Building a New Team: Alignment or Diversity?

A colleague from the US asked me: when profiling for a new team, would I want to see great diversity? In my mind that would make sense, but in reality I might want to see it aligned in some areas. What is your opinion?

In my opinion, the desired meta programs depend on what the team needs to accomplish. A sales team is different from a policy team. So in terms of priorities I would say: first of all you want the team to have the required meta programs and values to be successful at their main tasks. Once that is accomplished, you want to have as much diversity as possible. It is a bit like the relationship between towards (achieving goals) and away form (solving problems) in coaching. You want away from in the frame of towards. With team you want diversity in the frame of alignment.

If you want to put it in a procedure (which I often like to do) it would be something like this:

1. Define what the team’s main task is

2. Define what the necessary meta programs and values are for that task.

3. Make sure some team members have all (or as many as possible) of those thinking style elements.

4. Find additional team members how have some task-critical meta programs but who also have some meta programs an/or Graves drives that are distinctly different.

5. Explain thoroughly to the team why you composed them like this, and what the benefits of thinking style diversity are.

6. Prepare the team for dealing comfortably with conflicts that may arise from this engineered meta program diversity.

Good luck!

Selling Products ‘Powered by MindSonar’

Let’s talk about selling MindSonar. MindSonar professionals need customers who buy MindSonar products. And in the realms of consultancy and coaching the ‘product’ is usually a ‘project’; a custom built solution. For an individual it will be a custom planned coaching path. For a company or an agency it will be an intervention designed for that one particular organization. It may have standard components, but the combination is still one of a kind.

Passion and expertise
The way I see it, a good MindSonar product is a combination a MindSonar professional and the MindSonar system. The professional brings their passion (what they are very enthusiastic about), their vision (the ideal world they see), their mission (what they want to contribute to that ideal world) and their expertise (the content areas they know a lot about and have a lot of experience with). MindSonar adds understanding to that, based on a fine grained, in depth measurement of mindsets. It is the synergy between the professional and MindSonar that creates a great product. MindSonar would not be nearly as effective without the passion and the expertise of the professional. And the professional would be much less effective without MindSonar.

“I have a great tool!”
Many people have approached companies with a pitch like: “Hey, I have this great new tool, a test that can actually measure mindsets. With this test I can help you understand how people in your business think.This tool I can help you guys advance in all kinds of ways!”. Often they have been met with blank stares. Or with: “We already have a test”. Why? People who lead organizations are not that interested in the tools their consultants use. It is a bit like being called by a sales person saying: “Hey, we have this great new set of wrenches that can help the engine of your car run smoothly!”. Sure, I want my engine to run smoothly, but as long as it isn’t making funny sounds I am not that interested in the first place. And even if I were worried about the state of my engine, the type or wrenches is a detail I leave with the mechanics. Customers love to leave it up to you to use whatever tests you like, as long as you help them get results.

What people are interested in
People and organisations are interested in results, not so much in the tools they are achieved with. If someone feels a lot of anger, they may want relaxation as a result. If two organizations are merging, they want the people working together as harmoniously as possible. Sales people want to be selling in good quantities. Departments want happy employees. Managers want conflicts resolved as quickly as possible. Almost every business wants excited customers. Employees want to develop as professionals and as people. Almost everybody wants interesting new products being developed. That’s the kind of things organizations are interested in.

Powered by MindSonar
And when you have the ability to measure mindsets, you can offer these results, often in a relatively straightforward manner. And you will be offering them a lot more than just MindSonar. You are offering them you expertise in designing and running change projects. Often you also have some content knowledge of the business they are in. You know what’s going on in their kind of business. Plus you have a broader theory of how things work, in which mindsets are a central element. You are offering a product that is ‘Powered by MindSonar’. Just like your website is ‘Powered by WordPress’. Well, actually it is ‘Proudly Powered by WordPress’. So my advice is: make your next offer about something that you client really wants and that has been difficult for them to get. And have it ‘Proudly Powered by MindSonar’.

MindSonar Professionals: Koen Lucas & Law Enforcement

Introducing the next MindSonar Professional: Koen Lucas. Koen, a Dutch interim manager and trainer, describes how he uses MindSonar to train law enforcement agents. Note especially, that he has developed separate norm profiles for several different kinds of law enforcement agents (city patrols, building inspectors and environmental security agents). For more information on all MindSonar professionals go here: International Registry.