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Four Groups have developed a tool to better understand and optimise behaviours, relationships and culture in the workplace, 4G has been designed to help prevent and resolve intangible issues and …

Four Groups have developed a tool to better understand and optimise behaviours, relationships and culture in the workplace, 4G has been designed to help prevent and resolve intangible issues and problems that impact individual and group performance.

This document is designed to introduce 4G and to show how it compares to and differs from other tools and techniques which organisations use to help manage their people.

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  • 1. 4G 4G in Context
  • 2. Table of Contents Executive Summary.......................................................3 What is 4G?........................................................................3 What makes 4G Different?................................................3 Comparing 4G and Other Techniques...............................3 What is 4G?....................................................................4 Introduction........................................................................4 Social Profiles.....................................................................4 Social Relationships...........................................................4 Social Groups......................................................................4 Coaching Modules..............................................................5 The Foundation Course......................................................5 Relationship Friction..........................................................5 The Visual Team Builder....................................................5 What makes 4G Different?.............................................6 Solving Problems...............................................................6 A Predictive System...........................................................6 An Integrated Approach....................................................6 Comparing 4G and Other Techniques.............................7 People and (Human) Resources........................................7 Assessment...................................................................7 Coaching........................................................................7 Leadership.....................................................................7 Online and Self Service Learning.................................8 Psychometrics...............................................................8 Relationships and Processes.............................................8 360 Degree Feedback..................................................8 HR Business Partnering................................................8 Mentoring.....................................................................8 Team Building...............................................................8 Culture and Organisational Values....................................9 Human Capital Metrics.................................................9 Social Network Analysis...............................................9 Succession Planning.....................................................9 Workshops.....................................................................9 Action Points and Notes...............................................11 2
  • 3. Executive Summary Executive Summary Four Groups have developed a tool to better understand and optimise behaviours, relationships and culture in the workplace, 4G has been designed to help prevent and resolve intangible issues and problems that impact individual and group performance. This document is designed to introduce 4G and to show how it compares to and differs from other tools and techniques which organisations use to help manage their people. Brief summaries of the sections in this document follow. What is 4G? The first section contains background on where 4G has come from, along with providing an overview of 4G’s constituent parts. What makes 4G Different? Contains a high level overview of 4G and how it differs from other methodologies. Particular attention is given to solving persistent problems, how 4G articulates and predicts information that is previously unavailable and the integrated approach offered by 4G. Comparing 4G and Other Techniques This section provides a more detailed comparison between 4G and a wide variety of tools and techniques. An overview of each methodology, along with an explanation of how 4G enhances each one follows. 3
  • 4. What is 4G? What is 4G? Introduction 4G is a proprietary approach to understanding behaviour, relationships and group cultures. Based in part on the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, 4G incorporates measures of people’s strengths, creativity, motivation and weaknesses. The model contains 16 definitions of people’s behaviour (Social Profiles), 14 different relationship types (Social Relationships) and 4 descriptions of group culture (Social Groups). As this document is concerned with placing 4G into the wider context of different management tools, further information on the theory and research behind 4G can be provided on request. In particular, the 4G test manual and ‘How 4G Works’ may be of further interest. The following details the major component pieces of 4G and what they contribute to the overall approach. Further to the summaries below, comprehensive information on each element can be found in the two documents mentioned above. • Social Profiles • Social Relationships • Social Groups • Coaching Modules • The Foundation Course • Relationship Friction • The Visual Team Builder Social Profiles Social Profiles offer insight and an explanation of people's behaviour and thinking style. Each Social Profile defines and explains one of 16 examples of ‘Information Synthesis’. Information Synthesis describes how an individual processes information and sees the world around them. Social Profiles are the starting point for 4G, containing a summary, along with details of strengths, creativity, motivation and possible weaknesses. 