Every human being is distinct from every other. Some of this distinctiveness is known and understood. Our retinas, for instance, or our fingerprints or DNA.
But, until recently, we were unable to understand the distinctiveness that lies at the core of our being, deep within the software of our brains. Part of the problem is lack of a common language to describe this software.
At OND, ‘Intellect’ is the holistic depiction of our natural strengths and talents. Natural strengths and talents were already formed within us before our birth. They are different from skills which are learned later in life. Natural strengths and talents lay down how our brain channels the intelligence we have. Our own particular collection of natural strengths and talents is our ‘Intellect’.
Our Intellect is very powerful when it is engaged with our work. More often than not, however, our Intellect is not engaged. Gallup reports that only 33% of US workers are ‘engaged’ at work. In Europe (11%) and the Far East (6%) the situation is far worse. People in these continents can rarely excel at anything unless it is by mastering a robotic task. Even when they do, they are miserable. Their Intellect’s talents are not unleashed and engaged. They are bottled up. This is nothing short of a human tragedy.
But when our Intellect, the core software at the heart of our being, is engaged in what we are working at, we can become very good at that work. We can excel at complex tasks. More than this, we are happy and engaged while we work. We become valued team-mates and colleagues. We begin to deliver our potential. We contribute positively to team morale and team success.
This leads to ID and how we work with others.
ID is Intellectual Diversity. When we have a team or department engaged in sophisticated work, we need different Intellects pulling together. When different Intellects pull together, we get high productivity and efficiency rates but also high retention and engagement rates. In essence, people love it when their own Intellect is engaged, and they love it even more when they’re working on a team or in an organization where everyone else’s Intellect is engaged.
It used to be difficult to achieve Intellectual Diversity, mainly because our Intellects are invisible. Even mighty Google tried and failed to find the formula to build perfect teams, every time. Google’s only solid conclusion from the enquiries of their high-powered Project Aristotle was that successful teams are those in which employees feel ‘safe’, meaning they feel safe to express themselves fully and bring forth ideas confident that they will not be criticized or mocked. However, this conclusion was an outcome and does not speak to the means of achieving this outcome. Google were unable to determine how to create the conditions that would allow employees to feel ‘safe’ in the first place. Project Aristotle was abandoned.
By contrast, Method Teaming® is the science, language and methodology, developed by OND, that allows you first to understand the Intellect of your employees and then to correctly position those Intellects in the team to achieve ID (Intellectual Diversity). ID is blind to age, ethnicity and gender. It allows employees to have the greatest understanding and respect for each other’s Intellect. ID represents an exciting prospect for pursuing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) because it looks deep inside the human being and illuminates, maybe for the first time in their lives, everything that the individual is naturally good at. This is the key that Google missed. When people are given roles in which their Intellect naturally excels, they will always feel comfortable and will naturally perform well and feel ‘safe’. This latter part is key to D&I. It has been said that Diversity is being invited to the party but Inclusion is being asked to dance. Intellectual Diversity provides the opportunity to be invited to the party (illumination of Intellect) and to feel safe to dance (engagement of Intellect).