Stephen M. Shapiro, a business expert with international consulting experience and regular features in Newsweek, Investors Business Daily, and The New York Times, has written a book that explains his inventive card game, Personality Poker. This card game tool teaches employees how to develop, nurture, and drive teamwork and simultaneously supercharge innovation. Over 25,000 people in dozens of Fortune 500 companies have played Personality Poker, so what are you waiting for?
In order for a company to be balanced, Shapiro presents four distinct innovation styles:
- People who prefer facts and principles (spades)
- People who prefer ideas and experiences (diamonds)
- People who prefer plans and actions (clubs)
- People who prefer people and relationships (hearts)
Here’s an example of the different types as they assemble data about a company:
- Spades want PowerPoint slides with key information in bullet point format, business cases, and cost benefit analysis
- Clubs want process flows, data sheets, and detailed resumes of interviews and observations
- Diamonds want all facts that were essentially sensory aspects (sound, smell, texture, taste) with illustrations, megatrends, and future scenarios
- Hearts want quotes from interviews, customer empathy maps, images and illustrations that conveyed feelings, and a timeline with key elements in relation to the history and evolution of the company
By applying different strengths and by understanding different approaches to the project, the groups are able to maximize the contributions of each team. Other results include greater levels of innovation and employee satisfaction.
Leadership teams often wonder if the right people are strategically placed in the right roles to maximize performance. But do leadership teams apply an individual’s strengths to specific projects (play to their strong suit)? Do leadership teams have balanced teams with all styles represented (play with a full deck)? Do leadership teams regularly assemble teams to encourage collaboration (shuffle the deck)? Is work divided to maximize individual accountabilities and minimize redundancy (deal out the work)?
Personality Poker can be played by a few people or large groups, but the key is to be open-minded. The objective is to learn or reinforce your style of innovation and determine which part of the innovation pie best suits you. Personality Poker allows people to accept differences in a fun and non-threatening manner, and as a result, employees learn to better understand each other’s strengths so that everyone can work together better.
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