Team Development

Team Productivity

Accelerate Your Team Productivity

“Great managers would offer this advice: Focus on each person’s strengths and manage around his weaknesses… Help each person become more of who he already is. This radical insight is fueled by one simple insight: Each person is different.”
– Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, First, Break All the Rules

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. Source:
As a leader – with this thought in mind, how would you accelerate your team’s productivity as business emerges from a long lockout – these are important questions to ask and answer in order to get industry (in every sector) up and productive again. How effectively will your leadership style promote an atmosphere of ‘get up and go’ – or will it.

In most cases, a business runs on results, which if not achieved will ultimately cause it to fail. So, it is natural for people to become obsessively results-oriented. Is that your approach? The problem with an exclusively results-focused approach is it ignores the importance of relationships and communication, which are ironically significant contributors to achieving results.

Know Your People to Increase Productivity

Many organizations are approaching us to invest in DNA Behavior Natural Discovery services in order to understand at a deeper level how best to use and apply behavioral insights to get productivity climbing again. Apart from gaining important insight into whether a person is more results or relationship-focused, the outcomes highlight each team member’s strongest behavioral traits (or talents) which are foundational to team productivity.

This scientifically-based data gathering approach gives leaders and team members insight into strengths that can be guided to increase productivity. Further, it reveals areas of limitation that with coaching intervention can be managed. The information is delivered to you in real-time on any device. You don’t have to remember how to approach one of your team leaders just dial up their name and there is the information, at hand.

Business DNA Report

Behaviorally smart leaders are effective matchmakers, they take the right person with the right talents and match that person with the right tasks and responsibilities. The perfect match builds a person’s self-confidence and makes him/her want to work harder. It is not then, the leader who inspires. Rather it is the leader’s responsibility to help others inspire themselves.

How functional is your team?

Here are some points to ponder as you consider your team:

  • Have you reflected on why you are in your position and more importantly what your role should be now as the world exits from the pandemic shutdown?
  • Do you know what the unique behavioral talents of your colleagues are and how you intend to use them going forward?
  • Do you know how to capitalize on the differences in your team? Managing behavioral differences to get teams working more effectively together is where the real gold lies.
  • Is everyone on your team committed to the business? This question must be asked and answered. Having become overly familiar with ‘home/remote working’ are your people ready to get back to a building – OR is this a good time to completely review your organization’s structure. Let us know if this is what you need, we can help you.
  • Do you know how to adapt your communication to address others on their terms? This is increasing productivity 1-0-1. Get this right and teams will deliver the momentum for you.
  • Do your team members trust each other? A bigger question is do they trust you? When they see you investing into getting to know them better and working with their different communication, behavioral and talent styles, trust will be developed across the organization.
A Call to Action – We’re Here to Help

Regardless of whether or not you are prepared to invest time in profiling the behavioral styles of your team members, your team will benefit from each person being asked to consider the above questions. We encourage you to use DNA Behavior scientifically based insight as it is more measurable and facilitates the sharing of the information between the team members on a less emotional basis. Perhaps more importantly, you no longer have to lead on the premise of ‘one size fits all’, now you can inspire your team to greater productivity based on sound understanding of how best to motivate them as individuals.

Accelerate Your Team Productivity

Want to know more – try DNA Behavior free on us.
Why not talk to one of our consultants to get more information.

sustainable cultures built by managing differences

Sustainable Cultures Built By Managing Differences

This article first appeared on HR Management.

We previously focused on How would employees describe your culture? That is, culture and the role leadership has in shaping it.

Now, let’s talk about implementing culture. How do you gain the insights to identify talents and behaviors to deliver a healthy culture that leads to the delivery of productive business strategies?

Well like most things, it begins with the people. If leadership has little or no insight and understanding into the workplace characteristics and differentiators of their employees, no attempt to introduce a healthy culture will succeed. As over-used as the phrase its all about the people, may be these days, there is no denying that building a culture based on understanding the unique talents and behaviors of individuals should be at the top of corporate agendas.

A company’s culture is its personality; it’s the bringing together of the uniqueness of the individuals into a group of like-minded individuals whose mantra is, our behavior determines how things are done around here.

But the degree to which the culture is good or bad is determined not by complex formal cultural-change programs, but by understanding and respecting the differences in every interaction of individuals, their behaviors, their motivations, their talents, and their decision-making styles. That is, applying validated insights into their core personality.

When leadership invests in knowing their people, culture (of the good kind) begins. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it does happen.