4G contains 16 Social Profiles. Social Relationships The 4G model makes it possible to predict the nature and type of relationship that will develop between individuals. Once two people’s Social Profiles are known, the relevant Social Relationship can be forecast and examined. Given the ability to articulate and analyse relationships in this manner, it is then possible to offer clear and effective insights into improving work place dynamics, while also introducing an element of foresight and predictability. Reports deal with practical information such as likely causes of stress and how best to optimise each relationship. Based on both the theory of 4G and the empirical research in support of this, the 14 Social Relationships can be placed into a rank order, with the most productive at the top of the list and the least productive at the bottom. This ordering then creates a framework containing theoretical ideals and practical equivalents for decision making and optimisation efforts. Social Groups Social Groups define common cultures and shared group values. Within 4G there are four Social Groups, each one offering a different perspective and ethos. The following list provides summary definitions of each Social Group. Social Group Summary Definition Social Group 1 Radical Thinking, Flux, Revolution over Evolution Social Group 2 Complex Thinking, Rapid Growth, Trend Setting Social Group 3 Knowable Thinking, Replicable Processes, Cause and Effect Social Group 4 Known Thinking, Value Maximisation, Perfection and Maturity When a group of three or more people from the same Social Group work together, some, if not all of the aspects of that Social Group will emerge as shared or collective values. It is also worth noting that specific individuals may or may not relate to their respective Social Group in isolation, but when working as part of a larger team, such shared group values are more readily recognised. Along with Social Relationships, Social Groups combine to create a framework for raising the performance of human capital and optimising decision making. 4
  • 5. What is 4G? Coaching Modules Building on the Social Profiles and Information Synthesis, 4G coaching modules are written around popular development topics. They are designed to be more personally tailored than workshops or group training sessions but not as bespoke as individual one-on-one coaching. Each module splits into two sections, the first providing relevant background on the subject, the second being custom written to reflect each person’s Social Profile and the differences in the way that people process information. The coaching modules cover popular development topics such as leadership, dealing with change, communication and feedback, self motivation, delegation and emotional intelligence. A detailed overview and full list of the coaching modules is available by request. The Foundation Course The Foundation Course is an advanced developmental application of 4G. Building on the principles behind Information Synthesis and the Social Profiles, the Foundation Course aims to replicate or in some instances exceed the outcomes of alternative, non-directive coaching methodologies in a shorter period of time. The Foundation Course is an intensive, five session program worked through with a facilitator. Relationship Friction Building on the ordering of the Social Relationships, relationship friction is a formula linking people’s relationships to measures of financial performance. Combining salary data with Social Relationships makes it possible to create a numerical value showing the amount of effort or ‘friction’ that each particular relationship ‘costs’ the organisation. Relationship Friction allows organisations to ask ‘what if’ questions about the best means of deploying their people. In answering these questions, the formula outlines a series of steps that show optimal levels of Relationship Friction. It is then possible to link this information to profits, profits per employee and other performance measures. It should be noted that the output from Relationship Friction creates an assumed financial value, as opposed to a literal one. While Relationship Friction aids planning and decision making, it is not a value that readily lends itself to a balance sheet or P&L statement, in contrast to the payroll! The Visual Team Builder The Visual Team Builder is a software program designed to integrate and simplify the use of all of the different components of 4G. The program allows people to access Social Profile, Social Relationship and Social Group information, analyse different scenarios, generate reports and drill into the depth of information available from 4G. Given the breadth and scope of the information and outcomes available from 4G, the Visual Team Builder makes understanding and acting on this knowledge as easy and straightforward as possible. The software is delivered over the internet and has a number of security measures that ensure individual, client and organisational integrity. 5
