—interactive sessions lasting 90

minutes to three days—during which we’ve gathered more data and explored strategies and

techniques for getting the most out of diverse styles.

In this article, we’ll lay out the value that each style offers, address the challenges of bringing people

with different styles together, and describe how to capitalize on the cognitive diversity in your

organization.

Understanding the Styles

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Understanding the Styles

Each of us is a composite of the four work styles, though most people’s behavior and thinking are

closely aligned with one or two. All the styles bring useful perspectives and distinctive approaches

to generating ideas, making decisions, and solving problems. Generally speaking:

Pioneers value possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination on their teams. They believe

risks are worth taking and that it’s fine to go with your gut. Their focus is big-picture. They’re drawn

to bold new ideas and creative approaches.

Guardians value stability, and they bring order and rigor. They’re pragmatic, and they hesitate to

embrace risk. Data and facts are baseline requirements for them, and details matter. Guardians think

it makes sense to learn from the past.

Drivers value challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning count most. Drivers

tend to view issues as black-and-white and tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.

Integrators value connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibility to the

group are paramount. Integrators tend to believe that most things are relative. They’re diplomatic

and focused on gaining consensus.

Teams that bring these styles together should, in theory, enjoy the many benefits of cognitive

diversity, ranging from increased creativity and innovation to improved decision making. Yet time

and again, diverse teams fail to thrive—sometimes stagnating, sometimes buckling under the weight

of conflict. A first step for leaders hoping to turn that around is to identify the differing styles of their

team members and understand what makes each individual tick.

In our work, we’ve clustered thousands of groups by style and asked them to list the things that

energize and alienate them in the workplace. The lists vary greatly—what motivates one group can

suck the life out of another. Some of the differences have to do with how people interact. For

The four styles give teams a common language for understanding how people work.

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instance, Integrators abhor anything that feels like conflict, but Drivers love to debate. This can

create tension and misunderstanding. In one of our lab sessions, a CFO and her team were talking

about their executive meetings. One participant, an Integrator, confessed that she dreaded bringing

topics up because “it always leads to an unpleasant argument.” The CFO, a Driver, reacted with

surprise, saying, “But that’s just how we discuss things!”

Differences in how individuals think and contribute can also create problems. For instance, if a

Guardian walks through a detailed plan line by line, that may feel like a forced march to a Pioneer,

who wants to skip ahead or whiteboard a completely different idea. Conversely, the Pioneer’s riffing

about ideas without any agenda or structure may seem like an impractical mess to the organized

Guardian.

The four styles give leaders and their teams a common language for discussing similarities and

differences in how people experience things and prefer to work. Groups come to appreciate why

certain times feel so challenging (that is, which perspectives and approaches are at odds), and they

also begin to recognize the potential power in their differences.

One leadership team, for example, was struggling to get everyone aligned with its strategy and was

experiencing a great deal of interpersonal conflict in the process. This consumed a lot of the leader’s

time and energy, since members kept coming to him with complaints about others. Through

discussions with the team, we uncovered some norms that were disagreeable to each style:

Guardians felt that they’d been rushed through due diligence processes; Pioneers felt that

innovation was being squashed by rigid interpretations of compliance guidelines; Drivers were

frustrated by the team’s unwillingness to commit to a decision; and Integrators were bothered by

dismissive behaviors, such as eye-rolling.

Our discussions highlighted team strengths, such as an openness to sharing perspectives and

voicing concerns and a commitment to generating innovative ideas and supporting the business.

The team brainstormed strategies for accommodating individuals’ differing styles and taking

advantage of the value that each brought. A month after we met with them, members indicated they

had been actively hypothesizing about one another’s styles and were developing a better

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understanding of the team. Even more important, they reported a greater sense of shared purpose,

an environment that better enabled them to contribute at their highest levels, and an improved

ability to accomplish goals.

Managing the Styles

Once you’ve identified the work styles of your team members and have begun to consider how the

differences are beneficial or problematic, you must actively manage them so that you’re not left with

all frustration and no upside. You can do so in three ways.

Pull your opposites closer.

Often, the biggest pain points are in one-on-one relationships when opposite styles collide. Each of

the styles is different from the others, but they’re not different in equal measure. For example,

Guardians are generally more reserved than Drivers—but both types are very focused, which can

help them find common ground. Guardians and Pioneers, however, are true opposites, as are

Integrators and Drivers.

As you’d expect, the interpersonal problems that tend to arise when opposite styles come together

can put a damper on collaboration. Indeed, 40% of the people we surveyed on the topic said that

their opposites were the most challenging to work with, and 50% said that they were the least

enjoyable to work with. Each type cited different reasons for the difficulties.

For example, one Driver explained why she doesn’t enjoy working with Integrators:

“I find it exhausting to do all the small talk to make everyone feel good about working together. I just

want to get things done, give honest and direct feedback, and move forward. Having to worry about

sensitive feelings slows me down.”

An Integrator who found Drivers challenging to work with said:

“I need to process things to get the contextual background for the big picture. Drivers often speak in

code or thought fragments that we need to translate.”

We were told by a Guardian:

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“I’m always thinking about how I’m going to implement something…and while the Pioneers have great

ideas, they typically can’t be bothered with discussing how to execute them. But, if the outcome doesn’t

match their vision, they’re frustrated!”

And a Pioneer admitted:

“I have a very difficult time adjusting to a Guardian’s style. I am decisive and like to generate ideas

without judgment. Guardians can come across as judgmental, and they don’t allow creativity to flow.”

Despite the havoc such differences can wreak on team performance, opposite styles can balance

each other out. Still, that takes time and effort. We worked with one Guardian-Pioneer pair who

struggled in the beginning but, by openly discussing their differences, eventually forged a stronger

partnership. The Pioneer was quite comfortable speaking in front of groups and doing so on the fly.

The Guardian dreaded public speaking even with thorough preparation, which she rarely saw as

enough. When getting ready to present something together, the Pioneer often felt impatient, and

the Guardian felt alarmed at what she saw as inadequate planning. As their relationship progressed,

they began to trust and adjust to each other. The Pioneer learned that her partner’s meticulousness

often got them out of a tight spot and that doing a bit more preparation herself helped her to be

better in the moment. The Guardian learned that her partner’s more spontaneous approach was

engaging and enabled them to be more flexible and responsive to their audience’s needs. She found

that when they were working together, she could relax a bit and take more risks herself.

By pulling your opposites closer—having them collaborate on small projects and then take on bigger

ones if it’s working out—you can create complementary partnerships on your teams. It’s also

important to pull your own opposites closer to you, to balance your tendencies as a leader. This is

really about generating productive friction. Think Lennon and McCartney, Serena and Venus, the

Steves (Jobs and Wozniak). Differences are what make such collaborations powerful.

Elevate the “tokens” on your team.

If you’ve got a team of 10 people, seven of whom are Guardians, what leadership approach should

you favor? Adopting one that works well for Guardians—seeking the greatest good for the greatest

number—might seem like the practical thing to do. But in our experience, it’s often more effective to

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focus on styles that are represented by just a few team members, since it’s those minority

perspectives you need to court to reap the benefits of diversity.

When a team’s makeup is lopsided, cognitive bias can creep in, often leading to “cascades.” Imagine

trying to change the direction of a big waterfall. Without a feat of engineering, it would be

impossible. That’s how a cascade works on a team: Once ideas, discussion, and decision making

start flowing in a particular direction, momentum keeps them moving that way. Even if diverse

views exist on the team, they probably won’t change the flow once it’s established, as people often

hesitate to voice disagreement with an idea that gets early visible support.

