This article first appeared on HR Management App.
As the founder of a Human Performance Acceleration firm, I’ve come to understand the importance of diversity, not just on boards and in leadership, but in my own business.
Through broadening the composition of the leadership team, I’ve found that such diversity increases the richness of discussion and expands perspectives from the top down. The challenge is managing the differences such diversity brings. No two people think or behave alike.
As a firm, we manage behavioral differences. And we have technology to help with this. In fact, that IS our business. That said, on a personal level and as a leader who is fast-paced, results-focused and on to the next big thing while everyone else is still thinking about the last big thing, I needed to understand and manage the behavioral differences in my own team.
From the top down, and that meant me
As the leader I couldn’t delegate this. This required my full focus and attention if I were to build a successful business.
Take an example team such as mine. The first hurdle was figuring out roles.
- What did the business need to grow successfully?
- How much involvement did I need in that process?
- Where were the priorities?
- What skills did I have to be able to manage a diverse team?
It became clear, very quickly, that managing a diverse team, all with spectacularly differing skill sets, required some thought.
Here’s what I did. Many of the lessons are transferable:
- I completed a scientifically validated behavioral discovery. One that not only revealed my inherent behaviors but also my learned behaviors.
- I then took advice on how best to manage myself. I needed to understand my own trigger points. I needed to check myself before I wrecked myself (and others). I needed to understand my EQ and what I needed to put in place in the organizational structure to enable individuals to contribute to business growth, using their skill sets, at a pace I accepted. This was not easy.
- As I hired executives, I took every member of my leadership team through the same process. This was invaluable as we not only came to understand each other, we bonded. We built mutual understanding and respect for each other.
- After about four years I found I could delegate more and more control to my managing director, leaving me free to promote the business on the speaking circuit, for instance.
Recognizing and leveraging differences
The biggest challenge I faced was trusting others to run the business. This came with time. More importantly, it became possible because our understanding of one another’s behavioral differences meant we could manage those differentiations and work effectively together.
Our core business has always been about understanding behaviors. Our industry focus is wide and varied but has tended to be in the financial advisor-client relationship space, as well as business leadership.
Now, go big
Through our API (Application Programming Interface) solution, we now deliver real-time behavioral management solutions through validated behavioral insights that connect, customize and power human performance. That was crucial because it enables this understanding and deployment of differences methodology scalable.
If it didn’t scale, it wouldn’t be very useful – at least not in a practical way – beyond small organizations. Happily, the scalable customization of experiences and relationships across a whole enterprise is now a reality.
This process of getting the People Culture at my own firm in order leaves me free to travel globally to promote our solution and to invest time in leaders still making their way on the journey of building a business. What could a thoughtful People Culture process like that described above enable you and your organization to accomplish?