  • 6. What makes 4G Different? What makes 4G Different? As mentioned already, the key difference between 4G and other approaches is its ability to resolve previously intangible problems by making available information that was previously impossible to articulate or to make tangible. While the thoughts above provide a reasonable summary of what makes 4G unique, more specific examples of 4G’s differences are described below. Solving Problems In a commercial context, solving complex or persistent problems creates value. The ability to tackle and resolve issues that have previously perplexed, not been addressed or have required significant amounts of time to solve makes the creation of new solutions and skill sets a reality. By simultaneously describing and predicting the likely outcome of behaviours, relationships and culture, it is possible to turn these abilities to the resolution of a wide variety of problems. Rather than outline each possible problem in detail, it is interesting to consider a cross section of the topics that are relevant to behaviours, relationships and culture. Of the many examples, consider the following; • Change Management • Outsourcing • Recruitment • Talent Management • Team Building In one way or another, 4G offers insights and resolutions to some of the more intractable elements of the challenges that go with the items above. While there are of course many more examples than those listed, for the sake of brevity, it is hoped that this list is 1 appropriate both in terms of both its breadth and depth . A Predictive System Perhaps the most noteworthy element of 4G is that it offers a predictive system for dealing with the inherent intangibility and complexity of behaviours, relationships and culture. It is predictive because 4G offers foresight with regards to likely outcomes and future events. It is systematic because given the rank order of the Social Relationships and the ideas behind the Social Groups, the model creates a series of rules and logical sequences whose outcomes can be duplicated in a repeatable and sustainable manner. Another consideration is the role of the empirical data underpinning 4G. While datasets and research can always be added to, 4G strives for the qualities that come with falsifiability. Such an aspiration is perhaps less common in the social sciences that the physical sciences, nevertheless, establishing and enhancing this goal is always going to be relevant. An Integrated Approach As alluded to under ‘Solving Problems’, 4G lends itself to a wide variety of different uses and applications. Rather than list or explore each one individually, it is perhaps more significant to note that 4G offers both flexibility and integration in its approach. By combining and re-using the same underlying methodology and information in a wide variety of contexts, greater tacit knowledge is captured and created. By extension, economies of scale and operating efficiencies are enhanced. A ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach arguably serves an organisation better than a fragmented but ‘best of breed’ stance. As always though, what suits one organisation may not serve the next. 1 More detailed examples of 4G's possible applications can be found at http://www.fourgroups.com 6
  • 7. Comparing 4G and Other Techniques Comparing 4G and Other Techniques Given the constituent parts of 4G and how they differ from other approaches, this section seeks to compare 4G with a number of other specific techniques and methodologies. It is also worth saying that the interventions have been put into one of three groups. Each group builds on the other, creating a triangle effect. It is also the case that from an organisational perspective, it is easier to change resources as opposed to processes. Likewise, it is easier to change processes as against values. • People and (Human) Resources • Relationships and Processes • Culture and Organisational Values People and (Human) Resources Assessment The assessment of people is an ongoing process within organisations. How is top talent identified, how do we decide who to employ and on what basis is someone promoted? All of these questions and more may benefit from an objective form of measurement and assessment. Often, such assessments are made using ‘management populations’ as the foundation of any decision. For example, an internal group of ‘high potentials’ or an externally created ‘norm group’ may be used to compare individuals against, on one measure or another. From 4G’s perspective, such macro views are enhanced by 4G’s introduction of a micro perspective. By predicting and articulating the impact that an individual has on their immediate colleagues, superiors and direct reports, a tighter focus on day to day matters and people’s immediate circle of influence can be gleaned for the benefit of all. Coaching Coaching is a relatively new technique available to organisations but its rapid growth has been based in part on its in-depth and highly bespoke approach to working with people’s personal circumstances and needs. Most coaching is non-directive, meaning that the coach doesn’t hold any assumptions or make any judgement about the client, other than that the client (rather than the coach) knows what suits him or her best. In practical terms, this sees the coach asking the client a series of questions designed to frame the client’s circumstance in a way that helps the client discover their own answers and solutions, as best serves their needs at the time. While the non-directive approach is both popular and successful, the Foundation Course, built on the Social Profiles and the concept of Information Synthesis, seeks to facilitate a more rapid recognition of the fundamental factors which influence a client’s circumstance. The express purpose of this facilitation is to enhance ownership and help the client change their relationship with those parts of themselves that, in the client’s opinion, would benefit from such a change. By providing direction with regards to a conceptual framework or theory for the client, while still acknowledging that the client’s own opinions and circumstances will best serve them, the Foundation Course seeks to duplicate or surpass the outcomes available from more traditional, non-directive coaching. Leadership Successful leadership is an often quoted and arguably vital component of any organisation. While it may suffer from inherent subjectivity and the lack of commercial or academic consensus, its ability to inspire means that it always retains a sense of popularity and considerable importance. 