Momentum builds for various reasons: Reputational cascades generally result from a fear of looking

bad or of being punished for disagreeing, and informational cascades can occur when people

assume that early speakers know something others don’t. Either way, you end up with self-

censoring and groupthink, which means the team doesn’t benefit from its diverse perspectives.

Of the teams we work with, about half are relatively

balanced, and the rest are dominated by one or two

styles. We’ve also found that top leaders are most

likely to be Pioneers, and then Drivers. In many

cases, the majority of executive team members

share the leader’s style, which can make the team

particularly susceptible to cascades. Pioneers tend

to be spontaneous and outgoing. They think quickly

and speak energetically, sometimes before thinking

much at all. Similarly, Drivers like to take charge in

group settings, and with their competitive and direct

style, they’re inclined to jump right in and state their

point of view rather than hang back to hear what

others have to say. Especially if they’re in the

majority or supported by a leader with a similar

style, there’s a strong chance that Pioneers or

Drivers will set the direction of a cascade with early comments.

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We were asked by one leader to help uncover why her team, though highly productive, was

repeatedly criticized by internal stakeholders for its lack of diplomacy. We analyzed the team’s

composition and saw that it was dominated by assertive and outspoken Drivers. When we asked

whether this style might be ruffling feathers, those individuals pushed back, saying that they knew

what needed to get done and didn’t have time to worry about people’s feelings.

The team also had a small group of Integrators—the style that typically shows the most relationship-

building prowess. But those folks were marginalized, rarely spoke, and told us that they felt shut out

and devalued. Although they were eager to share their thoughts and ideas with us in private, they

were unwilling to stand up to the Drivers dominating the team. As a result, the group seemed to be

losing out on the strengths of those who were best equipped to help them improve their

relationships with stakeholders.

How can you elevate minority perspectives on your team to avoid cascading and marginalization—

without turning others off? Here are some tactics that may help.

If you’re trying to get Guardians to share their perspective, give them the time and the details they

need to prepare for a discussion or a decision. Then allow them to contribute in ways that are

comfortable for them (for instance, in writing) and that don’t require them to fight for the floor—

because chances are, they won’t. Making advance reading and preparation an option rather than a

requirement will lessen the burden for those uninterested in spending time this way, such as

Pioneers.

To elicit Pioneers’ ideas, allow room for discussions to get expansive. Provide white boards and

encourage people to get up and grab the marker. Determining in advance how long you’ll allow such

discussions to go on will help those who prefer more structure—particularly Guardians—to relax into

the free-flowing exercise.

As for Integrators, dedicate some energy toward forming real relationships with them—and then ask

for their thoughts. Also seek, and empower them to seek, the perspectives of other team members

and stakeholders. Explore with them how the discussion or decision affects the greater good. Doing

some of this work offline may prevent Drivers from getting antsy with what they may see as time-

consuming niceties.

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For Drivers, keep the pace of conversations brisk, and show clear connections between the

discussion or decision at hand and progress toward the overall goal. Consider introducing an

element of experimentation or competition—say, gamifying a training program—to keep them

interested and engaged. Some styles, such as Integrators, may be less motivated by competition, so

also look for ways to build or strengthen relationships—for instance, by providing opportunities for

competing teams to socialize together.

Beyond these type-specific tactics, there are more-general ways to elevate minority perspectives on

your team:

Encourage anyone in the minority to speak up early to give them a chance to influence the direction

of the conversation before a cascade sets the course. Polish psychologist Solomon Asch’s classic

experiments on conformity demonstrated that when even one person goes against the majority, the

likelihood that others will offer divergent perspectives increases greatly. Take advantage of this

phenomenon to promote healthy dissent.

Also ask people to brainstorm on their own ahead of time and then share their ideas in round-robin

fashion when the group convenes. Studies have shown that this approach is more effective than

group brainstorming. Like giving minority styles the floor first, individual brainstorming can get

more diverse ideas into the mix before a particular direction gains momentum. It also gives greater

voice to those who prefer to process and generate ideas in a quiet atmosphere or at a more deliberate

pace.

If a team is light on a particular style, try asking others to “think like” that style. Do this early in the

conversation, before the majority viewpoint takes hold. Many of us are accustomed to saying, “Just

playing devil’s advocate”; in this case, one might say, “Just playing Guardian here…” or “If I were to

view this issue through the lens of a Driver….” We’ve found that teams that have learned about the

four styles are quite adept at putting themselves in the shoes of others when asked, and that doing

so can enrich and round out a discussion that otherwise might be one-dimensional.

Pay close attention to your sensitive introverts.

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Although a cascading team may lose out on

contributions from any style that’s in the minority,

members who are highly introverted or sensitive are

at greatest risk of being drowned out. We see the

most evidence of introversion and sensitivity among

Guardians but also find these traits in a subset of

Integrators we’ll call Quiet Integrators. As with

people who don’t share their team’s dominating

style, sensitive introverts are rarely heard unless

leaders deliberately reach out to them.

A Pioneer or Driver cascade can feel like Niagara

Falls to Guardians, who tend to be reserved, to

consider decisions carefully, and to avoid

confrontation. Particularly if they’re in the minority,

they may not speak up when others are clamoring to

say their piece. Similarly, Quiet Integrators tend to

be particularly nonconfrontational and focused on consensus—so if the team appears to be leaning

in a certain direction, they’re unlikely to offer a divergent perspective. And because neither

Guardians nor Quiet Integrators are inclined to embrace risk, they will probably see little reason to

stick their necks out to challenge the prevailing wisdom.

Add to that the ways in which Guardians and Integrators are affected by stress. In a study of more

than 20,000 professionals from inside and outside Deloitte, those styles were more likely than

Pioneers and Drivers to report feeling stressed. And their stress levels were higher in response to

every kind of situation we asked about—face-to-face interactions, conflicts, a sense of urgency,

heavy workloads, and errors. In a second sample, this time of more than 17,000 professionals,

Guardians and Integrators were also less likely to report that they work effectively under stress.

These findings fit right in with author Susan Cain’s work on introverts and psychologist Elaine Aron’s

work on highly sensitive people. Both suggest that today’s breakneck, open-space, highly

collaborative work environment is particularly challenging for these groups.

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Now consider all this in light of the fact that top leaders tend to be Pioneers or Drivers. People who

are most introverted, most stressed, and least adaptable are often being led by those who are most

extroverted, least stressed, and most adaptable. You can probably see how this could pose

difficulties for everyone.

You might ask, Why bother catering to sensitive introverts? Shouldn’t people be able to adapt and

manage their stress? To speak up even when it’s difficult? Maybe you simply don’t want those who

can’t.

We think you do. Cain’s and Aron’s research shows that people who are more introverted or sensitive

have particular strengths that can benefit teams and organizations. For example, they tend to be

conscientious and thorough—good at spotting errors and potential risks. They can focus intensely

for long periods of time. They’re good listeners and more likely to highlight others’ great ideas than

to seek the spotlight for themselves. They often tackle and excel at the detail-oriented work that

others can’t or simply don’t want to do. So while reaching out to sensitive introverts may be labor-

intensive, the effort should pay off.

To get the most out of your Guardians and your Quiet Integrators, consider asking how you can help

them keep their stress levels manageable. This may involve identifying ways to slow the pace,

reduce information overload, provide quieter or more private work environments, or run

interference for them so that they can focus without a lot of distraction.

