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When ‘Brilliant’ Is Not Enough

The New York Times covers several aspects of the Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s demise. It references the culture in the organization, speed of growth, shareholder concerns, and the aggressiveness of the leader.

In specific, it highlights Kalanick’s pattern of risk taking and references his lack of integrity. For example, the many years where Uber engaged in a worldwide program to deceive authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been banned.

In other reads, Kalanick’s unhinged confidence and competitiveness are hailed as examples of what makes him such a brilliant entrepreneur. Yet he is prone to trash-talking and tantrums, further revealing that his position as a CEO/Manager is highly suspect.

These observations highlight the fact that he is not self-aware and will continue to simply get in the way of his own success. Had he been behaviorally smart, he would have known that while entrepreneurs clearly need the talent to start a business, they also need much more to grow into successful CEO/Managers.

Kalanick says this about himself, “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.”

But when an entrepreneur has a pattern of risk-taking and lack of integrity then continues to present himself as bullet-proof, the behavior results in poor management. This is where genius can become insanity and entrepreneurship crosses over into illicit behavior.

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No single personality type makes up an entrepreneur – but there are wise steps that can be taken to manage the talents required to be a successful one. For example:

  • Managing creativity
  • Managing risk-taking
  • Developing innovation
  • Understanding personal EQ
  • Working with and through people

Highly innovative and creative individuals who see themselves as entrepreneurs (defined by Dictionary.com as those who identify a need—independent of product, service, industry or market) should take seriously the need to understand their personality before venturing into starting a business.

The DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process is a highly-validated discovery platform that predicts behavioral responses through identifying personality traits, attitudes about money, risk tolerances, and behavioral biases. Independent research shows DNA Behavior’s behavioral intelligence solutions lead to:

  • Closing the 60% engagement black hole caused by the relationship gaps in employee and client interactions
  • Increasing the suitability of client solutions offered to 99.75%
  • Improved employee productivity by up to 40% and increased revenue by over 23% a year
  • Identifying the 5% of employees who are potentially rogue, costing 5% of revenue in losses per year

As Travis Kalanick mourns his ignominious fall from grace, one thing is for sure – when he starts a new venture (and he will) his first step should be to understand how to manage his behaviors. And maybe then he can begin to understand why he thought the number one commandment he set for Uber employees was – Always Be Hustlin. Not the smartest of values to build a business upon, but a very clear indicator of the person who birthed the phrase.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Fix or Finesse: Your Culture Needs Attention

Every organization has a culture – as a leader you need to know whether the culture is healthy or not. Toxic culture must be addressed but so should healthy culture to see if it needs tweaking.

Changing the culture in an organization can be a nightmare for a leader. If a change in leadership is because of a poor performing business, it can become incredibly frustrating for a new CEO to have to sideline results to focus on changing the culture.

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But here’s a thought; what is your culture? Would it stand up to scrutiny? Are your values open to scrutiny both in your personal and business life?

Investopedia defines Corporate Culture as “the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.”

Success comes from understanding the behaviors and motivations of the people. Only then can cultural change have a hope of succeeding. Using a highly-validated discovery such as DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, leaders can identify, in advance, the people’s ability to cope with cultural change and how it should be introduced and communicated. Only then can CEOs know that whatever they introduce will work.

Culture change requires strong, focused, versatile and decisive leadership. A person’s performance needs to be addressed in relation to their behaviors and personality, not necessarily to their ability. Knowing an individual’s personality traits in advance, and how, or if, they fit the proposed organizational culture and values, can make all the difference in terms of the success or failure of the proposed changes.

There are several keys for CEOs that will support their cultural change efforts.

  1. If no one is talking and boasting about the culture of the organization, it’s a sure sign there isn’t one, or if there is, it’s toxic.
  2. It starts at the top – often said, but rarely practiced. A leader who knows their own personality, their EQ, their communication style, their bias (yes, we all have them) and their own personal values, are more likely to be able to introduce cultural change than a leader who does not have this insight.
  3. Measure the current culture – maybe not everything needs to change.
  4. The use of a validated personality discovery process can quickly identify those able to manage cultural change and who are behaviorally smart enough to capture culture and vision quickly and run with it.
  5. Data that delivers accurate information about people can identify quickly those who can be used as ambassadors to manage the introduction of cultural change. (And it won’t always be the obvious employees)
  6. Hiring – audit your hiring processes – introduce a validated personality profiling system. Set a hiring benchmark. Don’t settle for second best. Re-training existing employees could be a more effective option.
  7. When introducing a cultural change training program, keep auditing it to ensure it’s relevant and working.
  8. CEOs – it’s important not underestimate the power of your regular communication with the business. Use your communication to acknowledge the people who have disproportionate influence in the organization and are working with you to introduce the cultural change.
  9. If there are hot spots and resistance to the cultural change, name and shame them.
  10. CEOs – remember to create a vision of what the future for the organization looks like after the cultural change.

