Cognitive Diversity

Capture and capitalize on the thinking preferences of your team to solve problems and create creative solutions to challenges.

Cognitive Diversity

Christian | January 10, 2023 | Other

Season 2 Episode 37 - Capture and capitalize on the thinking preferences
of your team to solve problems and create creative solutions to

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Christian Wow. What a great intro. Hello, everyone. My name is
Christian Napier, and I am the host of the TeamWork
Better Way podcast. I am joined by my partner in crime,
the one and only Spencer Horn. Spencer, how are you?

Spencer I am so fantastic Christian and doubly happy that I get
to see you so soon after I just saw you.

Christian Yeah, we just had lunch yesterday with our good friend
Patrick at our designated restaurant, Red Iguana, which
is the best place to get mole in the state if not in the
country. And so we had some delicious mole amarillo
yesterday, and it's great to see you for the second time
this week. It's a very rare thing.

Spencer It is a rare thing. And great, great to see you. And
yes. So this is a 19 year tradition. I'm just counting.
I think we started in 2004, if I got that wrong.

Christian I think you're correct. I think it was about 2004 when
we first started working together on a project, and
we've been maintaining it ever since then. Even during
the times where you were away, you were in living in Las
Vegas for several years at that time, but whenever you
would come into town, we would reconvene and and have
lunch there at Red Iguana. So it was great to see you
and Patrick again yesterday.

Spencer Such an honor for me to be with you for these last 19

Christian I've enjoyed it very much. And here's to another 19 or
hopefully more.

Spencer Absolutely. Well, I'm excited today. Christian, how
about you?

Christian Well, I'm really excited because it feels a bit like
Christmas morning for me. We received emails from our
guest, who you'll introduce in a second with
instructions not to open those emails until just before
the show. So I just opened it, and I'm super excited to
talk about what I just received from our guests. So,
Spencer, why don't you go ahead and introduce her?

Spencer Absolutely. I mean, our theme for today is cognitive
diversity, and you and I, as we know, are both fairly
diverse in how we think. But at the beginning of
December, I happened to attend the PMI global
conference, as you know, and one of the speakers that
caught my attention and I was not the only one, I mean,
her session was packed with people was Teresa Lawrence
that I'm going to introduce you to here in a moment. And
I speak, I present. And so I'm always interested in
other speakers who do a great job. She has incredible
energy. She's a subject matter expert in an area that I
think is so valuable and useful, and we do some similar
things. But she has such a different approach. I'm like
we've got to have her on because she's absolutely
brilliant. Well, Teresa Lawrence. She has a PhD. And
she's also a project manager and has been for many
years. She has the designation of PMP, and we'll talk
about that in just a second because when you manage
projects, you've got to bring the best thinking of
everybody to the table. And she has the ability to do
that. But she is recognized as a subject matter expert
on the integration of creative problem solving into
project management. And she provides professional
services in creativity, creative problem solving,
process evaluation, project management, and a variety of
development support to help organizations innovate and
implement solutions that build organizational capacity
and ensure value realization, which is so important to
so many organizations that's the reason they exist.
Teresa is president and owner of International
Deliverables, LLC, a New York state woman business
enterprise. And she brings that New York attitude and
energy, and it's just so much fun to talk to her. In a
2019 Small Business Administration home Business home
Based Business Award recipient, since 2017, over 80,000
individuals have been trained by Theresa, so that's a
good number. Or have participated in a problem solving
session she facilitated. Now, Teresa is a former
superintendent of the schools of New York State. And if
there's anything that prepares you for dealing with
adults, if you can talk to kids, adults are easy, right?
I mean, keeping them engaged, you get to adults. Anyway,
I'm so excited to have her. I'm going to bring her up on
the screen here. Welcome, Teresa. We are so glad to have
you friends.

Teresa It's so great to be here. Spencer and Christian, I
consider it just an honor to be with you and certainly
continue to spread good things about project management,
creative problem solving, and as you said about today's
work, this notion of cognitive diversity, you're
thinking preferences toward creative problem solving and
innovation. And the big thing that I would want any
listener to take away is it's about preference, not
ability. We all have preferences and we have the ability
to learn and almost to kind of compensate or build onto
our skill set so that we can cover our faces.