Next, to borrow a suggestion from Susan Cain’s popular TED Talk about the power of introverts:

“Stop the madness for group work! Just stop it!” Engage Guardians and Quiet Integrators by giving

them some alone time for more-reflective tasks. Instead of defaulting to teamwork, ask whether

some tasks are actually better done in solitude.

Sensitive introverts may not take charge, or compete, or even talk much at all, but don’t mistake this

for lack of interest. They’re almost certainly observing and processing. If you want their perspective,

ask them directly, but use a light touch—cold-calling Guardians and Quiet Integrators can backfire if

Encourage anyone in the minority to speak up before a “cascade” starts.

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they haven’t had a chance to reflect first. If you do

give them an opportunity to prepare and then make

space for them to speak in a meeting, they’ll

probably be happy to offer their thoughts. One

leader we worked with was particularly skilled at

this. Before meetings that included introverted team

members, she would tell them what the discussion

would focus on, often making specific requests to

facilitate their involvement: “Will you say

something about X topic or comment on section Y

when we get to it in the meeting?”

Guardians and Quiet Integrators spend a lot of time

and energy reviewing their own mistakes, so it’s

important to create an environment where good

faith efforts are celebrated even when they fail.

Since teams that feel psychologically safe have been

shown to outperform those that do not, this can

benefit team members of all styles.

Practicing What We Preach

We’ve seen the power of this approach in working with executives and teams, and we’ve also

experienced it personally, in our own opposing-styles partnership. One of us, Kim, is a Pioneer with

a good bit of Driver mixed in. She values expansive thinking and rapid advancement, and she leads a

large team dominated by other extroverted, free-wheeling Pioneers. Suzanne is a Guardian and a

Quiet Integrator—a double dose of introverted sensitivity—making her a bit different from many of

her teammates. She processes things deeply, insists on rigor, and can’t be rushed. Working with Kim

and the broader team sometimes feels to Suzanne like trying to thread a needle in the midst of a

hurricane. To Kim, working with Suzanne sometimes feels like running in deep water.

Early on, things didn’t always go smoothly for us, but with time we’ve realized how much stronger

we are working together. Suzanne knows that Kim’s always got the big picture in mind, and Kim

trusts that Suzanne has considered every detail. And as the team’s leader, Kim has created a

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protective enclave that allows Suzanne to take cover

and do what she does best. Our partnership is better

for it, and so is our team.

Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg is a social-personality psychologist and Deloitte’s lead researcher on the firm’s Business Chemistry system.

Kim Christfort

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How Work Styles Inform Leadership by Alison Beard

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STRATEGY Adam Malamut Chief Customer Experience Officer, Marriott

Two years ago, when I was chief talent officer for Marriott, I was tasked with streamlining and

modernizing our learning and development capabilities. I’d assembled a new team and wanted to

make sure we understood one another, our roles and responsibilities, and our strategic objectives

before embarking on this journey. We used the personality style framework not only to understand

our own strengths and weaknesses and how to work more effectively together but also to identify

where we needed to augment the team and what we could realistically accomplish in our first year,

and then our second.

As one of the initial steps in the strategic planning process, everyone considered their own profiles

and those of their respective teams and started to staff them more appropriately. For example, the

groups working on the design and development of our learning content and delivery approaches

had a strong Guardian and Driver orientation; they needed to be pushed from a creative standpoint,

Kim Christfort is the national managing director of Deloitte Greenhouse experiences. She is one of the original architects of the firm’s Business Chemistry system.

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so we added a Pioneer to lead an arm of that team. And when I staffed the group charged with the

detail-oriented and collaborative process of organizing and integrating our learning and delivery

offerings, I made sure to include Guardians and Integrators. As a Pioneer and Driver, I need those

types around me personally, too.

Now I’m in a new role—chief customer experience officer—and getting ready to launch a series of

change initiatives following our merger with Starwood. My peers and I—a group of seven senior

leaders—plan to use this approach to improve collaboration as we develop and execute on our

strategic plans.

MANAGING UP AND DOWN Elizabeth Bryant Vice President, Southwest Airlines University

When I took the personality style test six months ago—along with about 50 other senior Southwest

executives—I had a real “aha” moment. The surprise wasn’t my own results: I’m strong on both the

Pioneer and Integrator scales—a strategist and a communicator. It was that I hadn’t been thinking

carefully enough about how to temper those tendencies for people with different styles.

For example, my boss—who leads corporate services—is more of a Driver, so I can’t just talk through

the vision of a particular initiative with him. I need to make it very clear that we’re hitting our

milestones: “Here’s what we’ve accomplished, and here’s where we’re going.”

We’re both paying more attention to the mix of styles on our leadership team, too. It’s the two of us

plus three Integrators, so we all need to put our Guardian hats on once in a while to make sure that

we’re gathering the data, protecting our history and culture, and moving at the right pace.

I’ve also had my direct reports take the assessment, and I’ve learned that they’re mostly Integrators.

That’s great, but I’m conscious that we need some Driver behavior as well: A goal is just a goal until

you make it happen. My husband reminded me of this the other day. We’d been house hunting, and

I’d found the perfect place for us to buy, so I felt my work was done. But then he said, “You know,

Elizabeth, it’s great that you have this vision and go after it, but then everyone around you has to get

to work. I’m the one who has to deal with the realtor, the lawyer, the inspector.” I shared this story

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with my team and asked that they tell me when an idea I suggest sounds challenging—or even

impossible. And I’m now more conscientious when thinking out loud. Something I ask about

o堂andedly could, for an Integrator, Driver, or Guardian, be understood as an important to-do item.

HIRING AND JOB CRAFTING Greg Keeley Executive Vice President, American Express

I took the assessment as part of an executive evaluation, and I expected my results to show that I’m

100% Driver, because that was my role at American Express. But I was strongest on the Pioneer

scale. This showed me that although I was doing what the firm needed me to do, many of the

behaviors I’d adopted didn’t reflect who I really am.

I shared the findings with my boss and my team and asked my direct reports to take the test. I was

pleasantly surprised by the diversity in our group and soon realized that I could dial down the Driver

aspects of my job. Of course, we still had product, process, and revenue goals to hit, but I could use a

scorecard to track those, delegate some duties, and spend more time on new-product development

and strategy.

When I did, my job satisfaction shot way up. I’m in the same role, with the same boss and team, but

I have so much more passion and energy than I did before. I’ve even changed the way I introduce

myself to new colleagues or vendors. Before a meeting starts, I take a few minutes to say, “Here’s

how I tend to think and act…” and I ask them to do the same for me. It’s a shortcut to better

communication and engagement.

And personality now informs how I think about assignments, promotions, and hiring. When I was

recently trying to fill a role, I met with a strong candidate who took the assessment and came up as a

Driver/Guardian. But the job required vision and coordination with other groups. What I needed was

a Pioneer/Integrator. I modified the job description and finally found the right person. The

Driver/Guardian took a position in the company more suited to his personality. I’d love to see middle

managers adopt this sort of thinking—they oversee an estimated 80% of the workforce—because it’s

fundamental leadership training. You need to know who you are before you know what you can

become.

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TEAMWORK Charles Derosa U.S. Treasurer, National Grid

I’ve now led three teams at National Grid, ranging from about 25 people to about 200. I always talk

to my staff about personality styles, because I believe it helps people work together more effectively.

I’m a Driver, one of those personalities that can push people hard. I like facts and figures, and goals

and objectives. My natural instinct is to skip small talk. One of my bosses is a Pioneer; he enjoys

brainstorming. One of my direct reports is an Integrator, who wants to make sure every view is

expressed. Other people on my team are Guardians. They’re very reliable but not always flexible,

and they often play devil’s advocate. To function effectively, we need to recognize and appreciate

everyone’s style and to have open discussions about our differences: What does each of us like? And

what really bugs us? This enables us to be more thoughtful in our interactions.

