Disruptive Talent: Rebels with a cause

February 19, 2016 1:40 pm
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‘Disruptive talent’, a term coined by business psychologists OE Cam characterises a provocative breed of talented, innovative and courageous individuals who have a predication towards rejecting conventionalism.

Naturally independent, they can epitomize rebelliousness, stubbornness, and single-mindedness in their unbending and relentless pursuit of their goals, and can be supremely challenging to manage.

In a BBC radio interview earlier this year, Richard Branson said that he had the Disruptive Talent (DT) gene and urged companies to find a place for others with Disruptive Talent or risk competing with them in the market place.

With the threat of competition from disruptive talent if you fail to harness it, it is worth considering the advantages to both large and small businesses, embracing while pondering the risks from hiring disruptive talent too.

Martyn Sakol of OE Cam defined disruptive talent as “individuals who think and act differently, innovate, challenge conventional wisdom, spot trends, see commercial opportunities, and tenaciously find ways to achieve success,” but isn’t this a description that could be applied to talented leadership in general?

Branson reinforces the ubiquitous nature of this quality by categorising all entrepreneurs as DT in their thinking; he reasons that the premise behind their start-up operations automatically qualifies them for inclusion in this category.

So rather than defining a new breed of “disruptive talent”, might it be more helpful to view disruption simply as a leadership effect and viewing this effect at both the macro and micro level? Whether you’re provoking changes in the market place, or leaving an indelible impression on fellow employees in the workplace, you’re being disruptive.

In reality, the term disruptive talent is clearly being applied to those at one end of the leadership continuum, rather than providing an alternative label for collective leadership talent.

So why make the distinction at all? And why might this group be so potent and explosive in their impact?

At Coriolis, our recruitment strategy is focused around seeking 3-Dimensional Talent (3DT) to work with our clients, individuals who sit at the opposite end of the spectrum from Disruptive Talent.

Individuals with 3DT are usually passionate personalities and their engagement style engenders trust among their stakeholders. They are decisive, adaptable, pragmatic individuals who are able to modulate their leadership style to get the best out of their teams. They know how to build a compelling case; to build structure around ambiguity and secure commitment through their persuasive and influential management styles. Their high IQ’s create a platform for their mental agility, while their high emotional intelligence scores give them the edge in relationship-building.

As consultants we are advisors, so we look for talent whose influencing skills feature prominently on an individual’s DISC profile. With 90% of our team in client-facing positions and customer intimacy at the heart of our approach, disruptive talent cannot be the “face of Coriolis”.

And yet some businesses have found a way to catch these tigers by the tail and have actively pursued them. These businesses realise that integrating disruptive talent into their existing teams is a fruitless task, but crafting teams with complementary skill sets is the best approach and startling results can be achieved when successful.

A combination of high intellect coupled with low emotional intelligence and DISC profiles indicating high dominance (D) would lead to a struggle to integrate and engage in the way we need our team to at Coriolis. Disruptive talent might exhibit elements of our Leadership dimension and tick the technical expertise or Process Knowledge dimension, but fail to embrace the competencies of our Behavioural dimension.

So when is 2-Dimensional Talent more relevant in the workplace than 3-Dimensional? There is something raw about an unfiltered observation or statement. The message can be sublime because it is delivered unedited and undiluted… something many of us recoil from doing in the world of business and probably in our day-to-day lives too. Their delivery can therefore be more poignant and authentic and hence resonate more clearly with those in range for the same reason that an analog signal carries more of the tonality of the callers voice than a digital signal with its reduced range of sounds.

2D or not 2D…that is the question

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33609566


Written by Mark Hyland, Coriolis Ltd

OLE!! The Ninth Key Management Indicator

February 12, 2016 2:31 pm
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As I write this article, Ireland and Wales have just drawn 16-all at the Aviva stadium in Dublin during the first round of the 6 nations.

The match made good viewing but I was frustrated at Ireland’s handling of the ball when in possession. They just didn’t advance up the field as much as I would have liked to see, often losing ground which sometimes meant resorting to kicking the ball up field through or over the thin red line.

There’s an old saying in rugby that “a kick is only as good as the chase”, meaning the quality of the kick depends on who ends up possessing the ball once it re-enters the field of play.

Although today’s result has ultimately depended upon the collective behaviours of all thirty combatants, one cannot ignore the Leadership role that a fly-half plays in the game.

