as we think / productivity / guillemrecolons

What kind of thinker are?

Those who know me know that my post are original. Seldom "I heal" content and even fewer replied. But this article has touched me and I seem a pity I could not get to all for a language issue. So, without further ado, I've thrown my way to translate -a- so you can enjoy it as I did.

Although I am not very fond of stereotypes, the authors of this article in Harvard Business Review, Mark Bonchek y Elisa Steele, They have hit the nail on one aspect that I come Suspecting long: they value us, evaluated and ranked according to our executive powers (in what we do) but not in the way we think. I leave there. a greeting.

What kind of thinker are?

We all aspire to work better together. Technology is providing us with this work. But digital tools are only part of the answer. Are the people who ultimately make the difference.

The problem is that collaborative technologies are evolving faster than our ability as people learn to use. What can be done to close that gap? A year ago we set out to find the answer, Based on the collective experience of various collaborative learning communities and organizations. This is what we found:

In most organizations there is a standard set of tools we use to to form, lead and manage teams. They include tests personality, profiles skills and functions of the team. When you put a team together, It takes into account the personalities of its members: ¿son introvertidos or extroverts?, take risks or avoid?, ¿son analytical or intuitive?

Taking into account their skills: What is your specific area talent, experience or knowledge? And it takes into account their potential role in the team: What will be your contribution to purpose of the team?

We normally think of executive roles, as team leader, project manager, the investigator. When we need a decision, We go to team leader. When we want to know the status of a project we will seek to project manager. If you need to know the results of a study, We go to the head of research.

But in today's market, the smartest companies are not necessarily produce more than the competition; They are those that are better than your competition. And while there are plenty of tools that help us understand quickly what our teammates do, it's more difficult to know how they think. Research shows that ultimately, It is more important to know how they think the teams to determine their performance.

Therefore we propose that in the same way that current teams have members executive roles assigned, should also have members roles of thought. Knowing how they think the team and the organization can better channel Energy, yes, commitment, This is creativity and productivity.

One aspect of the collaboration is to get people are aligned in what they do. But in a different dimension it comes to getting people aligned depending on how they think.

So how can we evaluate a team based their thinking? There are frames of how one thinks or how it affects each of the team members. But we find no simple way of assessment indicating how people connected, HE communicate and collaborate based on their thinking. So after a large phase co-creation and methods of trial and error, we have developed a three-step method It is offering practical and meaningful results.

Focus. The first step is identify the focus of their thinking in a context or particular location. Do you tend to pay more attention to the ideas, processes, action, or relations? For example, to start the day, Do you tend to think about the problems you need to solve, plans you need to launch, the actions you must implement, or the people you need to see?

One does not exclude the other. This is where our focus lies naturally. Another example: when we read a book or watch a movie, Are we naturally opted to action, the love, the drama, or mystery?

Orientation. The next step is to realize if our orientation in that environment swiveled to the macro or micro, to the big picture or to detail. A good way to identify this orientation is to think about what bothers us at meetings. Is it more likely to be drawn into bother us as concrete or to aspects too general and unspecific?

These dimensions are complementary to personality, the abilities and roles traditional. Some project managers are more inclined to focus on the process and others people. And some are more oriented overview of the forest and others to trees.

The third step It is to combine these two dimensions and see the style of thinking at work in any context or place you have chosen.

what kind of thinker you are

For example, in the big picture (forest) or orientation macro:

  • Explorer is the thinker focused on generating creative ideas.
  • Planner It is the thinker who focuses on designing effective systems.
  • plumber It is the thinker who tries to mobilize people to action.
  • connector is the thinker focused on building and strengthening relations.

Across micro orientation (tree) the detail:

  • Expert It is the thinker who seeks to achieve objectivity and knowledge.
  • optimizer is the thinker who tries to improve productivity and efficiency.
  • Producer is the thinker who seeks to achieve project completion and momentum.
  • Coach It is the thinker who wants to empower individuals and their potential.

When we know what our thinking and know what moves us naturally, know why some problems are a challenge and others bore us, and we know what we can do to improve in the areas that are important to reach our goals.

Once we know how we think, It will help share it with others, and ensure that others share with us. In this way, our thinking will become a useful tool – a kind of social currency – for the team. If we try to organize a team to work on a new project, Would not it be positive to know beforehand who is mobilized for more general discussions (forest) and who may consider frustrating? Who would you like to work on the details of execution? And who is motivated and starts with managing team dynamics?

As real case, a company had all its leadership team identified in their roles as managers and leaders. Analyzing a heat map results, they realized they had a lot of scouts and a lot of Channelers and Producers, but few planners and optimizers. The team was great to come up with great ideas and mobilize action, but weak in data processing and make things work efficiently.

With this new information in hand, They started giving entry to those whose thought focalizaba more details. They also changed the culture and recruitment strategies to create a style of thinking more balanced and diverse.

As caso individual, a leading had always operated in environments oriented creativity as consulting and marketing. But by identifying your thinking style, realized that he was more motivated by the relationships that ideas. Its orientation was toward connecting it to Explorer. She used ideas to foster relationships, instead of fostering relations Ideas. This idea led to shift focus their work to account management and business development, which he led to much higher levels of performance and commitment.

The business environment is changing rapidly, and that forces us to find new and better ways to connect and communicate. We all aspire to work better together; the challenge is to actually make it happen. Understand the collaborative model from the perspective of thought instead of traditional optical action is a step forward powerful.


Mark Bonchek @MarkBonchek He is founder and CEO of SHIFT Thinking, It helps leaders and organizations to update their thinking in the digital age.

Elisa Steele @elisasteele He is CEO and president of Jive, company focused on communication and collaboration solutions for business.

Published in Harvard Business Review under the title "What kind of thinker are you" he 23 November 2015.

Translated and curated by Guillem Recolons, December 2015.

top image: Freepik

About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies to better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (internal brand ambassadors programs).

Partner at Integra Personal Branding and Soymimarca, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis Human Results and Quifer Consultores.

As lecturer, participated in the Graduate Social Media of UPF and UVic, in various programs at IESE and ISDI, among other. Advertising man, Master en Marketing. Grade student of Humanities.

My DNA comes from advertising 20 years in agencies: BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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6 replies
  1. Pascual Arancha
    Pascual Arancha says:

    Although there is only limited to translate, I warmly thank you've shared this article, a great value for people who work in personal environments in organizations. Certainly, regardless of how people think, their “skills” Knowledge may not be sufficient for the proper gear equipment. a cordial greeting,

    A. Pascual

  2. Pedro Goni
    Pedro Goni says:

    Hi Guillem, Super Article. I love the classification based on these two variables, now you need to make it useful. What happens if we run in time? If we measure our thinking at different times. Surely our position will vary and smart will choose the person best able to adapt from one category to another.
    I always recommend and try, think micro, up macro, down to micro and continuously so for us we escape the possible variables involved in the problem. It would also be very smart to know determining which phase we focus, be aware that we are talking about at all times (among the complicated human) to provide the maximum at all times. This classification serves both to classify people as macro guide for troubleshooting.
    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    Regards and until next time, indeed enjoying the holidays. Merry Christmas

    • Guillem Recolons
      Guillem Recolons says:

      Thank you Pedro, I find it interesting your input on how we think over time, because usually it discussed in static base “today”. I am glad that the article has contributed. A greeting and Bon Nadal!

  3. Paul Adan
    Paul Adan says:

    Great contribution Guillem, very interesting tool to find personal and professional role in a strategy of positioning the company personal brand.

    Let Jungian archetypes for storytelling.



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