In conclusion – here’s the prize: as the culture develops and individuals take responsibility for what happens in their work areas, problems are solved where they happen and by those affected. This frees up leadership to focus on the business and its opportunities.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

 

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What We’ve Learned From Bad Actors

As the debate around extreme vetting heightens in the US, the discussion is shifting from border controls to hiring practices. Many businesses are looking to improve their service offering through requiring hiring agents to identify, in advance, behaviors that could potentially bring down an organization. There have been too many examples over the years of rogue behavior, particularly in the financial sector, causing havoc and destruction to businesses and their customers. To name but a few:

  • Madoff
  • Lehman
  • Forbes
  • Corzine
  • Fannie Mae

Gone are the days when talent alone gets you a job. While this approach served organizations well in the past, Hirers are now being tasked with vetting for values; for indicators of malevolent behavior under pressure; for approach to money; for bias; for candidates, whose behavior is consistent with the organization’s beliefs, values and culture.

For example: In response to the many problems faced by the financial industry, FINRA set regulations in place to counter the growing numbers of cases involving illegal behavior on the part of executives in the industry. It stipulated that in addition to its normal oversight, it would be looking at:

  1. How businesses communicate and reinforce its culture directly, implicitly and through its reward system.
  2. What metrics are used to measure compliance with its cultural values?
  3. Implementation and consistent application of values throughout the organization.

HR departments, hiring organizations and executive search consultants are now under pressure to introduce #extremevetting using validated methods such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process, to reveal a range of behavioral strengths and limitations. Employers need HR departments and recruiters to get below the surface of candidates to reveal the behaviors that cannot easily be revealed through questioning. Employers are demanding a holistic personality approach, not just a range of complex questions and resumes to be the tools for selection, nor scanning their social media for clues.

While Big Data has a place, it cannot provide insight into the actual personality of individual prospective hires. People are unique; how they communicate, interact with each other, respond under pressure, manage their emotions, each of these will be different. Whatever the approach to building a picture of a candidate, a validated behavioral insights discovery procedure, such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process provides 91% accuracy.

The cost of a bad hire is not the only driver of employers, the growing concern is will this employee fit the values and culture, or bring down my business? Further, recruitment agencies and executive search organizations are concerned with protecting the integrity of their own business by requiring clients to fit the role in terms of both skills and personality.

Many are now turning to the application of behavioral insights not just with candidates, but also through administering the DNA Behavior Discovery process with the client.

Recruiters assess the manager and culture of the organization to ensure their selected candidates are not just suitable for posts, not just a good fit, but that they know in advance how to communicate with managers and understand the values and culture of the organization.

Behaviorally smart organizations, whether recruiters or employers, define their values in cultural terms. And they now require interview processes to focus on whether the new hires will fit the desired culture without a steep learning curve to get up to speed. So, not just in terms of a candidate’s performance but their individual values and understanding of culture must align as well.

This #extremevetting approach when partnered with DNA Behavior and their Behavioral Intelligence Solutions is a behaviorally smart first step in the hiring process.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance. No, Really!

UHNW global wealth is expected to reach $46.2 trillion US by 2020.

As many of these UHNW individuals reach their golden years there will be family conversations taking place that focus on the next generation and who will inherit what. Or will there be?

Rarely do we hear about or read articles that focus on wealth transfer conversations through the lens of the children. More often it’s the parent’s perspective; they make decisions for their children believing that they are setting them up for success. However, in many cases, the reading of the will is the first the kids hear of the parent’s plans.

Conversely, families that talk openly about money and have built a safe environment around the dinner table to discuss wealth, will have created a family dynamic within which succession planning is just one of many conversations.

Regardless the size of the family wealth, talking about dying, wills and inheritance within families is an emotional subject. Some family members cope well, others not so much. We all respond differently when under pressure, especially when emotions and close personal relationships are part of the scenario.

Families that have not made these topics part of normal family life will have a greater problem when estate planning becomes imminent. There will have been no discussion about preserving the inheritance. No consideration for the individual financial personalities of the inheritors. Families familiar with transferring generational wealth will have focused on training the next generation, listened to their whats and needs, and prepared each recipient based on their individual financial personality.

