Our consultants show their true colors

Posted On by Bert Van De Velde

“Oh my god, he shows very red behavior”, “Keep in mind that she often reacts very blue”, “Yellow, isn’t it?”

No, you are not in a paint factory or an art school, you witness an almost daily discussion at 4C. And if you enter our office, you see these four-coloured large Lego blocks on each desk, randomly ordered you’d guess, but having a true meaning for each 4C consultant.

How does this fit within a professional consulting firm you would think? Well, all this is part of a fantastic Insights initiative we started the beginning of the year. Insights has the same conceptual background as MBTI, but for me has a more powerful and pragmatic value in a work (and client-facing) context. Based on quite a lengthy, but intriguing, questionnaire it gives a true (yes, even quite scary) insight in its own work style and communication preferences. The building blocks of the model (hence the Lego) are four different types of distinct work preferences and reflected by a colour: red for result focus, yellow for creativity, green for sociability and blue for detail orientation. The order of the four building blocks reflects someone’s individual profile.

But, is consulting at 4C not all about Salesforce, statistics, processes, technical stuff and so on? It is, but only like for 50% of the job. When we ask our clients, which we do regularly to keep ourselves sharp, what made them choose 4C, or keep choosing us, is obviously our proven competence. But far more important; how our consultants approach things and how they live our values in reality: pragmatic, listening, adapting to each situation and stakeholder and teamwork. This is exactly why we have initiated Insights, not only from a personal development approach, but with the aim to strengthen the DNA of our company culture.

And does it pay off? Oh yes it does! The team sessions, which was the kick-off of the initiative, had a very interesting effect on team dynamics. People were somewhat forced, however in an open and constructive atmosphere, to talk about their own profile and how he/she prefers to be approached. The effect of this on the team behaviour was amazing, sometimes very emotional in the beginning, understanding and respecting each other’s differences in the long term.

Consultants operate regularly in changing and uncertain circumstances where they meet and work with a variety of stakeholders of all levels in the client’s organization. It is so great to see how my colleagues use Insights to gain better understanding of the people they work with and how they use the Insights tactics to improve their consulting skills: giving feedback, listening, communication, leading, influencing, guiding, etc.

The combination of all this great talent at 4C, complemented with their openness for Insights and its practical value makes us more than ready to reach our company mission: guiding companies in their journey to become a real customer company.

It is such an interesting domain of HR and in the next couple of months I am happy to share more real-life Insights cases and benefits.