Business Planning

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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.

Leadership

11 Leadership Styles That Shape A Winning Organization

Building and shaping the culture of an organization begins with the behavior of the leaders. When leaders are behaviorally smart, and understand their leadership and communication style, they are more likely to set the kind of example they want everyone to follow.

There is no one leadership style fits all. The key, through self-awareness, is to find the balance that works with the teams you lead.

The Fast-Paced Leader

A leader who is fast paced, logical, challenging and tends to be critical may well deliver results, but can damage the talent they are responsible for leading. This style of leadership births a culture of stress, staff turnover and unwillingness to want to work under their leadership.

The Analytical Leader

The analytical, systematic, rigid, work by the rules, style of leadership may be a gatekeeper in terms of the processes of the organization, but can shut down innovation, spontaneity and the kind of creative approach to decision making required when things go wrong. This inflexible and rigid style of leadership does not inspire a culture of shared goals, thoughts and ideas.

The Skeptical Leader

In today’s rapidly changing market, businesses need innovation to survive. A skeptical leader who is not open to ideas, continually questions, is guarded and fails to build trust with their teams, will not create the kind of innovative culture that breeds success. Finding a successful balance between trust and a healthy skepticism that protects the business is tough.

The Competitive Leader

Similarly, leaders whose focus is solely on results, who is very competitive and wants always to be the one who sets the agenda, can push teams too hard to achieve goals. If these leaders see targets slipping away they can become manipulative and assume a driven style of leading that causes teams to crash and burn. This approach leads to a toxic culture – very difficult to recover from.

The Peoples Leader

Leaders who are highly people focused and expressive, can inspire passion and purpose, but if this style of leadership is not based on a foundation of a clearly articulated vision and mission, the culture they create is one of chaos and confusion – but fun. Leaders such as this need strong boundaries and need to learn to focus on one goal at a time.

The Risk-Taking Leader

Some leaders are comfortable with taking risks. They know their limitations and are comfortable with managing failure. However, when risk taking leads to over confidence, leaders will cut corners placing the business in jeopardy. Further, team members assume the culture of risk extends to them. This can lead to outlier behavior as they take inappropriate risk that undermines the organization.

The Creative Leader

The highly creative leader embraces new ideas, can be quite abstract in their thinking and open to imaginative approaches to decision making. However, such creative ideas need to have value, they can’t be random as this leads to a culture of anything goes. Creativity in leadership works when it’s part of a culture that is sensitive to teams, colleagues and the overall needs of the business.

The Cooperative Leader

Not many organizations survive on a cooperative style of decision making. When a leader is seen to be compliant others very quickly take advantage of them. They may well be able to communicate the vision and encourage input from teams, but without their own understanding of how to be behaviourally smart, this style of leaderships leads to the loudest voice getting their way. Further, it can lead to a culture of frustration as the leader seeks everyone’s opinion before making a call.

The Reserved Leader

Generally, the reserved, reflective leader tends to be a loner. They do not have an open-door policy and can be withdrawn. This style of leadership breeds a culture of suspicion and can lead to more outgoing team members driving the culture and making decisions that are inappropriate. However, when the leader understands the importance of building relationships, this style of leader is likely to be much more accurate in their instructions. They prefer to get things right first time and will reflect and focus on this.

The Patient Leader

When a leader is overly understanding and tolerant there will always be others who will take advantage of this. A culture of leniency will prevail and mistakes will be repeated leading to frustration and discontent from team members. Generally, this leader tries to create a culture of stability, believing that everyone will function more effectively within the environment. This approach only works when everyone has knowledge of each other’s preferred environment for working, otherwise the culture will be too relaxed.

The Spontaneous Leader

Spontaneity challenges many people who prefer leadership to be structured and predictable. A spontaneous leader creates a culture of impulsiveness and lack of planning and forethought. Spontaneity panics some people and can lead to disruption and stress in the workplace.