Since we started having these conversations, the people on my team have adapted their styles a bit:

The Guardians recognize that their behavior can seem defensive, and they try to avoid ruffling

feathers while still conveying important messages. The Drivers now show more patience. When

dealing with me, everyone prepares more thoroughly and tries to get to the point more quickly. I

have adapted as well; in the past I’d get frustrated, but now I realize how important each style is in

reaching the best decision. And when the group has personality conflicts, I do my best to facilitate

progress. In the end, we’re all better able to work together toward our goals and those of the

department.

It’s human nature to gravitate toward people with work styles similar to our own. But there will

always be (and we benefit from) personality diversity in the workplace. I believe in providing the

right opportunity to all types.

DECISION MAKING Gary Pilnick Vice Chairman, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, Kellogg

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Executives need to be thinking in all four quadrants of personality when they’re making big

decisions. For example, I’m a Pioneer/Integrator, which means I need to flex to Driver and Guardian

mindsets sometimes. Otherwise all I’m doing is dreaming and talking to people. When I’m working

with a fellow Pioneer/Integrator, I need to ask, “Where’s your data?” and set firm deadlines. With a

Driver, I’ll say, “OK, we’ve clarified objectives and the schedule. What experts should you consult

with now? Who needs to be informed?” With a Guardian, it’s about focusing on results: “Are we

pushing hard enough?”

Because my team has been through the assessment process, we can all talk this way now. In a recent

meeting with one of my leaders, we started by “pioneering” together, then I was reminded “OK, it’s

time to ‘drive’ and make a decision.” And we did it with smiles on our faces.

Of course, it’s nice to lean into your dominant style, and most of us do when we’re under stress. But

we all are able to shift mindsets, or think like the others, when we’re reminded to. It’s not like trying

to write with the wrong hand. It’s more like going a little faster or slower than normal on the

highway, or taking a new route to work. It feels different and maybe a little uncomfortable, but it’s

not awkward. I’ve worked for several Pioneer/Drivers over the years, and I wouldn’t have survived

without the ability to get things done. I have a strong Pioneer in a key compliance role, but I

wouldn’t want anyone else because she can flex into Guardian when necessary. And I have a Driver

on my team who now recognizes that he can deliver faster results with more-lasting outcomes by

slowing down and getting colleagues to collaborate.

I see this framework as one way to move all our departments toward a more agile culture that values

quick yet informed decisions. It’s a blueprint for touching all the bases.

“If You Understand How the Brain

Alison Beard is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review.

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ETHAN HILL

“If You Understand How the Brain Works, You Can Reach Anyone” by Alison Beard

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The Theory: Helen Fisher’s research on the brain

systems that drive human personality, attraction,

and love has been featured in academic journals,

TED conferences, and the dating website

Match.com. It is now finding business-world

applications at companies such as Deloitte.

Affiliated with the Kinsey Institute and Rutgers

University, Fisher also coaches executives, and in

2015 she launched the corporate consultancy

NeuroColor in partnership with leadership and

innovation adviser David Labno.

How did you make the leap from personal relationships to professional ones?

My work on personality styles had been getting

some attention, and Dave Labno, who I didn’t

know at the time but who would eventually

become my partner, heard me in an interview on

National Public Radio. He called me up and said,

“You know, Helen, you don’t study love. You

study relationships.” And instantly I could see

that he was right. The questionnaire I’d developed to help people pair off romantically could be

applied to understanding family, friends, colleagues, clients. Dave had worked in business for years

and knew all the currently available personality tests, and he felt that mine was a disruptive

technology.

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Why is it better than other assessments such as Myers-Briggs and Big Five personality tests?

Because it is based on brain chemistry. I looked at neurological research to develop the

questionnaire and then, with colleagues, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to validate it.

We all have two parts to our personalities that are in constant interaction: culture (which is what

your upbringing teaches you to believe, do, and say) and temperament (which comes from your

biology, genes, hormones, and neurotransmitters). I study temperament. Most brain systems keep

the eyes blinking, the heart beating, the metabolism running. But when Match.com asked me, “Why

does someone fall in love with one person rather than another?” I tried to find a neurological

answer. I spent two years studying the literature and found, over and over, that four biological

systems—dopamine/norepinephrine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen/oxytocin—are each

linked to a particular suite of personality traits. I found this in research not only on humans but also

on doves, lizards, and monkeys.

What links did you find?

People who express certain genes in the dopamine system tend to be curious, creative,

spontaneous, energetic, and mentally flexible. They are risk-takers and seek novelty. People who

have high serotonin activity (or who take SSRI antidepressants) are more sociable, more eager to

belong. They’re quite traditional in their values and less inclined toward exploration. People

expressive of the testosterone system are tough-minded, direct, decisive, skeptical, and assertive.

They tend to be good at what we called rule-based systems—engineering, computers, mechanics,

math, and music. And people who are expressive of the estrogen/oxytocin system tend to be

intuitive, imaginative, trusting, empathetic, and contextual long-term thinkers. They are sensitive

to people’s feelings, too, and typically have good verbal and social skills.

Working with a statistician, I created a questionnaire to measure the degree to which a person

expresses the traits in each of these four systems. Then we put it on Match.com and Chemistry.com

and watched who was naturally drawn to whom.

How did you test its accuracy?

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I did two fMRI studies—one with young couples, the other with older couples. The subjects

answered my questionnaire and then went into the scanner. It turned out that people who scored

high on my scale measuring the traits linked with the dopamine system showed a lot of activity in

dopamine pathways of their brains. Those who scored high on my serotonin scale had increased

activity in an area linked with “social norm conformity.” In people with high testosterone scores,

brain activity was highest in areas related to visual and mathematical perception and in areas built

by fetal testosterone. Those who scored highest on my estrogen/oxytocin scale showed more

activity in the mirror neurons linked with empathy and other brain regions built by fetal estrogen.

That, in itself, is different from any other questionnaire. I was able to validate that mine is

measuring what I say it’s measuring.

So should we throw out those other tests?

I don’t have any problem with other good questionnaires that are based on psychology or linguistic

studies or even intuition—but I don’t think they’re as accurate, because they’re not drawn from hard

science. Let’s look at the Myers-Briggs, which is probably the best known. It’s measuring four things:

extroversion versus introversion, intuitive versus sensing, thinking versus feeling, and judging

versus perceiving behaviors. Well, the feeling/thinking questions are really measuring the

estrogen/oxytocin and testosterone system traits. The perceiving/judging scale focuses on

dopamine- versus serotonin-linked traits. So in those areas, they’ve got it right. But the

intuitive/sensing scale measures estrogen-linked traits versus serotonin-linked traits; that suggests

that those traits oppose each other, which they don’t in the brain.

As for extroversion/introversion, Isabel Myers, one of the creators of Myers-Briggs, once said that

this scale measures where you get your energy—either from being with others or from being alone.

But her questions also measure whether you’re outgoing or reserved, which are totally different

things. For example, I and many other people are outgoing introverts—we’re comfortable

chatterboxes in social settings—but we recharge when we’re alone.

Another problem with this and most personality tests is that they aim to put those who take them in

one category or another. But the brain doesn’t work in cubbyholes. My test measures how strongly

you express traits in each neural system. Some might be expressed more strongly than others. But

the granularity is there.