2 Given the scope of the topic and the component parts of 4G, applying Ken Wilber’s meta-theory to leadership arguably creates a holistic and wide ranging perspective which encompasses and enhances many existing approaches. By building a model of leadership on top of Wilber’s meta-theory and combining this with the systemic and predictive nature of 4G, it 3 is hoped that leadership development increases in applicability and that it is advanced as an approach . 2 Ken Wilber, 'A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality', Shambhala, 2001. 3 A copy of 'A New Model of Leadership' is available on request. 7
  • 8. Comparing 4G and Other Techniques Online and Self Service Learning Online and self service learning provide a self managed alternative to classroom and other forms of synchronous education. While their use depends on a specific context and the learning outcome in question, at a minimum, they are often seen as providing good support materials. Concerning the use of 4G, the suite of coaching modules provides a good complement to online learning. The bespoke information within each module is tailored to each person. By extension, this is designed to make learning speedier, while ensuring depth and understanding are maintained. In a similar fashion, the modules can be worked on via a combination of individual, one-on-one and group study, increasing the flexibility of delivery in the process. Psychometrics Similar to assessment, psychometrics generally focus on either developmental or selection based applications. For example, Myers Briggs is arguably the most widely used psychometric for development while NEO, OPQ and 16PF are well known assessment and 4 selection instruments . From 4G’s perspective, either via the Visual Team Builder, or through the combined use of 4G for assessment and coaching, it is possible to bridge the gap between selection and development. Similarly, one might suggest that using different tools for selection and development is a factor behind some of the fragmentation and lack of a consistent language within organisations in terms of the development of their human capital. Likewise, using 4G to link two potentially disparate areas may potentially further aid organisational development. Relationships and Processes 360 Degree Feedback 360 degree feedback, in its many guises, adds a great deal to self development and the enhancement of working relationships. While 4G is not a direct substitute for 360 degree feedback, given the transparency of the Social Relationships, it might be suggested that such an approach is an excellent proxy or addition to such feedback and may even produce similar or superior results in a shorter period of time. In particular, combining Social Relationship information and 360 degree feedback, it is possible to remove any inherent positive or negative bias which may be present in the feedback of certain individuals. HR Business Partnering Ulrich’s HR Business Partner model has been widely adopted by many organisations. While there remains some debate as how to best implement and maximise the benefits from such an approach, it appears that the model is here to stay, for the time being at least. Given the intrinsic philosophy that accompanies partnering, namely being seen as a genuine, equal business partner to the organisation, 4G helps facilitate this through the problem solving and predictive insights mentioned already. By helping the organisation and HR in particular to solve new problems, such an approach implies an ability to add greater value and insight to the business, boosting Business Partnering in the process. Mentoring Mentoring, in some ways similar to coaching, is another widespread developmental practice. Its use in pairing more experienced people with less experienced people with the purpose of developing, supporting and transferring tacit knowledge is well known. In terms of enhancing the process, the use of Social Relationships as a factor in pairing mentors and mentees goes a long way to ensuring optimal conditions for both people. Equally, an effective mentoring relationship helps optimise the support, transfer of knowledge and development of both people working together. Team Building Team building can encompass any number of group activities. Getting to know people, boosting morale, resolving problems, improving communication and enhancing productivity can all come under the ‘team building’ label. Likewise activities such as classroom based exercises, psychometrics and 360 or related feedback to more adventurous purists such as building life rafts, cooking and even karaoke have all been used for team building in one way shape or form in the past. 4 While it must be acknowledged that most of the assessment instruments do have developmental output, their focus and speciality remains focussed on selection. 8