A Leader who can create a successful organization culture will not only understand their own natural behavior and how to manage it, they will invest time gaining insight into the behaviors of their teams. When they achieve this balance, the culture they create looks like this:

  • There is a shared vision – communicated in a way that everyone feels valued in role for delivering it
  • There are high levels of personal confidence
  • Everyone has a can-do attitude
  • Teams collectively look for solutions
  • The leaders listen to other ideas and suggestions
  • The individuals feel motivated
  • Attrition is low
  • There are clear goals and everyone knows where they fit in delivering them
  • Success is shared
  • Trust goes both ways
  • There are quantifiable measurable outcomes that demonstrate the culture of the organization
As a Financial Advisor, how do you advise Entrepreneurs

Advising Entrepreneurs, as a Financial Advisor

A good idea, a solid strategy, an understanding of clients genetic makeup could be a ticket to their success. But without this insight – failure is more likely both for you as an advisor and for the client who wants to be an entrepreneur.

DNA Behavior International’s extensive research from recent academic research and studies supports the findings that a person is born with entrepreneurial genes. Providing advice to a client like this could be tricky.

A key for financial advisors is to understand the genetic makeup of an entrepreneur. What makes them tick. All entrepreneurs have similar characteristics. Their minds are genetically wired in the same way. In other words, they tend to depart from established patterns of thinking. Their resilience and appetite for risk are inherent qualities. The more mindful financial advisors are in their understanding of the entrepreneurial mind, the greater the chances of success in delivering sound targeted advice.

The Business DNA research concludes that entrepreneurs have the following genes in descending order of dominance:

  1. Resilience (Measured by the Fast-Paced trait) – they achieve results, manage setbacks and rationally take quick action.
  2. Risk Taker (Measured by the Risk trait) – confidently take risks and tolerant of losses.
  3. Creativity (Measured by the Creative trait) – innovative with ideas and seeks to differentiate.
  4. Work Ethic and Focus (Measured by the Pioneering trait) – pursues goals and is often ambitious and competitive.
  5. Charisma (Measured by the Outgoing trait) – outgoing, connects with a lot of people and influences people to follow them.

Entrepreneurs are confident, passionate and determined to succeed. They are comfortable taking the risk and will invest heavily in their business venture, maybe to the detriment of other areas of their life.

However, being genetically predisposed towards entrepreneurialism doesn’t guarantee that an individual will become an entrepreneur and then whether they will succeed. It is not just enough to be born with the entrepreneurial gene, people must do something with it. Financial advisors need to be able to dig below the surface to understand the dynamics of the entrepreneurial client and then can target advice.

Behaviorally smart financial advisors should be:

  • Comfortable being a user to test the financial validity of an opportunity.
  • Confident enough to challenge ideas and ask questions.
  • Trustworthy enough to encourage yet confront when the entrepreneur’s ideas are spinning out of control.

When financial advisors understand that Entrepreneurs are driven by the need to succeed and control their own destiny, they are less likely to put them in a client box. They won’t deliver mundane advice but will recognize the importance of getting inside the mind and genetics of an entrepreneur.

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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Today I’m Going to be an Entrepreneur!

 

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Yes, there are times individuals wake up with an amazing idea and are convinced they are the next Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. They persuade themselves that they are an entrepreneur. They may even attract investment for their idea. The market might be excited by this new offering BUT the truth is that most entrepreneurs fail to get their businesses off the ground. Even if they do, building and sustaining a successful business is rare.

The 2015 US Census Bureau reports that 400,000 new businesses are started every year in the USA but that 470,000 are dying, a worrying statistic.

John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO of 20 years, says this – More than one-third of businesses today will not survive the next 10 years. Shikhar Ghos, in his recent Harvard University study, claimed that three out of every four venture-backed firms fail.

The strengths that make people entrepreneurs are counterbalanced by struggles that can get in the way of success. Without this self-understanding, decisions will be made that can cause the enterprises to fail.

Much research exists now to confirm that entrepreneurs are born and not made. Having conducted extensive research to validate these findings, DNA Behavior International has identified the top five (5) genetic traits that are to be found in entrepreneurs.

  1. Resilience (Measured by the Fast-Paced trait) – they achieve results, manage setbacks and rationally take quick action.
  2. Risk Taker (Measured by the Risk trait) – confidently take risks and tolerant of losses.
  3. Creativity (Measured by the Creative trait) – innovative with ideas and seeks to differentiate.
  4. Work Ethic and Focus (Measured by the Pioneering trait) – pursues goals and is often ambitious and competitive.
  5. Charisma (Measured by the Outgoing trait) – outgoing, connects with a lot of people and influences people to follow them.