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Still, at the end of the day you, Match, and Deloitte are labeling people by dominant style. What’s the benefit in that?

Here’s an example from my own life. I was recently working with a man who, like me, is very high

on dopamine, but unlike me, very high on serotonin, which is linked with risk aversion. A particular

issue cropped up, and although I was convinced that I was absolutely right in my appraisal of it, he

was being very cautious. If I didn’t know anything about brain chemistry, I would have thought he

was just being stubborn as hell. But instead, I saw that it was what I call a “serotonin gap.” His

hesitation had nothing to do with me or the project. It’s just the way he is. This smoothed over what

could have been a big misunderstanding and made us a better team. Now I want his serotonin

around me because I see the value of it.

Is the idea to not just identify and understand differing personalities at work but also to adjust your behavior to better suit your colleagues?

Absolutely. You can tailor the way you present information, modify your language when responding

to questions, and even adjust how you carry your body so that people with other styles are more

receptive. Let me give you another example. A senior partner at Deloitte, who’d heard me talk about

the styles, was about to give a presentation to an important client. His team had just finished up the

slide deck, it was almost midnight, and everyone was on their way to bed. But he suddenly realized

that the focus of the pitch—big on theory, few details—wasn’t right for his audience of global bank

executives, who he suspected were high-serotonin types. So they stayed up most of the night to

redo it, and in the morning they closed a million-dollar deal. The point is: If you understand how to

size up those around you, you can reach anyone—your clients, bosses, subordinates—far more

effectively.

Is it possible to change your style?

We’re flexible to a certain extent, but not entirely. For example, math is a skill linked to testosterone.

I’m terrible at math, and I’m never going to be great at it. If I’d grown up with a physicist mother and

an architect father—in a family culture that valued math—I’d be better at it, but I’d never be great.

Could someone make me tough-minded? I doubt it. I might act tough when I have to, but it makes

me uncomfortable. Some time ago, after I gave a speech at the Smithsonian, a female executive

came up to me and said, “At work I’m decisive and authoritative, but I married a man who wanted

me to be soft and sweet at home. And I could do it, but I found it exhausting.” She told me that she

ultimately divorced him. So yes, we can act out of character, but it’s tiring. At NeuroColor, we have

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people take our questionnaire twice. The first time, they describe their thinking and behavior at

work; the second time, how they are “outside work.” It’s a great measure of authenticity: Where are

you most yourself?

Do you see a future in which these tests inform decisions about hiring, promotions, and team building? High-serotonin people in accounting, high-dopamine in business development?

I don’t think you’d want to pigeonhole people that way. But I’d certainly add this information to the

mix, because it can help you build more-effective teams. The four styles of thinking and behaving

evolved in hunter-gatherer societies over many millennia for a reason. Imagine a group of people in

Africa, hundreds of thousands of years ago, walking together to look for a new camp. Suddenly, they

find some mushrooms. You can’t have only high-dopamine types, because they’d all try the

mushrooms and maybe be poisoned. You need some high-serotonin types to say, “We shouldn’t do

this; it’s not in our tradition”; some high-testosterone types to say, “Let’s experiment: Feed the

mushrooms to the dog and see what happens”; and some high-estrogen types to say, “Let’s discuss

what we know about these mushrooms.” We evolved to think differently so that we could put our

heads together and come up with good solutions. Complementary styles of thinking make for a

more effective team. Unfortunately, it seems that when organizations think about diversity today,

they look at race or gender or cultural background—but not diversity of mind. So you have your

women and minorities represented, and that’s great—but they may all share the same temperament,

so the group isn’t as diverse as you think.

You’ve assessed people in many different countries. Have you found more similarities or differences?

The president of Match asked me a few years ago if my questionnaire would work in other cultures,

and I told him that if it didn’t, I had failed, because I’m studying the human personality, not the

American personality. That version has now been used successfully in 40 countries.

But we have found some interesting regional differences. For example, more Chinese and Japanese

people score high on the serotonin scale. When I mentioned this to a geneticist, Lee Silver from

Princeton, he wasn’t surprised. He told me that there’s a gene for social-norm conformity that

occurs more frequently in China and Japan than anywhere else. He also told me that there’s a gene

When firms think about diversity, they look at race or gender—but not diversity of mind.

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linked with dopamine that’s most common in the Amazonian basin. You could hypothesize that the

exploratory, high-dopamine types walked over the prehistoric land bridge from Africa, carrying

those genes with them and passing them down, or that people with those traits were the only ones

who could adapt to life in the Amazon and survive. You can begin to see how entire cultures—and

organizations—take on certain personality styles.

Testosterone and estrogen are sex-linked traits. Do you worry that your framework reinforces gender stereotyping?

It’s true that across cultures, many more men score high on the testosterone scale, and many more

women score high on the estrogen scale. At the same time, we all are made up of an array of the

traits. As I said, I’m high estrogen, and in a group those traits come out: I listen carefully, I try to get

along. When I’m alone, at my desk, I’m all dopamine: I’m creative, focused on my work. I’m lower

on testosterone: I’m not tough-minded or good at math. But I am logical—certainly in business if not

always in love. So in evaluating yourself and others, you have to think about all four biological

systems. When you understand where someone lands on each scale, you begin to see the full

personality.

A Brief History of Personality Tests by Eben Harrell

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Alison Beard is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review.

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First used by the U.S. Army during World War I to try to predict which soldiers would suffer from

“shell shock,” personality testing today is a roughly $500 million industry, with an annual growth

rate estimated at 10% to 15%. Millions of workers take assessments each year as part of personnel

selection, to improve collaboration and teamwork, and to identify satisfying career paths.

But personality screening is not without controversy. In recent lawsuits, courts have ruled that the

use of certain tests discriminates against protected classes of workers, particularly those with

disabilities. Research suggests that many beliefs held by HR professionals about personality

screening run counter to scientific evidence. And management scholars worry that fixating on

personality as the primary source of conflict at work can cause managers to overlook the crucial role

they play in creating the enabling conditions for teams to succeed—whatever their composition.

The industry’s robust growth, however, suggests that managers increasingly rely on personality

testing as a tool to optimize their workforces. The tests are inexpensive compared with other

assessment tools, and they are easy to administer—modern tests can be taken online without an

examiner present. Hundreds of assessments exist today, yet over the past century, three have had an

outsize impact.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Katharine Briggs began her research into personality in 1917 as a means to understand what she saw

as an unlikely attraction between her cherished daughter, Isabel, and fiancé, Clarence Myers. Over

20 years, the mother-daughter team worked to develop the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, drawing

heavily on the work of the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Since the 1960s, some 50 million people

have taken the test, making it by far the most popular personality assessment ever created.

The MBTI holds that people have preferred modes of perception (sensing or intuition) and judgment

(thinking or feeling) as well as attitudes about how they build energy (extroversion or introversion)

and their orientation to the outer world (judging or perceiving). These preferences combine to form

16 personality types.

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Experts argue that the categories don’t predict individual or team effectiveness. Studies have found

that more than half the people who retake the test get a different result the second time. The Myers-

Briggs Foundation warns against using it “for hiring or for deciding job assignments,” yet the test’s

popularity persists at many blue-chip firms. Proponents find it useful for helping people understand

their own and their colleagues’ styles and preferences and for reducing conflict in the workplace.

