One of the most powerful aspects of Emergenetics® is the way the Attributes can be applied to holistically consider a challenge, opportunity or project. Using the Emergenetics framework, Associates (and the groups or departments they work with) unlock a template to utilize cognitive diversity to achieve results. That’s why our Client Service team often recommends WEboarding.
What is WEboarding?
WEboarding (or the Whole Emergenetics version of whiteboarding) merges the principles of a brainstorming session with the power of the seven Attributes. Participants reflect on a prompt or question, collaboratively writing down concepts and building off one another’s thoughts as they go. A WEboarding session expands on this idea by including the Thinking and Behavioral Attributes, inviting participants to evaluate what each Attribute would consider, need or be concerned about when evaluating potential solutions.
Why is it so effective?
The exercise helps individuals be mindful of the perspectives of people who may think and behave differently from them, revealing alternatives and new possibilities. I find it to be especially effective in encouraging employees to think outside of their typical mindsets and integrate viewpoints that might be missing from a group’s innate makeup. Having staff write down ideas related to different perspectives also takes some of the fear out of sharing concepts that may seem unfamiliar to them. Additionally, WEboarding allows people in the first-third of Expressiveness and Assertiveness to contribute without feeling the pressure of speaking up in front of a group or having to defend their ideas.
How does WEboarding work?
To get started:
- In an in-person setting, tape seven pieces of flip chart paper on the wall around the room with one Attribute written on the top of each. In a virtual setting, write the names of the Attributes on separate virtual whiteboards (tools like Jamboard can be a great option).
- Split the papers or virtual whiteboards with the Behavioral Attributes in half to address both first-third and third-third preferences.
- Identify a project, idea, task, communication, presentation, etc. that the group is working on.
- Invite the attendees to write at least one idea on each piece of paper about what that Attribute may need to be satisfied regarding the identified topic.
- Encourage participants to spend extra time on the Attributes that are out of preference for them.
- Identify themes and collate the content.
While teams may use this technique independently, it is helpful to have an Associate present to support the process, especially when teams are new to Emergenetics or lack cognitive diversity. Associates can provide greater context, revealing burning questions and priorities, so the group more accurately understands and honors the interests of each Attribute.
When should I use WEboarding?
There are many ways to implement WEboarding to support problem-solving and creativity. Below are a few suggestions to put cognitive diversity to work:
#1 – Preparing Major Communications
When a group is putting together an important message, whether that might be executives sharing objectives for the year, a Human Resources department describing benefit offerings, a Marketing team outlining a product release or something else, the Attributes provide a framework to ensure every person’s Thinking and Behavioral preferences are considered. Speaking to the various interests will ensure the message is delivered thoughtfully and in a way that resonates with its intended recipients.
#2 – Putting Together Presentations
WEboarding can also deliver valuable insights to strengthen a presentation, like a pitch deck for potential clients or investors or a demonstration for an all-staff gathering. The Attributes reveal essential topics to evaluate, viewpoints to proactively address as well as inspiration for the visuals and storytelling in the materials and message.
#3 – Generating Options
Every department will be tasked with embarking on a new initiative to push their team or organization forward at some point in their work. WEboarding allows people to open their minds to the different ways to approach the task at hand. WEboarding can reveal novel ideas and opportunities that the group may not have considered if they only worked from their own perspective.
#4 – Troubleshooting Obstacles
When roadblocks come up, the Attributes can come to the rescue! Departments that are feeling stuck as they try to pursue their objectives or run into challenges in achieving milestones may reflect on the hurdles they are experiencing with a WEboarding activity. The exercise helps to apply cognitive diversity to uncover different reasoning behind the challenges and inspire a new path forward.
#5 – Managing a Change Initiative
Whether a group is introducing a new system, restructuring operations or getting staff on board with any major change, a WEboarding session with those who are leading the charge is a great opportunity to enhance the change management models that are in place. By respecting the needs and concerns of each Attribute, teams can increase the likelihood for buy-in.
Cognitive diversity is a gift that enhances decision-making, problem solving and innovation. By mindfully utilizing the tools provided by Emergenetics, Associates will empower individuals and organizations to apply diversity of thought to unlock better ways of working.
Learn more about how Emergenetics can support companies in creating more successful workplace cultures. Explore our website or fill out the form below to speak with one of our staff members today.
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