Having these genetic traits does not guarantee success for entrepreneurs. Learning to be behaviourally smart in using the powerful genetic ingredients they were born with is more likely to deliver success.

Of the 5 identified entrepreneurial traits listed above – resilience leads the pack. Building a business, handling the enormous pressure of setbacks, rejection of ideas, sustaining a business, managing staff, and dealing with market expectations, will never be plain sailing. If you are ever to see blue water, understanding the importance of resilience is a key factor.

Through their DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process, the entrepreneurial genetic traits can be measured. The graphic below highlights, in order of strength, from the top down the behavioral factors (genes) which an entrepreneur exhibits:

FactorsPerformance

 

The resilience gene is measured by the fast-paced trait. When this trait measures more than 55 – results will be achieved, setbacks will be managed and the individual will be able to rationally take quick action in any given circumstance.

Success in business is rarely about how many challenges you face so much as it is a matter of how you respond to the challenges. Entrepreneurs who are behaviorally smart, and understand their personality and genetic makeup, will have a level of resilience which allows them to face an almost constant barrage of challenges without ever weakening their resolve or losing their passion.

Interestingly the DNA Behavior Research program found that when comparing entrepreneurs who had built a $10 million turnover business as against a $1 million turnover business, that all the key DNA factors do not measure differences in an overall sense, but they do measure stronger.

Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur? Are you heading up a business you founded? Have you taken over a family business? Whatever the situation that brought you to this season of life, if you don’t know your entrepreneurial traits and understand how to manage them, and perhaps more importantly, how to fill the gaps in your talent, you may be heading for the failure statistic graveyard.

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

The Battle of the Entrepreneur Sexes

Battle of the Entrepreneurial Sexes

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Are there differences between men and women entrepreneurs? According to Harvard Business Review, there are!

While men and women rated themselves similarly on many dimensions, women were more confident in their ability to efficiently manage operations and in their vision and influence, while men expressed greater confidence in their comfort with uncertainty and finance and financial management.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2014 Women’s Report, women around the world have narrowed the gender gap in entrepreneurship by 6% from 2012 to 2014. They are finding paths to launching more businesses in industrialized and developing nations, according to a new report. On average, more women globally are taking advantage of educational gains and perceived economic opportunities to start businesses that can pave the way for financial independence.

In their United States Study titled, Force Multipliers How Three Fundamental Adaptations Can Help Women Entrepreneurs Scale Big, Ernst & Young found that:

  1. In the US, women start businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men and are at least half-owners of 46% of privately held firms.
  2. In 2015, the number of enterprises with full or partial female ownership was expected to increase by nearly 7% with sales growing to reach $2.967 trillion, representing nearly 18% of projected GDP in 100 countries, as measured by the World Bank.
  3. Yet, only 2% of women-owned businesses in the US break $1 million in revenue
  4. Businesses owned by men are 3.5 times more likely to reach the $1 million threshold.
  5. Women-owned businesses currently employ 7.8 million workers in the US and generate $1.3 trillion in revenue.

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However, in a Global survey conducted by the French bank BNP Paribas and consultancy firm Scorpio Partnership, their findings found that women-run businesses reported average annual sales of $9.1 million, while their male rivals manage about $8.4 million. Additionally, they discovered that female entrepreneurs launch more businesses (4.9) than male entrepreneurs (4.3).

Ernst and Young conclude by suggesting entrepreneurs develop a flexible, adaptive leadership style, highlighting the need to be self-aware and to know when to change focus, and how.

This last observation from Ernst and Young, i.e., entrepreneurs develop a flexible, adaptive leadership style, highlighting the need to be self-aware and to know when to change focus, and how holds the key to understanding the mind and genetics of entrepreneurs, regardless of gender.

DNA Behavior International, through extensive research using their highly-validated Business DNA Natural Behavior Discovery Process, has identified several key personality traits that define entrepreneurs, and detailed in their latest book, “Mastering Your Entrepreneurial Style“. These findings go to the core of individuals knowing themselves and understanding their hard-wired genetics. The Discovery process specifically reveals, in addition to the hard-wired personality traits, the characteristics inherently ingrained into successful entrepreneurs, regardless of gender. This is the “go to” behavior which repeatedly reveals itself under pressure, during all the stages of the entrepreneurial journey.

