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Taking Flight with DiSC: Ippon Technologies invests in people, culture, and clients

The following article is written by guest blogger Theresa Moore, an experienced and passionate business leader who has worked in human capital development across a variety of global industries for 25 years. She held Director roles at Renaissance Reinsurance in Bermuda and Genworth Financial in Richmond, VA. As a certified leadership coach, Theresa helps individuals and teams accelerate their growth and performance.

I know what you’re thinking, “Spending the afternoon with a bunch of IT guys sounds like a barrel of laughs, and what is DiSC?”

Last Friday, thirty-two technology consultants and developers from Ippon Technologies USA came together to invest in their personal development, company culture, and client relationships.

Before I talk about DiSC, let me just say that facilitating a Communication Styles workshop for those technologists was indeed a pleasure. Here’s why.

First, that Ippon’s U.S. Managing Director Romain Lheritier is committed to the organization’s growth and being intentional about building their culture, is inspiring. I heard the team echo that:

  • Ippon is a place for individuals to learn, grow, and thrive. Investing in the professional development of current staff pays dividends and also shows prospective talent that the company cares about your growth.

  • The company is growing fast and wants to be intentional about keeping the culture they’ve worked hard to build. Having a framework so everyone speaks the same language is important.

  • There’s a guiding principle that everyone is a leader. You don’t need a title to show up strong with each other and with clients, but you do need skills in emotional intelligence and communicating.

Second, the organization has an unwavering commitment to building strong relationships and listening deeply to clients. They chose to spend an afternoon learning and getting better so that they can:

  • Do more than code really well. Ippon technologists are consultants who can speak their clients’ language and listen for what’s important.

  • Optimize agile methodology, helping clients get what they need to make their business better, smarter, faster.

  • Be a trusted advisor. It’s not good enough to know what you’re talking about technically; you have to share it in a way that makes sense to your clients.

It was exciting to see all of this in action during their Communications workshop.They stretched out of their comfort zones, practiced new skills, and tried on new ways of communicating.

Now, what about DiSC? If you’re familiar with Myers-Briggs, Personalysis or other personality assessments, there are typically four patterns of behaviors (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness). These behaviors influence how we communicate, make decisions, and manage change (among other high-level functions).

For the Ippon team, I facilitated a DiSC program called Take Flight Learning, which uses “birds” to describe the four behavioral styles: Eagle, Parrot, Dove, and Owl.

Which bird are you?

Using the birds (instead of letters, words, or colors) helps organizations easily apply the concepts and fosters a common language for communicating effectively.

It was cool to see the team embrace all four styles. Traditionally, some companies value the Eagles (who drive for results) but the Ippon team stressed that to fuel innovation and remain a trusted advisor to clients, teams need Parrots (who envision possibility), Doves (who empathize with the customer), and Owls (who look for logic).

I look forward to seeing Ippon “take flight” by being more aware of their own communication style, and being able to recognize and flex to others’ styles.

Post by Olivia Deputy
April 18, 2017