Mo asks Karim Nehdi: How can we use cognitive diversity to hack our own habits and be more successful, even when we’re busy?
- Business development is a team sport. There is a role for the individual relationship, but there is also an important role for the team that supports that relationship.
- Research shows that cognitively diverse teams who know how to harness cognitive diversity are 60-70% more effective than teams that don’t. Cognitive diversity accounts for about 20% of the variance in overall team performance and up to 34% in specific activities like strategic thinking and problem solving.
- The first hack is around making sure your team is built in a diversity by design way. If you all share the biases and blindspots, they will be magnified in a deal context. On the other extreme, if you have too much cognitive diversity without the tools to manage it, it can create emergent conflict.
- When you’re building a team, an easy way to stay balanced is to ensure you have at least one person who can represent the mindset of someone from each quadrant. Have an experimental thinker that can connect the dots, a analytical thinker who is going to be ready with an ROI calculation when you need it, a relational thinker who is able to build the personal connection, and a structural thinker that is going to make sure the customer has everything they need to feel comfortable.
- The best teams have a steward for each way of thinking. The lone experimental thinker may be an outlier, but they are also probably the most necessary mindset.
- Karim tells a story of a CEO that he worked with that had a specific set of questions answered at every meeting. Why, What, Who, How? Coincidentally, those four questions map to the four quadrants of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument.
- One way to take notes in a meeting is to create the four quadrants and write down notes in the corresponding mindset/question. If you notice that an area is missing, you can bring the focus there before the meeting wraps up.
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