Spencer I want you to highlight why that's so important that you
really call that out. In my work, I see a lot of times
people get stuck in the idea that this is who I am, I
have this profile and that's why I'm I'm behaving this
way. And and sometimes that I mean, is that what you
see? I mean, why do you call that out right at the

Teresa Right at the beginning? And you know, sometimes I find
it's easier for folks to kind of wrap their head around
this. And if anybody who's listening just wiggles their
finger and then clutches their hands together, one thumb
will go on top, naturally. But if you took your hands
apart and then tried to put the other thumb on top, you
can do it. You have the ability to do it. It's not your
preference. And so the reason why I want to point this
out to individuals, to teams, organizations,
notforprofits companies, is that when we root ourselves
in our preference and we understand it. We can do a
couple of things. We can start the conversation about
the importance of any diversity, but in terms of
cognitive diversity, we can recognize, let's hire for
skill, let's recognize who brings what preference. And
so if we're working on a short term problem versus a
longer, more ambiguous challenge, we can team folks up
strategically, intentionally to solve the short term
problem. Or if it is this big ambiguous problem, let's
make sure that we're not losing some key component of a
problem. We don't want to lose sight of not clarifying
or not generating ideas or not making ideas better or
not driving them home. So it really begs this whole
notion of that if everybody was on the team like Teresa,
we're only going to solve the problem the way Teresa's
solve the problem. And that doesn't get us to novel and
useful solutions.

Spencer That's right. You're jumping in right now, which is, I'm
so excited to have people understand everything that
you're just talking about. But before we do that, what
drew you to this work? What got you started in being
this expert that you are right now?

Teresa Thank you. So I came up the ranks in public education in
2016, I was superintendent of schools, and I hit a
milestone. And I had a conversation with my husband and
with my family, and I said, gosh, do I want to do this
for the rest kind of of my professional career? And
really, the answer was no, because what I wanted to do
was leverage two things that I do best as a giveback to
the universe. Coming up the ranks as a superintendent, I
realized that a lot of my work was project management,
getting buses on time, getting budgets going together,
doing $61 million capital projects, putting new
curriculum in place projects. And as a teacher, as an
educator, as a professional developer, as a public
speaker, this notion of facilitating with cohesion, with
great stakeholder buy in, with great inclusion. And so I
said, I wonder if I could make a career out of the
combination of those two creativity, facilitating
creativity, creative problem solving, and project
management. And the answer is yes. So after that career,
I went back to school and finished my certification in
creative problem solving, change management, and
leadership, and formally obtained my PMP. The rest is
just history. People need this number one skill. PMI are
calling them the power skills, soft skills, negotiation,
facilitation, meeting management in terms of project
management requirements, collection, stakeholder
identification, risk assessment, and so being able to
take these two things that I do so well project
management and creativity when you intersect them. Teams
are on fire, work is on fire, and value. Boom.

Spencer I like that. Teams are on fire. And so what is the
biggest challenge that you see, Teresa, in getting teams
to get on fire?

Teresa What I find is that teams wrestle with each other and
not the problems. So there's friction, right? Like, why
are they asking so many questions? Why are they trying
to perfect it? Why is Teresa just trying to get
something done? And we end up wrestling with each other.
When we look at cognitive diversity and our thinking
preferences toward problem solving, we can shift that
wrestling of each other and refocus it to wrestling with
the problem. I now have two things an understanding of
my thinking preference and secondly, the thinking
preferences of my teammates. And so what I don't do is
acquiesce. I don't have to be angry anymore. We will
have a common language, common understanding, one, about
problem solving, and two, the preferences that are
around the table. I always like to say not everybody has
to be at the meeting. What are we focusing on? What's
the problem? Who is there? Who maybe needs to be there?
So teams really jump on quite quickly because it's a
time to learn about yourself and we'll talk about your
profiles in just a minute where you have this
revelation, I can't help being me. Once we know what
that is and we know that about others, again, we can
focus on wrestling with the problem and stop wrestling
with each other.

