The corporate world seems awash in personality tests that are designed to improve communication and working relationships:
, Myers Briggs
, the Five Factor Model
, and many others. There are even books
and websites that give advice on how to "ace" or "beat" these tests for better results.
believes that there's a better way.
The Minneapolis-based firm has spent the last decade transitioning from a paper-based testing product to digital corporate training materials, collectively called the DiSC program. Along the way, the scientifically-based approach has also undergone some revision, to make it more useful to organizations.
According to CEO Jeffrey Sugerman, the program differs from competitors in many ways, particularly in that it presents a model for organizational functions, rather than just an assessment of personality types.
"With some of these standard tests like StrengthsFinder, what you get is kind of a data dump," he says. "You have a 30-page report that's filed somewhere and maybe you look at it every once and a while, but it doesn't seem that it changes much in the organization."
Inscape focuses instead on how people think, act, communicate, and prioritize, he notes. As companies continue to operate in a lean way, making sure that employees work together efficiently and amiably is crucial, Sugerman believes. Simply putting people into a team and hoping for the best isn't a very realistic approach, especially if those team members are telecommuters who need help in forming cohesive working relationships.
"Collaboration is a source of competitive advantage," he says. "But collaboration requires a framework in order to work, and that's what we provide."
The DiSC program is a bestseller, with over a million people worldwide using the product every year. Sugerman says, "I'm always surprised that people come up to me and talk about their results from ten years ago, it's that memorable to them."
Source: Jeffrey Sugerman, Inscape Publishing
Writer: Elizabeth Millard