Extended DISC - Extending People

Extended DISC - Extending People

June 2010 NewsletterREGISTER NOW for Extended DISC Certification Training


This month we look at an actual case study of a company that went through a process of complete change in its corporate culture using Extended DISC methodology.

Originally the company operated in the wholesale business importing goods and selling mostly to non-profit (or as generally known in Australia, “not for profit”) organisations. After a change in the company’s ownership, the new owners wanted the company to enter into a more competitive field of selling the goods to manufacturers, retailers, and other profit-oriented organisations.

The process is a practical example of the steps taken to achieve a significant improvement in profitability.

The Team Analysis Report can provide us with some revealing information.

We look at a Team Analysis Report that provided one of our consultants with the answers he was looking for in an industry that has been under real pressure. The report showed the effect of the management style of the CEO on his executive team and provided the consultant with valuable and practical information.

Changing the Corporate Culture


The company in this case study operated in the wholesale business importing goods and selling them mostly to not for profit organisations.

The company employed 300 people, most of whom worked in administration, warehouse and logistics. Some were working in sales but they were more involved in customer support rather than a search for new accounts.

The corporate culture could have been described as harmonious, stable, peaceful, slow paced and centrally managed. The Shotgun Map below is a presentation of the staff and it will be noted that there is a prevalence of people with “S”, “IS” and “CS” behavioural styles.

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After a change in the company’s ownership, the new owners wanted the company to enter into a more competitive field of selling the goods to manufacturers, retailers and other profit-oriented organisations.

The first step was to appoint a new CEO, and his profile was “DI”. His position on the Extended DISC Diamond is shown below. His natural unconscious behavioural style (Profile II) is shown as the “dot” on the “behavioural map” and the end of the arrow is the behavioural style he has felt the need to adopt to cope with his work enviroment.

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After redesigning the organisational chart, he selected a new management team with the right experience and attitude.

Compared to the previous function-based organisation chart, the new chart was based on customer types so that the whole process from procurement to after sales service was handled by the same team.

Next he profiled the other managerial positions, using the Extended DISC Job Comparison Report. Based on the Name Map, he selected potential candidates for interview and review.

The selected managers were told how many employees they would be allocated and given a free hand to select the people from the existing staff (with the CEO making the final decision). Those not selected were not offered new employment contracts.

The next step in the process was to make the teams as self-managing as possible. To support this process, the Extended DISC Team Analysis report was printed for each team. Each team also participated in a team training programme in which one part was learning to understand the team’s strengths and style. The process was supported by the Extended DISC Open 360 tool and a related training programme.

The senior and lower management participated in every session where people below them in the organisational chart were involved.

In addition to the team training sessions, a special sales training programme was organised where each participant was introduced to his/her natural sales style and also required to do a personal development plan to become as effective in sales or customer support as possible.

The physical layout of the building was fully redesigned so that walls between the one-person offices were removed and new, larger team rooms were built.

It was soon obvious that not everyone in the old organisation could adjust to the new culture. During the three years of the project, some of them found new positions in organisations with cultures closer to what they had been used to.

To replace the empty vacancies the team Name Maps were used to find out what types of traits the team would need the most.


As a result of the process, the company now employs 100 people, has tripled its revenues, and is profitable. The new Shotgun Map of the whole organisation changed and is shown below.

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The way of working in the company compared to what it was three years earlier is now much more active, communicative and participating. Most of the people working today for the organisation also worked there three years ago, but also a number of new people have been brought onboard.

In addition, the old traditions that stagnated the organisation have been broken, the concept of self-managing teams has been introduced to the organisation and many other small changes have taken place that all caused the organisational culture to change successfully to the desired direction.

How a Team Analysis Report Arrow Map reflects Management Style

Many of the case studies and examples we include in our monthly newsletter have been sent to us by consultants in Australia and New Zealand, and this is one of those!