Christian So I would like to ask you, Teresa, there are a lot of
different frameworks or methodologies that you could use
to help identify these, but you've adopted one that you
shared with us and had us kind of, well, not necessarily
evaluated, but we use this methodology so that you could
draw out our preferences. So how did you come across the
methodology that you use and how is it beneficial? What
was the reasoning behind going ahead and choosing the
specific methodology or toolset that you've chosen to
use with teens?

Teresa Yeah. So I'm an Alum of the International Center for
Studies and Creativity in Buffalo State. In Buffalo, New
York. And it's there where kind of really two things
came together. The study of the creative problem solving
process. 60 years in research where foresight comes into
play is Dr. Gerard Poochio, who is the chair of the
department, said, if there's this creative problem
solving process to clarify, ideate, develop and
implement, I wonder if people have preferences if they
move towards stages of the creative problem solving,
some more than others. And the simple answer is yes. We
will have either one, two, three, or four preferences to
those stages of creative problem solving. And so for me,
when I facilitate problem solving, when I lead teams and
organizations through kind of becoming unstuck and
finding clarity around what they want to do, it also
makes sense to say, what are my preferences? Where do I
lean in and lean toward when I'm problem solving? So
whenever I work with any organization, first thing we do
is the foresight assessment so we know who's on the
team. Then I'll teach tools in the creative problem
solving process so as we're looking at our team
composition. If we need to be generating ideas and we
don't have a team of a lot of ideators, we're not off
the hook. Let's use a tool that helps us ideate. So this
insight doesn't give you a free pass. What it does is
give you responsibility.

Spencer So what I'm hearing you say is, okay, so we have a team
and we're missing a strength or a preference represented
on this team. That is, we don't throw up our hands and
say, okay, we can't come up with ideas. You provide
tools to assist them with their level of thinking, how
to work through that ideation process is what I just
heard you say.

Teresa Absolutely. It typically looks like this. I'll do the
foresight assessment and we'll do an activity with the
team so that they can kind of laugh a little bit at each
other and themselves where their preferences are
revealed. And then we'll look at a team composition and
we'll do that for you too in just a moment. The follow
up to that is actually to teach the creative problem
solving process and the thinking tools that accompany
each stage of the problem. So when I'm back working with
teams and organizations and doing teaching and
instruction, I can say, friends, we're now going to
focus on ideating. Here's who does have preferences,
here who does not have preferences. And here are some
tools that you can use because just because somebody has
it as a preference doesn't mean it's only their
responsibility. No, let's teach the team tools. So
again, nobody's off the hook that we have increased
synergy, greater participation, and as a result, better
more ideas from which to choose.

Spencer Okay? So one of the other things I just heard you said,
you actually have to teach people how to think
creatively. We don't just sit around a table and come up
with ideas and brainstorm. I mean, we all know how to
communicate, right? Why don't we just communicate? Or
why don't we just all come up with ideas? Why doesn't
that work? Why do you actually have to teach these

Teresa Well, first of all, anybody can learn to be creative.
Anybody can learn to be creative. And even if you don't
know your foresight preference, we get through problems,
right? We encounter something, we kind of go, what's
going on here? What's the history? What's the context?
We ideate, what am I going to do to make my way forward?
We're going to develop, how do I make that better? And
then we're going to implement it. I have to get it done.
So we all do the creative problem solving process, maybe
even subconsciously when we learn it explicitly. And
creativity, creative problem solving, critical thinking
have consistently been the top three desired, required,
essential skills that organizations are looking for. So
you have to learn it. You have to learn it. And when we
do learn it explicitly, we have greater kind of
astuteness to say, wait a minute, wait a minute. Where
are we in this problem? Oh, we're landing on clarifying.
Let's use creative questions. How to, how might, in what
way, what might be all the ways to really get to what we
call root cause. Why do we want to do that? Because we
want to solve the problem and not the symptom. Now that
we're clarifying, now we can say from all of these
challenges for which we like ideas, and we could use any
number of tools, brainstorming, brainwriting, scamper to
generate ideas. Then from among those ideas, let's make
some distinctions to make those ideas better before we
start to choose an idea, developing them and then
implement them, what might be the path forward. So we do
this naturally, but if we learn it, we can do it better,

Christian And here we go. Trigger figure. Spencer, I thought that
was a great.