In the 2011 US Trust Research, their findings show that 84% of wealthy parents believed their children would benefit from meetings with financial advisors, but 59% had never even introduced their children to the advisors managing their assets. More than half had not fully disclosed their wealth to their children because they had not thought to do so.

By not communicating with their children:

  1. 60% of transitions failed due to a breakdown in communication and trust in the family unit
  2. 25% of failures in family wealth transfer were caused by inadequately prepared heirs
  3. 30% of family businesses survived to the 2nd generation and just 4% survived to the 3rd generation. Source: Independent Williams and Preisser Research

When discussing money and inheritance have not been part of normal family life, and heads of families believe they should be the main decision makers. The beneficiaries are left with no input. Many parents become overprotective of the family wealth, mainly because they read such statistics as the 70% failure rate when transferring family wealth from one generation to another, and the resulting loss of control of assets through mismanagement and poor investments.

The transition of wealth is very complex and in some cases, can reveal ugly behavior. Family members are all different, so are their attitudes about money. No longer are the kids isolated from what is happening in the world; they understand far more than parents often give them credit for. Healthy conversations about money and estate management ensure children won’t feel entitled to wealth, or become lazy and count only on inheritance.

When families speak freely about estate planning they can head off difficult situations, one being that the children don’t want the inheritance. Instead, they may:

  1. build a successful financial life for themselves and don’t need the family money.
  2. not want the family home as it would cost them a fortune to modernize it.
  3. not be interested in the family business as they are too busy running their own.
  4. be teaching values to their own children, requiring them to build wealth through their own hard work and diligent saving.

As lives become more mobile, some young people don’t want to be tied down to possessions that don’t fit in with a more disposable, digitized, transient lifestyle.

A good starting point is to uncover and understand each family member’s financial personality. DNA Behavior International offers a significant suite of tools to facilitate this discovery. Based on the outcomes, conversations are significantly more focused on the proper approach to address all involved about the transfer of wealth. These insights set the course for the formulation of the DNA Family Continuity Planning Vision. A process within which all opinions are valued in the family succession planning process and promote family harmony.

Beneficiaries have the right to know in advance what their financial future is likely to look like, as not everyone will be happy to receive an inheritance or be able to manage the responsibilities that come with it. Family dynamics, values, the amount of wealth to be distributed, and the maturity level and financial personality of heirs can vary dramatically from family to family. Better to know this up front so that plans can be made accordingly.

Rich dinner table conversations build sustainable relationships across generations, and it all begins with understanding one other’s financial personality.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Meeting Before The Meeting

Picture this – you’re heading to a potentially great business opportunity, one that could significantly shift your organization to the next level.

You are well prepared, have all your ducks in a row and as you arrive at the meeting place, realize, you have no idea how best to communicate with the CEO you are about to meet.

You see – so far the pitch has been via emails, attached marketing material, answered questions back and forth all leading to today. BUT no thought of how to communicate in a Behaviorally Smart way.

All the preparation in the world won’t get the deal if you have no idea how best to communicate when you are in the room.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. Made assumptions based on LinkedIn profiles; about me sections of websites; or Googled to find pen pictures, but the reality is – you don’t know me, and I don’t know you.

In her article The 5 Personality Traits That Make for a Better Life Science of Us Melissa Dahl makes this observation: people are complicated, perhaps more complicated than these (Big Five) five aspects of personality can adequately represent..

Yes, people are indeed complicated, but why couldn’t part of preparation for an event such as this include knowing in advance how individuals communicate; what their business approach style is, all of which would create a starting point to inform the meeting and with such powerful information build greater connection and trust.

The answer is simple DNA Natural Behavior Discovery puts you in the driving seat of your relationships, whether business or personal. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and can form the basis of every, and any connection. All it takes is emailing a link and asking the prospect, client, staff member to complete it. They complete a questionnaire, and a report is produced. But it doesn’t stop there – you can then compare your personality profile with the person you are about to engage with and produce a meeting report that will not only provide insight into how to communicate, but how best to present your offering.

This Behaviorally Smart approach is used in endless numbers of scenarios – to name just a few:

  • Financial advisor and client
  • Making a pitch to a VC
  • Hiring
  • Performance review
  • Building teams
  • Managing boardroom challenges
  • Selecting a mentor
  • Family succession planning and so much more.

With reliability factor of 91% and having been completed by millions of people – taking the DNA Behavior journey will not only set you up for success but set you apart from others regarding the professional way in which you approach business meetings.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Do Your Board Members Play Well With Others?