The Five-Factor Model

Often called the “Big Five,” the five-factor model is a set of personality traits derived from a

statistical study of words commonly used to describe psychological characteristics across cultures

and languages. The categories are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion,

agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Widely accepted by academics as the gold standard in the evolving field of personality research, the

FFM has informed a host of other personality assessments, including the NEO Personality Inventory

(developed by two of the creators of the five-factor model) and the Hogan Personality Inventory

(which examines how a person relates to others). Unlike the MBTI, assessments based on the Big

Five can reliably predict job performance, studies show. (The correlation is stronger for other

psychometric measurements, such as IQ, however.) Research also suggests that FFM-based

assessments can help predict personalities that are likely to either clash or work harmoniously

together.

Strengthsfinder

A new branch of psychology emerged in the 1990s that examines how healthy minds remain

resilient and flourish. “Positive psychology” has spawned various assessments; Gallup’s

StrengthsFinder 2.0, the most popular, is taken by 1.6 million employees every year in more than

400 of the Fortune 500 companies. Strengths-based assessments aim to increase engagement, job

satisfaction, and productivity by helping companies design jobs that take advantage of their

employees’ best qualities. Other assessments that harness insights from positive psychology include

the VIA Survey of Character Strengths and the Birkman Method.

Some argue that focusing only on the positive is not the optimal way to spur improvement; criticism

and realistic self-assessments also contribute to better performance.

What’s Next

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What’s Next

Increasingly, companies are abandoning brand-name and open-source tools in favor of bespoke

personality tests. The goal is to improve hiring practices by identifying high performers in given

roles and then reverse-engineering job descriptions on the basis of their traits.

Some academics are skeptical of these products, partly because of the proprietary nature of the

firms’ methodologies. But many believe that advances in neuroscience and in tools for statistical

analysis will yield a reliable way to identify the traits that lead to a high-performing workforce.

Given the potential payoff, companies will continue to invest in personality screening as they battle

for competitive advantage in a knowledge economy.

Eben Harrell is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review.

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gajapathi kannan 2 hours ago

This sounds very much like Disc (S and C combined as Guardians, D split into Pioneers and Drivers, I left unchanged).

It will be interesting to see how this changes diverse group working effectively vs many other tools like this. If a team

is not effective its not because they use wrong tool.

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Attachment 2

Session 5 Discussion Board Paper Exemplar

Exemplar 1

OD Problems

Organization Development practitioners are often referenced as “change agents,”

as their primary goal is to implement interventions for client organizations who seek a

solution to their presenting problem. For a change agent to determine the underlying, or

root cause, of a client’s problem, they must use data gathering to collect relevant

information, diagnose the present condition, and provide feedback. Data gathering is

the most effective way that a practitioner can learn about an organization’s problem and

provide a valuable intervention (Anderson, 2017, pg. 160).

There are five data gathering methods change agents may use depending on the

client’s present situation: interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, and

unobtrusive measures. The methodology selected will be dependent upon the cost to the

company in respects to time and money, the ease of accessibility, the relevance to the

problem, the accuracy of the data gathered from the method, and the overall flexibility

of the chosen method (Anderson, 2017, pgs. 157-159). One of the more common

methods used is surveys, as it allows practitioners to target a larger audience. For

smaller groups, practitioners may opt to use interviews if they seek personal

perspectives or focus groups geared towards group discussion. Practitioners can also

participate in intrusive (observations) or unobtrusive measures, like researching

historical data, official documents, and client databases. Regardless of what method is

used, OD practitioners must maintain the integrity of the data collected and ensure that

all responses remain anonymous when submitting findings to their client to avoid any

ethical dilemma (Anderson, 2017, pg. 160).

Depending on the scope of work, an OD practitioner can end up collecting

exceedingly large amounts of information that they then must analyze and interpret for

their client, before finally providing feedback. A diagnosis is a description of how the

organization is currently functioning, as well as provides the information necessary to

design change interventions (Foster, 2013). It is important to remember that some data

is more useful than other when designing change interventions. Data should be relevant,

influential, descriptive, selective, sufficient, and specific (Anderson, 2017, pgs. 181-182).

When a practitioner provides feedback to their client, it is important for them to not

omit or doctor any data, as well as be prepared for client resistance.

When there are presenting problems in my organization, the data gathering

process is often spear headed by our Human Resource department. The department will

engage with organizational members by sending our organization-wide surveys. All

participants remain anonymous and it allows HR to collect data that will hopefully aide

in locating a solution to the underlying issues. The surveys are well crafted and remain

neutral in tone, which makes them more reliable when analyzing the results. I think the

only issue with this program is that the company handles this process internally, where

there can be biased or “tired” perspectives. Ideally, it would be nice for them to

implement an outside consultant who can gather information and provide the entire

(unbiased) picture to our organization.

Resources:

Anderson, D. L. (2017). Organization development: the process of leading

organizational change. Los Angeles: SAGE

Foster, C. (2013, August 05). The Diagnostic Phase. Retrieved October 01, 2017, from

http://organisationdevelopment.org/about-od/the-od-cycle/the-diagnostic-

phase/

Exemplar 2

Chapter 7 touches on the importance of collecting valuable, useful, and correct

client data by eliminating non-factors and focusing on the important issues. An idea

discussed by Nadler (1977) “First, good data collection generates information about

organizational functioning, effectiveness, and health.” (Andersen, 2016, p 137)

Organizations can get bogged down with useless information and suffer from focusing

on unnecessary data that will only hinder them from success. Assembling, analyzing,

adjusting, and integrating correct data and executing a correct plan of attack can

galvanize the organization and inspire innovative ideas in change and direction an

organization needs. Noolan (2006) recommends a five-step process for data gathering:

Determine approach to be used, announce project, prepare for data collection, collect

data, do data analysis and presentation” which encapsulates the idea on importance of

proper data collecting. OD Practitioners use five common methods of data gathering to

explore problems: “Interviews, focus groups, surveys/questionnaires, observations,

unobtrusive measure.” (Andersen, 2016, p 139) Each of these methods thoroughly

demonstrated their importance to data gathering. Starting with Interviewing: “The

primary advantages of interviewing as a method for data gathering include the ability to

understand a person’s experience and to follow up on areas of interest.” (Andersen,

2016, p 140) Interviewing must be examined from multiple perspectives because of the

information being provided is from only one perspective. To alleviate this problem

there is a 6-step system of guidelines in interviewing to follow which are: Prepare an

interview guide, select participants, contact participants and schedule interviews, begin

the interview and establish rapport, conduct the interview by following the interview

guide, close the interview.” (Andersen, 2016, p 140) Preparing an interview guide with a

semi-structured format using open-ended questions will allow the interviewer to probe

and explore areas that were not originally predicted. Selecting interviewees can be done

at random or using a snowball sampling however you have to be aware of the

interpretation and the individuals values when choosing for the interview. When

contacting an interviewee, it is important to be appreciative of the time and opportunity

they have presented you with. Alleviate interviewee’s stressors initially with broad

general subject questions in effort to gain authentic responses throughout the interview

process. “Conduct the interview by following the interview guide, straying from it when

appropriate.” (Andersen, 2016, p 143) All interviews should conclude with asking the

interview if they have any questions and what the following procedure will be. Strong

interview tips discussed where listening, avoiding disagreements, and take notes. Focus

groups where then expanded upon demonstrating small groups of personnel who

discuss questions and collaborate on an answer. They invite innovation and diverse

ideas discussed within the group that help to expand ideas on the certain situations.

Conducting a focus group should follow a similar process to interviewing: prepare an

interview guide, select participants, hold the focus group, and conclude the meeting.