Spencer Place to emphasize we could do it better. Come on,

Christian That was just a perfect illustration of Spencer's
implementer focus. Right? It's like, great, let's pull
the trigger. Let's go.

Teresa So let's talk about this for just a second, guys.
Spencer said he saw me do a workshop at PMI, at the
Global Summit where individuals became aware of this
thing called cognitive diversity. And I said, before we
do this show today, let's have you both take your
assessment. So I saw your results before you saw your
results, but for all of our listeners there, let me ask
you, when you both working together on a team, are faced
with kind of some challenge or thing newly that you want
to do? Let's hear a little bit about how you go about
individually doing that, and then let's talk about your

Spencer Kristen, you want to start off here?

Christian Sure, I'll start off. The primary thing that we do
together is we do this podcast. And our approach to this
podcast has evolved over time. And I would say that for
me, I like to feel comfortable that I've got some key
talking points identified. I kind of understand how the
flow is going to go. I don't need to know the exact
questions that are going to be asked, but I just like to
have a general roadmap. Spencer is very happy to just
dive in and start talking. We'll have a conversation,
we'll see how it comes out. And more often than not, it
turns out well. But I found that we've kind of had to
come to a compromise where Spencer likes very short
emails and I write very long emails. It's like, okay,
we'll just settle on. Just trying to identify the three
or four points. That's good enough for everybody, and
that gives us a way forward. So it's been an absolute
joy. I have to say, working with Spencer on this podcast
since COVID started, had a lot of fun, met a lot of
great, amazing people like you. And we figured out how
to make this work. I think we really meet both of our
preferences, don't you think, Spencer?

Spencer Oh, absolutely. And I love working with Christian
because he has all the thoughtfulness that I don't have.
Because while I'm diving in Blabbering, he's thinking of
the brilliant questions and listening. One of the things
that I have done to kind of slow down my driver is I
have created systems. And part of that is promoting the
podcast means we have to think in advance what are we
going to talk about? And sometimes it's the day before.
And early on it was Christian like, okay, well, what are
we going to talk about? And I'm like, I will figure it
out. Just read this article and we'll talk about it. And
I think we have gotten christian is super flexible and
I'm striving to be more prepared.

Teresa You guys couldn't have done a better tip. So here are
some of the things that I said, even just this last
thing, Spencer, that you said. Is that right? Christian
needs to clarify what it is we're going to be doing. And
you said we'll just figure it out, right? So, again,
these are words. These are descriptions of preferences.
Of preferences. So when we'll look in just a second at
your results, what we know from Christian is that he's
what's called a hair, right? So he has more of a
preference toward clarifying ideating and developing and
definitely more hair and definitely more hair than
implementing where, Spencer, you are what we call a
driver idea. And go. And so you could imagine, I could
imagine at the beginning of your working relationship
that Christian needed to ask a lot more questions,
right? He needed to understand where are we going? How
are we moving forward? What are you talking about?
Whereas you might have been thinking, Spencer, in your
head, like with the questions already, let's just go,
we'll figure it out. And I can see Christian nodding.
And this is again, where we talk about wrestling with
each other, right? Christians asking questions. What
that can mean for a teammate is frustration, holding
back, right? Overanalyzing, getting stuck. And Spencer
in his head is going, come on, come on, come on. I have
this great idea. So this is, again, right, if we
understand preferences, we're a little gentler with each
other. And the beauty about dei initiatives is that we
become truthfully, authentically, tolerant, and in fact,
we actively seek to leverage these preferences.

Spencer Because you help fill my gaps, Theresa. That's exactly
what I was going to say. First of all, I value
Christian's approach and I value him as an individual.
One of the things that causes me to put on the breaks is
my respect for him as a thought leader, as a person, as
a human. And so that causes me to say, okay, what am I
doing that could make his life better? That's a part of
diversity, right? I have to maybe make myself adapt to
the team and bring my strengths and utilize his and
value his.