  • 9. Comparing 4G and Other Techniques Given the multitude of activities and scope of potential outcomes, there is a wide variety of relevant inputs that 4G might make. These range from reducing the time required to get to know someone and the time new arrivals take to integrate into a team, through to better understanding and modelling of existing and desired cultural values. Further to the two examples above, perhaps the area of greatest relevance concerns the use of 4G’s Social Relationships. By giving people an understanding, prediction and the means to optimise existing and potential relationships, it is felt that this serves as a lowest common denominator for many team building activities, enhancing the practical outcome of all participants in the process. Culture and Organisational Values Human Capital Metrics Much has been made of human capital (HC) metrics and their potential to demonstrate the value ‘added’ to an organisation. While debate is ongoing about what metrics best suit each organisation, their relevance to stakeholders and how to tie HC measures to the business, their existence suggests that they are here to stay. Most HC measures take a top down approach to an organisation, for example, profit per FTE, total remuneration/total cost ratio or 5 human capital ROI . Given that these measures are top down in nature, the use of Relationship Friction complements this macro view with a micro perspective. By focussing on the costs associated with specific relationships and lines of communication, it is possible to create a bottom up, individual-centric perspective to complement the organisational one. Social Network Analysis Social or Organisational Network Analysis (SNA) is a technique allowing networks of relationships, connections and patterns of influences to be visualised and analysed. Often used to uncover the more informal but equally effective parts of how an organisation works, the data gathering may automatically mine email records and electronic communication or it may be collected via a traditional questionnaire. The technique also allows specific questions to be asked, for example; who do I turn to for expert advise, who do I meet/email/call most frequently or whose opinion do I trust on a particular topic. While SNA (retrospectively) captures the informal and ‘hidden’ patterns of work and communication, 4G complements this perspective by providing predictions and answers to the ‘what-if’ questions that often arise as a result of a SNA study. The combination of SNA’s retrospective approach and 4G’s predictions creates a potent mix. Succession Planning Succession planning aims to ensure continuity and consistency when replacing or promoting people in an organisation. As internal candidates are considered for succession, they may be developed, coached and assigned new roles in order to prepare them for new roles and possible promotion. While succession planning looks great on paper, the reality of people seamlessly transferring from one role to another doesn’t always transpire. This is in part because come the moment of succession, the context has shifted such that what once looked like a good decision now looks less attractive. Similarly, even if a person does succeed as planned, their ability to meet expectations in a new role may be one challenge too far. Given the shifts in context and that some people may unwittingly over extend themselves, greater clarity of the initial context may help make the planning and delivery of future successions a smoother and more successful process. In this light, the use of 4G’s Social Profiles, Relationships and Groups helps describe and model many different scenarios and possible outcomes such that a more effective outcome is reached by all. Workshops Workshops, similar to team building, cover a plethora of agendas, activities and outcomes. Their use, purpose and applications are equally diverse. The use of 4G aims to support workshop delivery in two ways. The first is to enhance the understanding and application of group dynamics and culture via the materials available from 4G. The ability to manage, optimise and organise group interaction can then significantly improve delivery and outcome. 5 Human Capital ROI = (revenue - non wage costs) / (total compensation + benefits) 9
  • 10. Comparing 4G and Other Techniques The second element concerns the use of the coaching modules and materials in 4G. Given their predictive and bespoke nature, the materials help initiatives around change, communications, strategy, negotiation and related themes, making them easier and quicker to implement. 10
  • 11. Action Points and Notes Action Points and Notes Please use this page to develop action points and for note taking. ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 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................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ © 2008 Copyright Four Groups Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without express Four Groups Ltd written permission from Four Groups Ltd. 5 St. Johns Lane This document is for informational purposes only. FOUR GROUPS LTD MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED in London this document. Four Groups can accept no liability for the consequences of the use of this report and this includes liability EC1M 4BH, United Kingdom FGL/00000000 of every kind (including negligence) for its contents. The following are trademarks of Four Groups Ltd in the United Kingdom and/or in other countries. Four Groups, 4G, Social Web: www.fourgroups.com Profiles, Social Relationships, Social Groups, Visual Team Builder, Relationship Friction, 1Fe, 1Ne, 1Si, 1Ti, 2Fe, 2Ni, 2Se, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7250 4779 2Ti, 3Fi, 3Ni, 3Se, 3Te, 4Fi, 4Ne, 4Si, 4Te, Relationships of Action, Relationships of Assistance, Relationships of Association, Relationships of Balance, Relationships of Comfort, Relationships of Contrast, Relationships of Discovery, Relationships of Focus, Relationships of Interpretation, Relationships of Order, Relationships of Pairs, Relationships of Reflection, Relationships Company Number: 4650494 of Semi-Balance, Relationships of Similarity. VAT Number: 817 7962 85 Registered in England and Wales.