So how to do this? Use a scientifically validated data-gathering tool to understand individuals. Choose one that goes below the surface and reveals behaviors and talents not currently used. The right tool is one that cannot be manipulated; even those taking the discovery test will reveal innate characteristics even they may not know they have.

Empower champions to challenge anything working against a poor or toxic culture. From email wars to breakroom gossiping, challenge anything that doesn’t fit within the culture you want to eventually see.

As more and more is revealed through completing such a discovery process, leadership should regularly take the pulse of their organization to understand what is shaping their employees experience of working for the organization. Do they see changes? What more can be done to stamp out poor behavior, redirecting that energy into productivity? Are they remunerated and rewarded on a basis that motivates them? It is not all about money.

A key win that comes out of this exercise is the amount of personal insight leaders gain from the conversations taking place.

This approach to introducing a cultural shift not only reveals the range of talent, it also reveals what is not being used. It highlights individuals not a fit for their role. But with behavioral insight and tweaking, they can become fit for role and achieve an accelerated performance. Or be deployed in a better-suited role.

Without this people insight, leaders can’t know the personality and character of their people and, thus, of their business. That’s why so many culture programs fail. You can’t just determine the culture you want and force it, not knowing who the players implementing it are.

Employees want to have a good – no great – experience at work. This is especially true of millennials, who are a rapidly increasing part of the workforce. They want to be seen, they want to be valued, and they want to know they contribute in a meaningful way to the business.

But if leadership does not know them in terms of their life goals and individual talents, the workplace is always going to be chaotic, functioning below par and as a hot bed for toxic culture.

Every leader has a responsibility to accelerate their people’s performance through a deeper, more meaningful understanding of their employees’ characteristics, talents, and inherent behaviors.

So, dive deep and learn what makes your people “tick”. You’ll then be able to understand and influence not just how your company is ticking, but how you want it to do so differently.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior


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

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email, or visit DNA Behavior

The Battle of the Entrepreneur - We Cant Agree on Anything.

We Can’t Agree On Anything

What Contingent Liabilities are Your Employees Causing

What Contingent Liabilities are Your Employees Causing?

Rogue behavior costing $36 billion in legal bills since the financial crisis should give every Board member and Executive sleepless nights. Then add the cost to hire significant compliance and security management and staff to curb rogue behavior, and some serious questions need to be asked!

  1. What part does pressure to chase profitability encourage a greater level of risk to be taken?
  2. How much risk is the business willing to take? And at what level does risk become reckless?
  3. Is the level of inter-staff competitiveness so great that irresponsible risk is encouraged?
  4. How vigilant are those in leadership to the impact of pressure on employees?

Working in an environment pressurized to succeed at all costs, tends to be the norm, especially in the Financial Sector. Just look at Wells Fargo. Whilst taking risk is a legitimate part of building a successful business and keeping ahead of the competition, when pressure and risk collide it can quickly become a weapon in the wrong hands. Unable to balance risk under pressure to achieve results, the line becomes blurred between acceptable business practices and legal or moral improprieties.

Even more alarming, is when Boards and senior executives fail to acknowledge the environments that promote rogue behavior simply to increase profits. It could be argued that they are as culpable as the rogue employee. Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking Fast and Slow, says “we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.”

Prosecutions and regulatory enforcement stemming from noncompliance related to employee behavior such as corruption, bribery, rogue trading and insider trading are on the rise around the world. In fiscal 2015, the SEC filed nearly 7% more cases over the prior year, meting out $4.2 billion in sanctions.

People are hired for their talent but little attention is paid to their inherent personality. So when an individual is placed under significant pressure or pushed to take excessive risks, their behavior can turn rogue. The good news? When pressure and risk collide can now be predicted.

Using behavioral insights, management can dynamically match employees with specific environmental conditions to determine their potential response to risk and pressure. They can also discern the degree to which such responses could create rogue behavior and negative actions towards the business.

It is no longer enough to simply look at emails, computer keystrokes, outside influences, sick records etc. – the old hat of international espionage and anti-terrorist tools. What should be clearly understood is that the rogue employee is a human being, that when placed under significant pressure to achieve, will take risks.

The question to Boards and Executives is – do you know your employees?