Teresa I couldn't agree with you more. The word that I would
add is leverage. Right. Like Christian keeps you out of
trouble because he's going to give you kind.

Spencer Of like most of the time.

Teresa But as somebody who has a preference toward clarifying,
he's going to give you bumpers like railings in which to
operate. Right. That lets your ideas flourish, but it
just kind of gives them a space to work within that.
When I was a superintendent of schools, I'm a very high
implementer and that simply means I move to action, I'll
run through a wall, I'll get things done. It makes sense
for me to really anchor myself with team members that
are clarifiers. I used to call them my headlights. They
see things and ask questions that I wouldn't ask. And
so, again, this diversity, it's not acquiescing, it's
not tolerating, it's not putting up with. It is the most
beautiful example of the necessity to know, understand,
and then in terms of powerful teams, intentionally,
strategically leverage, combine and utilize that which
is different from me. Can we take a look at your

Spencer Absolutely. Which slide do you want me to put up,

Teresa If you want to put up the one of both of your both of
your profiles, that would be terrific.

Spencer This one right here?

Teresa Yeah, that's just great. So for our listeners out there,
let's just talk about what we have. When you take the
foresight assessment, 39 questions, it's taken online,
takes less than about ten minutes and again, it will
reveal your thinking preferences. So we have Christian
on the left hand side and remember the four stages of
problem solving. Clarifying what's the context, what's
the history? Ideating generating new and novel ideas.
Developing, really giving the idea some legs and
implementing, driving it home. So Christian has
preferences toward clarifying ideating and developing.
And if you look at a foresight profile, there's a
neutral zone. What falls above that neutral zone are
your peak preferences. But then Christian kind of pulls
back, does not have a preference toward implementing. So
he'll understand, he generates good ideas, he develops
them, he gets the right at the brink and then he could
pull them off, but really he'd rather not. If we look at
Spencer, on the other hand, not a preference toward
clarifying, but, oh, if you need some ideas, he's going
to hop right on it, developing them, and then he's going
to go to implementing where he has a lot more energy. So
the power of this is that we certainly capitalize on our
preferences. Some things to note that are also
downfalls, things like drivers, individuals that are
drivers, high ideators, they need big picture, they need
their ideas to be understood. Implementers need to feel
like there's action. Can get frustrated when people
don't seem to be moving along as quickly. Developers
they're going to tinker ideators, going to generate
ideas, clarifiers, going to give context. So, as I said
in the beginning, if it's a short problem, quick
solution problem, it makes sense to put like minded
people together. For example, if outside of your studio
right now, 300 people were going to show up and they
needed somewhere to park, I beg you, don't bring
Christian to the table. He's going to ask questions. How
come they're here? Why are they here? Should we have
known about that? Should we have planned further? Have
we ever been here before? When really that small
problem, that context, that history doesn't matter. We
need ideas where to park them. So give that problem to
Spencer and like, preferenced individuals to solve the
problem. If, however, it's a much more complex problem
coming back out of COVID starting up a new podcast,
relocating an entire family, you need desperately to
have all of those thinking preferences there. Remember,
because you have this insight, you're not off the hook.
You have responsibility. And if you have a team where
you're still lacking individuals of that preference,
boom. Learn the tools of creative problem solving so
that you can recognize we don't have a lot of high
ideators. What are some tools that we could use to
honor, not forego, not skip that important part of the
creative problem solving process?

Christian All right, we could talk about this for hours, but I
want to come back to the notion of creative problem
solving. I think this term is interesting because we use
this word creative creativity, creatives that conjures
up in the mind of some people. And I'll just take myself
here like, oh, well, we have artists and musicians, and
this kind of comes up with this I have this vision in my
brain of what it means to be creative. So I'm wondering
if you can help us understand the context of creative
problem solving. And why do we call it creative problem
solving? Is it the same as, oh, it's the musicians, it's
the artists, it's the designers? What's the crux of the
creative part of this?