The HR professional involved in this case had been consulted because of the apparent breakdown in communication between various department heads in a large motor vehicle dealer franchise. The executive team had become dysfunctional and the CEO decided he needed professional advice to help get the business back on track.

It is common knowledge that the motor vehicle industry has had very real challenges during the recent recessionary period and individuals working in that industry segment have been under significant pressure to perform, sometimes finding it necessary to work outside their comfort zones.

The very first thing the HR consultant did was to obtain Extended DISC Personal Analysis Reports for the entire staff. He then conducted a training session for the departmental managers so that they fully understood what the Personal Analysis Reports told them.

Following the training session, he provided each departmental manager with copies of the reports of his/her team members and completed a Team Analysis Report for each team. This was followed up by a Team Analysis Report for the executive team consisting of the managers of each department.

The results were enlightening for the department heads but perhaps the most interesting report was the Executive Team Report and even more so the Arrow Map in the report, which is shown below.

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All the arrows were pointing towards “I” and “S” segments, meaning that some department managers were feeling the need to make a considerable change in their behavioural style to cope with their environment. This change was being driven by the need for the company to focus on sales and was clearly a result of the management style of the CEO.

It was no wonder that there was conflict within the executive team as many of that team were not only under pressure to change their natural style but were also suffering from stress and in many cases, frustration and of course insecurity as their jobs were at risk.

The other thing that is interesting in the above example is the prevalence of department heads with similar behavioural styles (“SC” and “CS”). The reason for this is that the CEO had gathered around him people who had a similar behavioural style to his style. The company had not been using behavioural style analysis methodology when recruiting and this approach was new to him.

Our consultant friend tells us that the CEO now understands that various behavioural styles suit different roles and already there have been resignations from the firm, which are being replaced by newly appointed managers whose styles are better suited to the roles. Both were selected using Extended DISC Personal Analysis, - one from within the organisation and the second one was recruited from another motor vehicle dealer.

The important questions to ask when reviewing an Arrow Map are:

1. Do most of the arrows point in the same direction?

  • Interpretation: Most of the people in the team express a feeling that they must adjust their behaviour in the same direction.
  • Why does the team feel pressured to adjust its behaviour from what would be natural for it?
  • Is there something in the management of the team that doesn’t match with the team’s natural style or motivation?
  • Are there external circumstantial factors that make it difficult for the team to perform effectively?

2. Do the arrows have two main directions?

  • Why do the members of the team feel pressured in different directions?
  • Does the team consist of sub-teams with different challenges?

3. Do the arrows not have any visible similarities in direction?

  • Interpretation: The team doesn’t express any external pressure towards it that it would find difficult to cope with.
  • There is no team level interpretation possible but it is still recommended to check the arrow from each individual’s point of view.

4. Which direction are the arrows pointing?

  • Interpretation: The direction in which the individual is expressing that he/she wants or needs to adjust his/her behaviour more than he/she is doing at the present (often due to the pressure of the environment).

5. Where are the arrows moving from?

  • Interpretation: The area where the individual feels he/she should pay less attention to better cope with the requirements of the environment.

It is always worth remembering that the Arrow Map is a management tool to get feedback from the team about how well it feels its natural style is utilised in the present environment.

As in this case the more the arrows point to one certain direction and the longer they are, the more likely it is that some change in the managerial approach towards the team needs to be taken.

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July Webinar "Classical Profile Patterns - From Inspirer to Practitioner"

The final part of our two part series on Classical Profile Patterns. We look at the final 6 Classical Profiles, concentrating on main motivators, emotions and occupational areas suited to the patterns. Attendance in Part One is not mandatory and all are invited to attend.

Join us for an enlightening and in-depth discussion. Questions and case feedback are always welcome.

The July Webinar in scheduled for Wednesday the 14th at 12.00pm NZT and titled “Classical Profile Patterns – from Inspirer to Practitioner”.

Spaces are limited. Email us to register.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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