Using Birkman to develop Leadership Teams and organization culture

Sage Hospitality develops their leaders using Birkman. This has enabled them to triumph over high turnover rate often seen in the hospitality industry. One of the applications they have used Birkman for is to help their leaders work better together to achieve common goals, and really understand how to get the best out of each other by leveraging each other’s strengths. Half the battle in making a culture movement in any organisation is getting everyone on the same page and speaking the same language and Birkman helps navigate the way for them.

Using Birkman with Leadership Teams, Birkman as a common language for communication

Courtney Abraham, Global Head of Talent Strategy & Development shares how Birkman created a storm across Adecco Group. A few years ago, they started bringing 75 of their best and brightest leaders together on an annual basis for a leadership summit. They went through activities and simulations and introduced their leadership team to the Birkman Assessment with tremendous success.

As a sales organization, they need momentum and to motivate and challenge when a sale is on the table. That being said, the organisation usually ends up hiring a lot of Usual Behavior Red and Green without even realizing it. When they started harnessing Birkman and understanding who they have across the organisation, regardless of role, they found that they are over-represented in Red and Green.

The implication of those hiring decisions is that the organisation has a group of leaders who create a Red and Green storm of energy, motivation, and inspiration. When they push and drive forward motion, others on the team are able to question, “Have you thought about the long-term plans?” and “Why are we doing this?” Other personalities and needs on the team have started to arise, and leadership has become cognisant that they need to pause and make sure everyone is with them as they move forward. Birkman has allowed them to have a common language—it’s the foundation for how they communicate.

Using Birkman to minimize unconscious bias, release staff potential & innovative solutions

Sandra Bushby is Global Director of Diversity at Pfizer, the largest bioscience organisation in the world. They are in over 60 countries and have over 130,000 credentialed colleagues around the world.

Her goal — what she needs to do — is to make sure that their scientists that are in Japan, South Korea or South Africa, the Middle East — are able to get into a room, value what each other brings to the table, and not let diverse cultural concepts get in the way, and bias or unconscious awareness issues get in the way of them being able to perform, work together and create the solutions needed. Birkman is one of the tools she uses to achieve that.

Using Birkman to strengthen work relationships

Jim Lawler, Senior Organisation Development Consultant, Blue Cross, Blue Shield SC finds Birkman as a lot deeper than other assessments. He says, “I’ve used a lot of tools in my career and I’ve gotten more mileage out of Birkman than any other tool.”

For example, they had a new manager, and this person had a couple of supervisors. She didn’t get along with one supervisor, and it happened very early in the relationship. They used Birkman to compare their profiles—where they are the same and where they are different. They had them look at those reports and pick the areas that resonated with them.

The first breakthrough is that it was credible to them. They could see their differences and were able to talk about them. Oftentimes when people are not getting along, it’s a business relationship but it’s personal. One might wonder why a peer doesn’t like them or why they have a hard time getting along. The assessment reveals that their peer treats everyone that way—that those traits comprise their personality. Then, the relationship is no longer personal, which allows the individual to focus on what they can do to make the relationship better.