Teresa So creativity is widely defined as novelty, that's
useful, novelty, that's useful, something that's new,
that's useful. The follow up to that is innovation. And
that is kind of bringing that novelty and usefulness
into action. So creativity always precedes innovation.
So we're not talking about you're absolutely right.
Creativity, making music, making art, being able to be
an engineer and craft a bridge or an architect and see a
building come into play. Creativity is defined as
novelty, that's useful. So creative problem solving,
creativity, looking at new useful ways, problem any
issue, challenge, opportunity solving, coming up and
arriving at a solution. So creative, intentionally
novelty, that's useful to address any problem,
challenge, solution, to arrive at these solutions that
actually allow us to address it or mitigate it or
leverage it and exacerbate it. So again, creativity not
about making music. You could use the process to come up
and support the creation of music. But again, the
arrival of novelty, that's useful. Anybody can learn it.
And we want to be able to be creative on demand. Right.
Think about your problems and your projects and your
life and your family. I don't know about you. Time,
energy, resources. I don't have a reset button. I need
to solve problems on demand. I need novelty that's
useful to understand and address my challenges or
leverage my opportunities.

Spencer Teresa, we have a comment on LinkedIn from Tim Kaczynski
and he says, is this like understanding each other?
Question mark and then like a disc assessment. So Tim
was wanting some clarification on this with like a
behavioral assessment.

Teresa So lots of research has been done on foresight that
allows tremendous correlations with other assessments.
Things like disk. The cornerstone, the crux of foresight
is the revelation of your thinking preference or
preferences toward the creative problem solving process
and the innovation process. So it is absolutely learning
about ourselves and anybody who takes the foresight
assessment, it's been my experience in all of my years.
They read it and it's as if some person has been walking
this earth plane with me since the beginning because
it's a mirror back not to ability, but to my
preferences. For example, again, I'm a high implementer
and to know me is she goes, she does. She runs through
doors, she jumps into pools, she doesn't even know if
there's water, right? Kind of a downfall. But my
superpower, this girl gets things done, I make things
happen, I bring it across the finish line. No surprise
to me. But when I take the foresight assessment, I have
this understanding and it lets me then say I need to be
mindful that I really don't ask clarifying questions. So
when I'm running through a door, do I need to run at all
and do I need to run through that door? Let me better
understand that. It allows me to say, teresa, you might
want to pause and take some more time to get better
ideas about how you need to proceed forward and you
might want to take some time to develop those ideas so
that when you're charging forward, you don't have to
circle back. You don't have to now take a moment to
better understand or come up with a different idea or
make an idea better. So it is Tim absolutely
understanding of who we are. And again, our preferences
toward problem solving, I cannot underscore enough. It's
not about ability. We all are functioning adults, some
things more than others, but we do solve problems. This
allows us to have insight about ourselves, others on our
team and their preferences, and also insights to where
we might want to develop our abilities further so that
we don't miss a base. Here's the thing. If second grade
wasn't important, we would go from first grade to third
grade. If ideating wasn't. Important. We would go from
clarifying to developing. But it is important and we
need to honor, we should honor each part of the creative
problem solving process so that we ensure effective,
sustainable, powerful, remedies solutions to challenges
and opportunities.

Spencer Getting better with that finger, right? Christian, I
love the idea. As you talk about as we know ourselves,
then we can I find one of the things that I have to do
is create systems to shore up some of my weaknesses. I
get to be more structured because that's a weakness of
mine. So I create tools to help me provide that
structure that I need that doesn't come naturally to me.
You know what? We only have a few minutes left, and I
know you have several slides that you want to share.
Where do we go next? Do you want to share anything else
of the information? Teresa?

