How to tap into the cognitive diversity in your team and organisation

The gap between how teams are supposed to work and their practice is often huge – where productivity, creativity, and innovation suffer.

How do you effectively tap into the diverse work styles and perspectives of others when people:

  • Look at things very differently
  • Don’t get along
  • Can’t find common ground
  • Tolerate a few players dominating the conversation, decision making and pace
  • Let their emotions get in the way

While some leaders don’t recognise the profound differences in their people; others don’t know how to manage the gaps and tensions listed above.

Great minds don’t think alike. The potential of your team lies in their ability to collaborate to create new solutions to new problems.

Deloitte recently created a system called Business Chemistry identifying the four primary work styles and related strategies for accomplishing shared goals in teams. What’s unique is that the system is based on how people actually work in teams versus predicted behaviours from personality/behaviour profiling tools.

Speed up your ability to maximise the potential in your team.

Each of us are a composite of these four styles (most of our thinking/behaviour is aligned to two of them):

Pioneers: Big picture thinkers. Value possibility, creativity and imagination. They are adaptable and often speak first/think later.

Guardians: Prefer stability, structure, compliance and rigor. They value data, facts and details. They avoid confrontation.

Drivers: Focus on results, momentum and winning. They are curious, decisive and see things as black/white.

Integrators: Value connection, relationships and consensus.

The four styles give teams a common language and strategies for understanding how people can interact and work together to harness the potential of everyone in the team.

Top leaders tend to be Pioneers (who set the vision) or Drivers (who set the pace).

People who are the most introverted, most stressed and least adaptable are often led by those who are most extroverted, least stressed and most adaptable.

This research gives practical insights and suggestions for how to maximise the potential and diversity in any team. And even create positive friction. After all, differences make collaborations powerful.

Access the research through:

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