Some tips for successful focus groups are listening, maintaining objectivity, strategic

abilities for combative issues, and to have multi-interviewers in effort to obtain the most

information possible. The next method of surveys and questioners explore the wide

range of issues. They are typically instrumental in promoting change. (Andersen, 2016)

Do to technological advances, they are easy to distribute and administer when executed

properly and efficiently. Observing personnel in the field can also yield valuable

information. Observations allow for better understanding of environment and culture

of the employees. However, data that is gathered is usually filtered through the observer

and the observation itself could change the behavior of the employees themselves.

While performing observations some successful approaches that were touched on were

showing interests, getting permission, deciding on the structure, taking notes, and using

multiple observers at multiple locations. Unobtrusive measures method is data that

already exists and is readily available. These types of data are historical, official

documents, data bases, online and physical environments, and language use. Some

downfalls with implementing unobtrusive measures is it is resource intensive, intrusive,

overanalyzed, and misinterpreted. Each of these methods have their advantages and

disadvantages but with the proper execution on determining the correct approach can

lead to valuable improvements. Sometimes a balance of the methods based on the

organization will be the correct approach.

Chapter 8 discussed the importance of the proper diagnosis and feedback stages

from the data gathered in chapter 7’s interviews, focus groups, surveys/questionnaires,

observations, and unobtrusive measures methods. Here is where the diagnosis and

feedback stage typically turns to the consultants do to the tunnel vision of managers.

Similar to observations mentioned in chapter 7, different situations and interactions are

viewed differently and typically only from one perspective. An exterior consultant can

diagnose and see multiple perspectives that can help with the communication gaps

between employees. At the same time however, there are a couple mistakes they

mentioned that consultants often make by trying to tackle the issue single-handedly as

well as not looking at the issue as a process and only as an event. Some activities to

avoid such an error mentioned are: Analyze the data by sorting them into key themes,

interpret the data, select and prioritize the right issues that will “energize” the client.

Data is typically separated into two methods those being deductive and inductive

analysis. Deductive analysis explores integrating a model into the consultants skill set

to make coding data easier, aid data interpretation, as well as contribute to better

communication with the clients. Inductive analysis has fewer constraints on the data to

try and get a “feel” for the organization. Like anything evolving, i.e. an organization,

there is no absolute correct approach and developing a balance in analyzing the data

needs to be adjusted accordingly to the situations. Statistical analysis can be extremely

useful but overwhelming at the same time. I for one use statistical analysis in estimating

on a regular basis. The results I receive for a few examples are: are we competitive with

our bids, who and when are we winning work with certain clients, and how many

projects we secure in comparison to how many bids we put out to clients. What I have

learned from these results like the chapter mentions, my boss frequently does not need

the data during analyzing, but simply what my approach to certain clients will be and

the end results. The statistics are there for me to better be able to explain the reasoning

and hopefully positive results for our approach to situations. A few steps we can take to

authenticate proper data are mentioned as a three step process: Re-sort, get help, and

ask the client. Following these three steps can keep the consultant from following

inaccurate or useless data for an organization. Moreover, the five step process of what

data to present to the client are as follows: relevant, manageable, descriptive, selective,

and sufficient and specific once the data is analyzed. Once the analytics are complete,

the delivery of feedback is an important skill to develop. From my studies, feedback

seems to be an underutilized as well as misused by organizations consistently.

Communication transparency within an organization is a necessity and undervalued

skill in keeping employees motivated, secure with their job, and removing any doubts

that may creep into mind when it is just status quo around the organization. We all

know nothing last forever right? This I believe is the driving force for speculation and

insecurity which could be eliminating with proper feedback exercises. Structured

meetings and understanding the environment were stated as having a huge impact on

either the acceptance or resistance of the information in the feedback process. Tailoring

the correct information to the client’s needs based on the data collected is the most

important issue in the feedback process. A few examples listed in the delivery of

feedback the correct way might be the choice of language, reemphasis on strengths, and

provide quantitative data to justify the feedback given. Like all information in business,

a practitioner should act ethically with the information collected and fulfill their

fiduciary duty of transparency with the client’s information. Lastly, resistance was

discussed in great detail about how implementing change can affect the organizations

personnel. Putting a political like spin on resistance, they demonstrated how resistance

can be a good thing by clarifying the purpose for the change, reemphasizing the

importance of the change in conversations, elevate awareness in the quality for the

change, and provide valuable observations. Resistance can be displayed in 14 ways as

the chapter mentions by clients with “Give me more detail, flood you with detail, time,

impracticality, I’m not surprised, attack, confusion, silence, intellectualizing, moralizing,

compliance, methodology, flight into health, and pressing for solutions.” (Andersen,

2016, p 191) Managing this resistance to change is an ability successful managers are

able to provide to keep employees focus on the correct path of the desire direction of the

organization.

Reference:

Anderson, Donald L. Organization development: The process of leading organizational change. Sage

Publications, 2016.

Attachment 3

Session 5 Discussion Board Paper Exemplar

Exemplar 1

OD Problems

Organization Development practitioners are often referenced as “change agents,”

as their primary goal is to implement interventions for client organizations who seek a

solution to their presenting problem. For a change agent to determine the underlying, or

root cause, of a client’s problem, they must use data gathering to collect relevant

information, diagnose the present condition, and provide feedback. Data gathering is

the most effective way that a practitioner can learn about an organization’s problem and

provide a valuable intervention (Anderson, 2017, pg. 160).

There are five data gathering methods change agents may use depending on the

client’s present situation: interviews, focus groups, surveys, observations, and

unobtrusive measures. The methodology selected will be dependent upon the cost to the

company in respects to time and money, the ease of accessibility, the relevance to the

problem, the accuracy of the data gathered from the method, and the overall flexibility

of the chosen method (Anderson, 2017, pgs. 157-159). One of the more common

methods used is surveys, as it allows practitioners to target a larger audience. For

smaller groups, practitioners may opt to use interviews if they seek personal

perspectives or focus groups geared towards group discussion. Practitioners can also

participate in intrusive (observations) or unobtrusive measures, like researching

historical data, official documents, and client databases. Regardless of what method is

used, OD practitioners must maintain the integrity of the data collected and ensure that

all responses remain anonymous when submitting findings to their client to avoid any

ethical dilemma (Anderson, 2017, pg. 160).

Depending on the scope of work, an OD practitioner can end up collecting

exceedingly large amounts of information that they then must analyze and interpret for

their client, before finally providing feedback. A diagnosis is a description of how the

organization is currently functioning, as well as provides the information necessary to

design change interventions (Foster, 2013). It is important to remember that some data

is more useful than other when designing change interventions. Data should be relevant,

influential, descriptive, selective, sufficient, and specific (Anderson, 2017, pgs. 181-182).

When a practitioner provides feedback to their client, it is important for them to not

omit or doctor any data, as well as be prepared for client resistance.

When there are presenting problems in my organization, the data gathering

process is often spear headed by our Human Resource department. The department will

engage with organizational members by sending our organization-wide surveys. All

participants remain anonymous and it allows HR to collect data that will hopefully aide

in locating a solution to the underlying issues. The surveys are well crafted and remain

neutral in tone, which makes them more reliable when analyzing the results. I think the

only issue with this program is that the company handles this process internally, where

there can be biased or “tired” perspectives. Ideally, it would be nice for them to

implement an outside consultant who can gather information and provide the entire

(unbiased) picture to our organization.