Teresa Well, we can in just a second. Let me just take a
moment. Here's the thing. We want to understand who we
are and we want to honor those individuals on our teams.
So clarifiers, they need context, they need history.
They want to know, have we done anything like this
before? Right? At an extreme, they can come across as
nitpicky. They can get stuck in analysis, paralysis. So
if we know that about a teammate, how might we manage
them better? Right? What does that mean? Let's give them
the context. Let's give them the history. If you have
clarifiers on your team, make sure you've got agendas
out before the meetings. Right? Let's honor the
clarifier ideators. How might we support them? Let them
see the big picture. An ideator wants to know, where are
we going? What are we doing? Honor them. Cognitive
diversity. Understand it, don't have friction with them.
Keep the friction on the problem. Hi developers. If you
have somebody on the team that says, hang on, hang on,
hang on, let me think about that for a second, that is a
tremendous gift to the team. Give them that moment of
pause. Those are our friends that say, let's sleep on
this and let's revisit it tomorrow. And hi implementers,
give them a sense that you are working on it, you are
thinking about it, you are developing it, and kind of
entertain their level of energy. So I just want to make
sure that we point that out. Knowing your preference,
knowing what it means at a positive extreme, knowing
what it means as it can come across, allows teammates,
just like project management to know a system, to know a
process that we can have common language. Now, if I'm
talking to a teammate, I can say, listen, I know you
have a high preference for clarifying and you're going
to have a lot of questions. Ha. Can we limit it to ten?
Can you get those questions to us in advance? I do so
much work with schools and superintendents and school
board presidents, and once they know their preferences.
We had a superintendent that was a high, high
implementer. Action, action, action. And a school board
president that was a high clarifier. And so when they
were preparing for their meetings, you can imagine this
friction and tension. And once they understood their
preference is, oh, you're not trying to be angry with
me, you're trying to satisfy your preference toward
problem solving. And it's completely changed the

Spencer That question seems like a lot, Teresa, but I do have
one other follow up comment from Tim Kaczynski. He says
our politicians could use this.

Teresa You know what, Tim? Help me out here. You don't even
know how many times I have reached out to all kinds of
organizations. The problem solving caucus, my own
congressman. If we knew about our problem solving
preferences, we would know who was in the room. If
everybody could learn the problem solving process, I'm
telling you, there's not a problem we couldn't solve.

Christian Wow.

Teresa No music there, Spencer. No music. That was like a mic

Christian Well, I was thinking of the mic drop and then that music
didn't really fit the mic drop.

Spencer That's all I have. I only have that. That's my last one
before the outro, so I didn't you know you can find some
more for me, buddy.

Christian It's all good, it's all good. It's a clarify over here,
teasing an implementer. But I have found this so
revealing. I've learned things about myself. I've been
giving some thought, Teresa, as to why I have these
preferences. I think it's important for us, ourselves,
to do a little internal questioning or assessment to
understand why do I have this preference and why is it
that I prefer to do these things and I don't prefer to
be the implementer. Why is that? I'm not going to go
into the whole psychoanalysis of it all here, but I
appreciate you giving us this opportunity to learn a
little bit more about ourselves and about each other
because it's certainly been revealing to me and it's
also confirmed some things about Spencer. And I
appreciate him very much for just being willing to just
go, because if it wasn't for him, we would probably just
still be talking about doing a podcast instead of
actually doing one. I give him a lot of credit not only
for keeping this going, but also for taking on a lot of
responsibilities that I prefer not to do as an
implementer. So he's pushing buttons and making this
show happen because he wants to do it and he's an
implementer, gets things done. So I really appreciate
you coming on and sharing all of these ideas with us

Teresa Thank you. And Kristen, you used to just underscore.
Underscore, right? If our team is kind of like a piece
of Swiss cheese, some of us make these plugs in these
holes and gaps that we have. I always tell
organizations, hire for skill, hire for skill, and then
know who's on your team. The next time that you do have
the opportunity to hire or to get a new teammate, or to
make a shift or an adjustment, know who's on your team.
And if you have two equally qualified person people,
what would the team benefit from? Hire for skill, be
cognitive of preference. If you had the opportunity to
kind of plug a gap on the team, why wouldn't you do
that? With intent, with purpose, with strategies?

Spencer So yeah, I'm doing my best to push buttons as fast as I
can. But here's an example of a team profile. Why don't
you just tell us what we're looking at here and just
describe for those who are listening on the podcast.