A fly-half is crucial to a team’s game plan as they fulfil a leadership role, deciding what actions to take and a good fly-half is calm, clear-thinking and has the vision to direct effective attacking plays. Often the fly-half is the best kicker in the team and needs to be able to execute attacking kicks as well as being able to kick for territory.

A team at play is no different to any Leadership team engaged in their “Game”.

The number of Goals and “Trys” provide a measure of success in the same way that performance improvement (as indicated by a balanced scorecard) provides evidence of corporate leadership success.

And when one looks to explain the performance observed in a game of Rugby, one looks at the statistics around conversions, possession, time in the opponent’s half, Line-outs won, etc.…

So the performance depends upon a combination of leadership choices, collective team behaviours, and their skill in execution.

Many businesses will have a balanced scorecard composed of some or all of these 8 Key Management indicators (KMI’s): Quality, Cost, Volume, Delivery, Innovation, Safety, Motivation and Environment (QCVDISME)

We at Coriolis have devised a new (9th) indicator known as the Overall Leadership Effectiveness score (OLE). It will help you understand what is contributing to the number of “Trys” and “Conversions” your management team are achieving, but most importantly, this single number gives you a handle on which of the dimensions of team play (Leadership, Behaviour, Process) is contributing to or detracting from your “Leadership event” performance.

We have locked the door to old meeting audit approaches and thrown away the key.

So if you’d like to know more about your potential 9th KMI and the Leadership Gap analysis it provides, we look forward to hearing from you.


Written by Mark Hyland, Coriolis Ltd

Skills and Attributes: not one and the same

February 9, 2016 8:52 am
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Skills and attributes can often be seen lumped together as a dreamy ‘want list’ by either current or prospective employers, but is the subtlety between the two always recognised?

What even is the difference?

Skills, on the whole can be taught. You could be a scuba diver, or play the piano – either way your ability to do something is the skill. You’ve learnt it along the way.

Can attributes be taught so easily? It could be said that a persons’ attributes are who they are, either through nature or nurture and isn’t necessarily something which can be taught.

When looking at who you want within your organisation and considering if they are willing or able to complete the required tasks, their skills and attributes are always going to be at the core of the assessment.

On first look, someone’s skills could be thought to be the prize possession… do they have change management experience? Yes, brilliant. However, in other respects the persons’ attributes could be key in determining if this skill will deliver the required outcome. They might have sat through the seminar, but a lack of empathy or understanding of other people could mean people are not taken with them on the change journey.

At Coriolis these attributes form part of our 3-Dimensional Talent. For us, the skills are a given, so moving the importance to behavioural attributes means focusing on the ‘how’ not the ‘what’, which in turn delivers results. Trust, Integrity and Communication are part of who we are. Read more about 3-Dimensional Talent, and if this sounds like you, get in touch.


Written by Nicky Redfern, Coriolis Ltd

Be more Leader: the transition from Manager to Leader

February 8, 2016 3:11 pm
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O2’s current ad campaign ‘Be more dog’ cleverly plays on the infectious curiosity of a dog by contrasting their behaviour with that of a languid, lazy cat. It extols the virtues of inquisitiveness and suggests their product can fuel that curiosity…

The campaign caused me to reflect on a parallel message in industry; ‘Be more Leader and less Manager’. Sound familiar?

As the mantra goes: ‘Management is doing things right, Leadership is doing the right things’

Isn’t Leadership expansive, visionary and empowering, while Management is simply Leadership that has lost faith, belief and trust and which has therefore chosen to narrow its focus?

Perhaps transitioning from “Manager” to “Leader” sits as one of your personal development objectives right now and you are at a loss at how to make the transition?

Don’t panic. The truth is that the difference between Leaders and Managers is more a question of emphasis than DNA.

Leadership characteristics may not be intrinsic to all of us now, but they can be learned and most of us possess a mixture of both…

Ultimately, the transition from manager to leader is really a journey from Fearfulness to Fearlessness, and since all of us grapple with fears and anxieties, we are all sitting somewhere on that continuum.

FEAR has two meanings:

  1. Forget Everything And Run
  2. Face Everything And Rise

And so making the transition is really a question of making a conscious choice to face your fears.

Steve Jobs said it best with this quote…

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


Written by Mark Hyland, Coriolis Ltd