Resources:

Anderson, D. L. (2017). Organization development: the process of leading

organizational change. Los Angeles: SAGE

Foster, C. (2013, August 05). The Diagnostic Phase. Retrieved October 01, 2017, from

http://organisationdevelopment.org/about-od/the-od-cycle/the-diagnostic-

phase/

Exemplar 2

Chapter 7 touches on the importance of collecting valuable, useful, and correct

client data by eliminating non-factors and focusing on the important issues. An idea

discussed by Nadler (1977) “First, good data collection generates information about

organizational functioning, effectiveness, and health.” (Andersen, 2016, p 137)

Organizations can get bogged down with useless information and suffer from focusing

on unnecessary data that will only hinder them from success. Assembling, analyzing,

adjusting, and integrating correct data and executing a correct plan of attack can

galvanize the organization and inspire innovative ideas in change and direction an

organization needs. Noolan (2006) recommends a five-step process for data gathering:

Determine approach to be used, announce project, prepare for data collection, collect

data, do data analysis and presentation” which encapsulates the idea on importance of

proper data collecting. OD Practitioners use five common methods of data gathering to

explore problems: “Interviews, focus groups, surveys/questionnaires, observations,

unobtrusive measure.” (Andersen, 2016, p 139) Each of these methods thoroughly

demonstrated their importance to data gathering. Starting with Interviewing: “The

primary advantages of interviewing as a method for data gathering include the ability to

understand a person’s experience and to follow up on areas of interest.” (Andersen,

2016, p 140) Interviewing must be examined from multiple perspectives because of the

information being provided is from only one perspective. To alleviate this problem

there is a 6-step system of guidelines in interviewing to follow which are: Prepare an

interview guide, select participants, contact participants and schedule interviews, begin

the interview and establish rapport, conduct the interview by following the interview

guide, close the interview.” (Andersen, 2016, p 140) Preparing an interview guide with a

semi-structured format using open-ended questions will allow the interviewer to probe

and explore areas that were not originally predicted. Selecting interviewees can be done

at random or using a snowball sampling however you have to be aware of the

interpretation and the individuals values when choosing for the interview. When

contacting an interviewee, it is important to be appreciative of the time and opportunity

they have presented you with. Alleviate interviewee’s stressors initially with broad

general subject questions in effort to gain authentic responses throughout the interview

process. “Conduct the interview by following the interview guide, straying from it when

appropriate.” (Andersen, 2016, p 143) All interviews should conclude with asking the

interview if they have any questions and what the following procedure will be. Strong

interview tips discussed where listening, avoiding disagreements, and take notes. Focus

groups where then expanded upon demonstrating small groups of personnel who

discuss questions and collaborate on an answer. They invite innovation and diverse

ideas discussed within the group that help to expand ideas on the certain situations.

Conducting a focus group should follow a similar process to interviewing: prepare an

interview guide, select participants, hold the focus group, and conclude the meeting.

Some tips for successful focus groups are listening, maintaining objectivity, strategic

abilities for combative issues, and to have multi-interviewers in effort to obtain the most

information possible. The next method of surveys and questioners explore the wide

range of issues. They are typically instrumental in promoting change. (Andersen, 2016)

Do to technological advances, they are easy to distribute and administer when executed

properly and efficiently. Observing personnel in the field can also yield valuable

information. Observations allow for better understanding of environment and culture

of the employees. However, data that is gathered is usually filtered through the observer

and the observation itself could change the behavior of the employees themselves.

While performing observations some successful approaches that were touched on were

showing interests, getting permission, deciding on the structure, taking notes, and using

multiple observers at multiple locations. Unobtrusive measures method is data that

already exists and is readily available. These types of data are historical, official

documents, data bases, online and physical environments, and language use. Some

downfalls with implementing unobtrusive measures is it is resource intensive, intrusive,

overanalyzed, and misinterpreted. Each of these methods have their advantages and

disadvantages but with the proper execution on determining the correct approach can

lead to valuable improvements. Sometimes a balance of the methods based on the

organization will be the correct approach.

Chapter 8 discussed the importance of the proper diagnosis and feedback stages

from the data gathered in chapter 7’s interviews, focus groups, surveys/questionnaires,

observations, and unobtrusive measures methods. Here is where the diagnosis and

feedback stage typically turns to the consultants do to the tunnel vision of managers.

Similar to observations mentioned in chapter 7, different situations and interactions are

viewed differently and typically only from one perspective. An exterior consultant can

diagnose and see multiple perspectives that can help with the communication gaps

between employees. At the same time however, there are a couple mistakes they

mentioned that consultants often make by trying to tackle the issue single-handedly as

well as not looking at the issue as a process and only as an event. Some activities to

avoid such an error mentioned are: Analyze the data by sorting them into key themes,

interpret the data, select and prioritize the right issues that will “energize” the client.

Data is typically separated into two methods those being deductive and inductive

analysis. Deductive analysis explores integrating a model into the consultants skill set

to make coding data easier, aid data interpretation, as well as contribute to better

communication with the clients. Inductive analysis has fewer constraints on the data to

try and get a “feel” for the organization. Like anything evolving, i.e. an organization,

there is no absolute correct approach and developing a balance in analyzing the data

needs to be adjusted accordingly to the situations. Statistical analysis can be extremely

useful but overwhelming at the same time. I for one use statistical analysis in estimating

on a regular basis. The results I receive for a few examples are: are we competitive with

our bids, who and when are we winning work with certain clients, and how many

projects we secure in comparison to how many bids we put out to clients. What I have

learned from these results like the chapter mentions, my boss frequently does not need

the data during analyzing, but simply what my approach to certain clients will be and

the end results. The statistics are there for me to better be able to explain the reasoning

and hopefully positive results for our approach to situations. A few steps we can take to

authenticate proper data are mentioned as a three step process: Re-sort, get help, and

ask the client. Following these three steps can keep the consultant from following

inaccurate or useless data for an organization. Moreover, the five step process of what

data to present to the client are as follows: relevant, manageable, descriptive, selective,

and sufficient and specific once the data is analyzed. Once the analytics are complete,

the delivery of feedback is an important skill to develop. From my studies, feedback

seems to be an underutilized as well as misused by organizations consistently.

Communication transparency within an organization is a necessity and undervalued

skill in keeping employees motivated, secure with their job, and removing any doubts

that may creep into mind when it is just status quo around the organization. We all

know nothing last forever right? This I believe is the driving force for speculation and

insecurity which could be eliminating with proper feedback exercises. Structured

meetings and understanding the environment were stated as having a huge impact on

either the acceptance or resistance of the information in the feedback process. Tailoring

the correct information to the client’s needs based on the data collected is the most

important issue in the feedback process. A few examples listed in the delivery of

feedback the correct way might be the choice of language, reemphasis on strengths, and

provide quantitative data to justify the feedback given. Like all information in business,

a practitioner should act ethically with the information collected and fulfill their

fiduciary duty of transparency with the client’s information. Lastly, resistance was

discussed in great detail about how implementing change can affect the organizations

personnel. Putting a political like spin on resistance, they demonstrated how resistance

can be a good thing by clarifying the purpose for the change, reemphasizing the

importance of the change in conversations, elevate awareness in the quality for the

change, and provide valuable observations. Resistance can be displayed in 14 ways as

the chapter mentions by clients with “Give me more detail, flood you with detail, time,

impracticality, I’m not surprised, attack, confusion, silence, intellectualizing, moralizing,

compliance, methodology, flight into health, and pressing for solutions.” (Andersen,

2016, p 191) Managing this resistance to change is an ability successful managers are

able to provide to keep employees focus on the correct path of the desire direction of the

organization.

Reference:

Anderson, Donald L. Organization development: The process of leading organizational change. Sage

Publications, 2016.