What corporate entities have in their corner is direct and immediate access to their own personnel from top to bottom and every department – including even outside partners and vendors. So the solution is the deployment of a validated personality discovery process, providing hidden insights and a reliable prediction of where security or compliance risks exist.
Based on external research, employees with the following measurable behavioral traits are more likely to engage in rogue behavior when emotionally triggered

  1. An inventive mind, full of ground-breaking ideas turns their thoughts to curious and devious thinking when, as an example; many of their ideas are rejected.
  2. A go-getting, determined person, driven to success at any cost; begins to cut corners, as a toxic competitive streak takes over.
  3. A reticent, uncommunicative, taciturn minded person normally just seen as the quiet one’ begins to hold onto key information that others need, simply because they have taken offense over something trivial.
Which Employee is Your Molotov Cocktail2

DNA Behavior International’s validated system gets below the surface to reveal behaviors that, if not managed, can lead to ruinous behavior.
The Unique DNA Behavior Approach is able to Score, Filter, and Prioritize Employee Personality Insights.

oerational risk 3.1

6 steps for a leader hired to change the culture a case study

6 Steps for a Leader Hired to Change the Culture, a Case Study

CASE STUDY: 6 Steps for a Leader to Change the Culture of a Team, Remove Roadblocks, Adapt Communication and Improve Processes.

SITUATION: I was asked to consult a recently hired CFO help her team adapt to the significant changes needed to be made in how the team operated. Her team was perceived as not being as effective as they should be. Plus, the organization needed more reporting and more collaboration from her team.

She spent 6 months asking questions and evaluating feedback and was finally ready to unveil her vision and goals for the team to support the organization. Her wonderful presentation explaining her process and detailing her vision was everything you would expect from a true leader. But soon after, she didn’t see any of expected changes. So she started attending some of their meetings, and provided even more direction. Still, she had trouble getting people to engage and respond in the way that she expected. The changes weren’t happening fast enough and she wasn’t getting feedback to help her understand why.

CFO VISION: A finance “organization” that

        • Has fewer boundaries and fosters alliances
        • Embraces a talent development and succession planning system
        • Fosters financial investment which demonstrates return on value and/or investment
        • Guides and implements business plans driven by strategic plans and executed with annual budgets

EVALUATION: After meeting with everyone and having them take the Business DNA Natural Discovery personality assessment, the gaps in behavior and communication styles became clear. Addressing them, however, would not be so easy.

The CFO is much like a lot of leaders: a driven Initiator naturally inclined to be Fast-Paced and Spontaneous (see the table below.) She is good at logically focusing on and driving for results. She leads by instinct and quickly adapts in the moment. She prefers spontaneous discussions to talk about what to do in the moment.

Image 1

Her team of accountants, however, are like many in their field. They’re highly Planned and Anchored (see table below.) Their natural strengths are to be very thorough, detailed, analytical, and consistent. They want specifics on what would be covered in a meeting ahead of time so they can research and properly prepare. They need more concrete information on what is expected, in order to be able to follow the specific steps to meet a goal.

Image 2


You can probably see the challenge without me telling you. The leader and her team have completely different ways of operating and communicating. They don’t know each other well enough, yet, to trust one another or know how to adapt to each other’s style. And there was no time left to figure it out organically. “Forcing” the team to be like the leader simply wasn’t working, and this left everyone feeling stressed and overworked.

SOLUTION: Although this may seem obvious from a distance, when a person’s behavioral style is acutely ingrained from both a natural and a habitual /learned perspective, it can be incredibly difficult to change. It requires consistent encouragement and mental focus. It’s like being asked to write with our opposite hand. Unless we’re naturally ambidextrous, our writing will not be as good if we don’t intentionally try, and most of us will “absent-mindedly” default to our regular hand.

Key steps for this CFO / Team:

  1. CFO lead by example in acknowledging different behavioral strengths and styles and attempt to adapt.
    – Talk openly about the obvious differences and politely help each member learn how to reciprocate.
  2. Leader to give more specific, concrete examples of her vision, as in an agenda with pre-set questions, well ahead of meetings and ensure safe environment where questions and follow-up, are warmly welcomed.
  3. CFO provides more 1:1 time/check in points, or smaller meetings, to glean better information from the team and identify roadblocks.
  4. Leader to lay out the step-by-step “plan” for change, rather than abruptly making decisions without a chance for the team to absorb and adapt.
  5. Team to resist the urge to “do nothing different until the detailed steps are clearly articulated”, by asking questions, focusing on what steps they should stop doing / what steps they should start doing. “Plan” for expected changes.
  6. Hire a mediator to address the gap between the big picture, and the detailed steps to get there with the focus on removing roadblocks and process improvement.

RESULT: Through individual coaching, team sessions and practical suggestions on how to build adapting into their day-to-day lives, the team turned a corner and is operating more efficiently and effectively with less stress. Many of the tangible changes were put into motion and their internal customer survey feedback improved significantly. While it’s a conscientious effort to adapt, with time and practice, it becomes the new second nature.

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