Teresa So our friends are listeners as well. On the left hand
side, what you have is a graph that shows the individual
profiles of Spencer and Christian. And when you take the
assessment, there's an interpretive guide. You get your
own individual profile. The work that we then do is make
a team profile that combines them. So what we have on
this team profile, the great, terrific news is that when
we combine these two individuals onto a team, we have
the areas of the entire creative problem solving process
covered. If we just had folks like Spencer, we would
have individuals that have preferences only toward
ideating and implementing that team profile shows on a
team where we have high peaks and low peaks so that we
can understand again who's just on the team. So in this
example, each between the two of you, you have somebody
that has preferences toward clarifying, the two of you
have preferences toward ideating, one of you toward
developing, and one of you toward implementing. So even
if you didn't know anything about this, you've got your
ground covered, you've got your grounds covered. What
happens when we look at a team profile that's
significantly skewed, significantly skewed many teams?
It's crazy. You'll have a whole bunch of clarifiers that
are also high implementers, right? So they understand
and then they do, but they really don't have passion,
interest to develop ideas or generate ideas. If you only
have a group of clarifiers, you're going to stay stuck
in understanding and not move toward action. So the two
of you, as I said, come together nicely. You're not off
the hook. You have an understanding of who's on the team
and you can get things done.

Spencer We don't have a lot of time, but I would say that it
seems like, Teresa, that it is possible that we have
bias in hiring or preferences for certain thought
processes and that's why sometimes we may have those
skewed teams. Is that true in your experience?

Teresa Absolutely. And there's a lot of research about that
when we do this reveal when I'm in person or doing this
virtually, I intentionally put like, people together
when they do an activity. And it feels like this perfect
first date because they're solving the problem exactly
like me. And then we realize, wow, we missed a whole lot
of other things because we didn't take those parts of
the problem into consideration.

Spencer It's interesting. Teresa, both Christian and my spouse,
our spouses are almost our opposite. Would you agree,

Christian Oh, yeah, 100%. My spouse is a lot like you. It's very
much implementer, and your spouse is more like me. So
it's kind of interesting how we ended up hearing

Spencer Well, Christian, why don't you wrap us up here, because
I know we need to share with our listeners some more
great information about Teresa.

Christian All right. Well, Teresa, it's been a pleasure to have
you on here. I mean that sincerely. I look forward to
having continued conversations with you. If our
listeners and our viewers, they want to learn more about
foresight, they want to learn more about how you can
help their organizations creatively solve problems.
What's the best way for them to reach out and contact

Teresa Thank you. Thank you for that opportunity. So at the end
of the slide, there's one up here. Now that Spencer has
put up, if you want to just hit that QR code, you can
immediately connect with me on LinkedIn. My information
is there. My telephone number 716-536-4848, and my name That's my company.
I will help you administer debrief foresight. Small
teams, big teams, hundreds of people in the room, the
entire organization, training on creative problem
solving, training on project management, and the
intersection of creative problem solving, facilitation,
certification training. There's lots that I do. If you
hit me up on LinkedIn, that really is your best place to
find me. Just message me, and I'm happy to stay in
touch. And we can look at foresight and cognitive
diversity virtually or in person.

Spencer And take it from me, she's a great facilitator,
entertaining, educational, and gets people to just
comfortably get into action, which is that's where we
learn by doing and experiencing. So well done. So glad
to have you, Theresa. Thank you.

Teresa Thank you, friends. It was terrific.

Spencer Christian, you want to wrap us up?

Christian Yeah, it's funny. My video got caught in a little loop
there, so yeah. Spencer, if people want to learn more
about how you are helping teams reach their peak
performance, how can they reach.

Spencer Out to you the easiest and fastest way? Just reach out
to me on LinkedIn. Spencer on LinkedIn. And Tim
Kaczynski on LinkedIn says, thank you. Teresa and
Christian, you are an incredible advisor, counselor.
You've been consulting for years and years.

Christian How do people find you LinkedIn? Why not just look up
Christian Napier? Find me on LinkedIn. All right,
listeners and viewers, thank you so much for taking time
out of your day to join us. Please like and subscribe
our podcast, and we'll catch you again soon.
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Cognitive Diversity
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