Christfort is the national managing director of Deloitte Greenhouse experiences and one of the original architects of the Business Chemistry system. Vickberg is a social personality psychologist and Deloitte’s lead researcher on the Business Chemistry system.
Deloitte, a multi-national consulting corporation, found that many of their clients had a common problem of disappointing team performance, regardless of the level of the team members. Were the team members at fault? The leaders? What could be done to improve team results? Deloitte began a study to determine the cause and to formulate solutions to improve team performance.
With the assistance of biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, a survey development company, and molecular biologist Lee Silver, the Deloitte team derived four work styles it labeled as the Pioneers, the Guardians, the Drivers, and the Integrators. More than 190,000 people representing the four work styles have completed an assessment to further define the characteristics of each work style.
This study created a common language to address this problem for leaders and teams. The organization of the study’s results became the Deloitte Business Chemistry system defined by the authors as a system that “…identifies four primary work styles and related strategies for accomplishing shared goals”:
· the strengths and weaknesses of each work style
· the work style of each team member
· the challenges inherent in bringing different styles together, and
· the benefits to the host organization of style diversity.
The styles first must be understood.
UNDERSTANDING THE STYLES
The study concluded that each team member has a dominant work style characterized by certain traits described as follows:
- Pioneers value possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination on their teams. They believe in taking risks and that it’s fine to go with your gut. They focus on the big picture. They appreciate bold, new ideas and creative approaches.
- Guardians value stability and bring the team order and rigor. They are pragmatic and hesitate to embrace risk. They see data and facts as baseline requirements, and details matter. Guardians think it important to learn from the past.
- Drivers value challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning count the most. Drivers tend to view issues as black-and-white and to tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.
- Integrators value connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibilities to the group are paramount. Integrators tend to believe that most things are relative. They are diplomatic and focused on gaining consensus.