A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a corporation or organization. Source: Wikipedia According to surveys commissioned by the UK Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the most common topics of Boardroom disputes are:

  • 40.3% Financial, structural or procedural workings of the organization
  • 38.4% Personal behavior and attitudes of directors
  • 37.2% Strategy development, including mergers and acquisitions

The impact of Boardroom disputes on the business:

  • 49.3% Wasting management time
  • 44.9% Distracting from core business
  • 43.8% Reducing trust among board members

Frequency and difficulty of complicating factors:

  • 52.5% Issues over competing factors on the board
  • 49.6% Issues regarding the emotions of those involved in the dispute
  • 49.2% Conflict of personal or family interests versus interest of the company

Skills training those Board members most frequently want:

  • 74.8% Ability to deal with different personalities
  • 73.0% Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
  • 70.1% Ability to have difficult conversations
  • 69.5% Communication skills

From my personal experience – let me add a few more thoughts:

  • Do you know the individual talents of the Board members
  • Have you ever talked about the skill set they could bring to decision making

Are they a board member just because they have a marketable name – and they make your organization more appealing? If any of these thoughts sound an alarm – then reader – you are not acting Behaviorally Smart. A dysfunctional Board holds up decision making, causes headaches for the organization, and slows progress. It’s time to get in and sort them out. Remember, most Boards have subcommittees, so first find the root of the dysfunction. Consider this, board members are already successful in their own right, so they bring with them a significant array of useful talents. But they also bring ego, bias, and unchecked behaviors. So if board members are not in sync with one another and their focus is not on the role they have been asked to fulfill – agendas will be confused, decision-making will be more difficult, and the organization will suffer. Any decision-making body must be structured; not only regarding the way they conduct business but also from the standpoint that all members understand and respect each other’s opinion. This structure is not achievable if the board lacks understanding of the personalities, communication styles, attitude towards finances and biases in play. The decision-making process will be stunted or fall apart altogether. Dysfunctional Boardroom blog 1 The most effective way to assemble a cohesive board of directors is to have everyone complete a behavioral assessment such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process. This platform provides deep behavioral insights to predict business risks and bridge gaps in communication. It is a Behaviorally Smart approach to ensuring that the business of the Board is managed competently and wisely so that the organization can function well and deliver outstanding results. By discovering board member personality insights it is possible to predict the group dynamic, their challenges and of course any go to behavior under pressure that might cause operational risk and poor decision making. You will see below the surface of the individual, and this will significantly impact how they work together. Boards of directors are expected to perform, as in a fiduciary relationship, as an extended arm of shareholders in overseeing and controlling management activities in a manner that promotes shareholder interest. But when board members do not work well together, this type of environment stifles productivity and prevents board members from sharing constructive opinions. A meeting may become a venue for personal attacks rather than for focusing on coming to business decisions or providing constructive discussion. Five Keys to Boardroom Success

  1. Know the board members

a. Identify their talents and determine where they fit in overseeing the organization b. Discover their personality and communication style; this will radically impact the way in which the board is chaired, how discussions take place and more importantly, identify any potential behaviors that, under pressure, could gravely impact the business of the board.

2. Appoint a board member whose personality is that of a facilitator and is given the boardroom authority to manage the discussions

3. Appoint a highly creative, out of the box, thinker who may well be able to suggest solutions worthy of discussion that resolve a matter.

4. Conduct a specific talent discovery process and openly reveal the talent and experience in the room.

a. This shows the extent of the board room think tank b. This delivers respect as board members defer to the colleague with the greatest experience in a particular area c.This takes trust from management to a whole new level when they see the board members respect each other for the skills they bring to the table.

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5. Using the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, produce a boardroom team report that identifies the following:

a. Behavioral gaps needed to have a balanced viewpoint in the room

b. Strengths and limitations of the board members and how to use/manage them

i. What are the issues most likely to raise tensions?

ii. What are the bias and cultural challenges the group will face?

iii. What personality gaps persist?between key players such as the Chair and the CEO?

In conclusion: Jeffery A Sonnenfeld writing about good governance for the Harvard Business Review makes the following observation: For a board to truly fulfill its mission, it must monitor performance, advise the CEO, and provide connections with a broader world. ?It must become a robust team whose members know how to ferret out the truth, challenge one another, and even have a good fight now and then. https://hbr.org/what-makes-great-boards-great Only when you understand the personalities in the room can you determine whether the discussion is robust or chaotic.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.