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“Business Chemistry” Can Spark Effectiveness in the Boardroom, Committee Assignments

A recent memo from the Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness explores how directors’ unique personality traits can make for a higher functioning board. Personality traits are assessed using Business Chemistry, an analytics-driven tool which aims to understand and leverage differences between people. The analysis is driven by data and rooted in science for credibility and reliability. According to the Deloitte memorandum, Business Chemistry is used globally “to build healthier teams, enhance customer engagement, and make board members, and other leaders more effective in their interactions.”  Deloitte’s research found that though most people do not fit neatly into each category there are four distinctive types captured by Business Chemistry:

  • Pioneers, who tend to be creative thinkers and risk takers;
  • Guardians, who are more practical and deliberate and known for “bringing order and rigor to the boardroom;”
  • Drivers, who are “technical, quantitative, logical;” and
  • Integrators, who are diplomatic and known for being the glue that holds the boards together.

These types can be identified through a number of processes such as observation, interviews and questionnaires, hypothesis exercises, or Deloitte’s Business Chemistry online assessment tool. In practice, these assessments can help boards think through board composition and assessing a director’s suitability for committees or for various tasks. “Business Chemistry is not just about how you can be more effective in one-on-one interactions with fellow board members; it is also about getting the best out of committees and boards, and how to draw out the strengths and minimize less desirable traits within each group or the environment,” according to the memo.

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