The natural hard-wired behavior reflects a person’s genetics and the experiences from the first three (3) years of their life. So, we recommend the use of the Business DNA Natural Behavior Discovery Process to measure a person’s entrepreneurial genes.

Regardless of the success of the individual sexes – each demonstrates certain degrees of measurable traits that determine whether they have the entrepreneurial gene.

The five (5) key traits of an entrepreneur are listed below Figure 1. Figure 2 identifies how these traits break down between men and women entrepreneurs.

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

Understanding how to manage and use these entrepreneurial traits determines success or failure in terms of the enterprise, regardless of what that is.

Finally, the National Council of Women in Technology (NCWIT), whose analysts assessed data to discover the differences between men and women entrepreneurs determined, there was almost no difference between men and women company founders

  • Both had an equally strong passion for building wealth.
  • Both started their companies to capitalize on business ideas.
  • Both enjoyed the culture of startups.
  • Both were tired of working for a boss.
  • Both had a long-standing desire to own their own businesses.
  • Their average ages at startup were the same.
  • Men and women were equally likely to have children at home when they started their businesses. (However, men were more likely to be married.)

Do you have what it takes to be an Entrepreneur?

It is more than a desire to control your own destiny, though that’s a major key.
Not every person possesses all the qualities required to be successful in business. Whats important is to understand if you have the entrepreneurial genetics. Completing the DNA Behavior Discovery process is a first step to revealing your personality traits.

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

We Cant Agree on Anything.

We Can’t Agree On Anything

Nothing is more exasperating than watching a group of smart, qualified, intelligent executives deliberate about a key strategy, and fail to reach an agreement. In frustration, the team turns to the CEO to make the decision. Yet this is counterproductive, as whatever the CEO decides, some of the team will resent – and that resentment leads to a lack of a commitment to delivering an outcome.

It’s even more frustrating when attempting to reach a forward-thinking strategic plan for the business.

How you might ask, can this be so? These people are our leaders. They set the direction of the organization. We rely on them to make sensible decisions that can impact our careers. So, how come they are in disarray?

The CEO, after a few attempts to reach an agreement, called in a DNA Behavior facilitator to oversee the discussions.

These are just a few questions that went through my head as I watched, incredulous, as a significant group of executives began the process of planning for the next stage of the company’s direction.

As I sat to one side and observed their interaction, it was clear the room was heavy with bias, one-upmanship, egotism, and overconfidence pitched against compliance, indifference, and timidity. The assertive ones held their ground. The more vocal got louder. And the reflective and thoughtful seemed to be brooding.

Nothing was being resolved. Every stake put in the ground took the team further away from making decisions.

The DNA Behavior Solution

Each member of the team completed the Communication DNA Discovery Process, an assessment predominantly focused on revealing individual communication styles. Patterns quickly emerged showing the relationship gaps and areas where communication was breaking down, and why.

Independent research shows that Communication DNA leads to solving 87% of business issues, which are hidden as they are communication-related.

Once the team understood how their communication style was getting in the way of bringing their talent and behavioral smarts to the table, outcomes began to change.

As the Goal Setting individuals encouraged input from the Information and Stability individuals and the Lifestyle individuals used their approach to encourage everyone of the importance to reach a solution – suddenly everyone felt they had a voice. And rather than chaos, a solid structure began to take shape.

The team was then able to focus on their task. Egos, bias, and intolerance were replaced with listening, acknowledging input, and intelligent suggestions – a lively, but meaningful debate.

CDNA

As the task proceeded, the Lifestyle individuals suggested a flow chart to capture ideas. The Information individuals populated the flow chart, carefully catching ideas and suggestions. And the Goal Setters captured the key milestones for taking the organization into the next season and all agreed that it was a job well done.

From my perspective, the lesson learned for them as a strategic planning team of executives was the importance of understanding how to communicate with each other. Without the Communication DNA Discovery Process, this team would have failed to meet its obligations to set out the strategic plan for the next season. Important skills and talents would not have been brought to the table. Individuals would have left frustrated, and the business would have suffered without a cohesive sense of direction.

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