Effective work with organizations requires the ability to understand deeply and objectively the dynamics at work. By combining assessment tools with on-site inquiry, i4cl fellows develop a complex view of the ecology of an organization. Tools such as the Neethling Brain Instrument evaluate individual and team thinking preferences, while the Team Learning Survey establishes a team's strengths and growth opportunities. Ethnographic interviews provide a rich view of the experience of employees and the Johari window identifies individual and organizational blind spots. Collectively these tools and others can be used to provide a complex picture of the current state of an organization and guide our practitioners in identifying strategic recommendations for navigating an organization's unique context and competitive landscape.
In his Harvard Business Review article, The Big Lie of Strategic Planning, Roger L. Martin points out that in most approaches, far too much effort is focused on the planning and less on the strategy. i4cl approaches strategic planning well beyond the typical process that organizations take for periodic review and uses it to reflect, evaluate, and focus primarily on understanding and developing new strategies.
To effectively lead and support the process, leadership and key stakeholders must believe that a shared understandings of the past and potentials are essential foundations for developing strategies. They also understand that day-to-day decisions are where strategy is enacted and where it shapes the organization.
The Neethling Brain Instrument™
i4cl has licensed practitioners who can administer and interpret this tool for both individuals and teams. The Neethling Brain Instruments (NBI™) is a suite of assessments developed by Dr. Kobus Neethling, a pioneering figure in the field of creativity. The NBI has been taken by almost one million people worldwide. Dr. Neethling collaborated with Dr. Paul Torrance at the University of Georgia to develop this suite of psychology and neuroscience-based psychometric assessments. The NBI™ is a measure of your thinking preferences—the degree to which you prefer some tasks more than others. Your unique combination of thinking preferences has important implications for how you lead, communicate, relate to others, and work in teams as well as for the choices you make in your career. The NBI™ tools can enhance social and emotional intelligence.
The Team Learning Survey ©
The Team Learning Survey was developed at Columbia University as a diagnostic tool for measuring team learning. It measures a team’s experience of eight key elements. It embraces the complexity and rate of change required by organizations to move to flatter, more flexible and agile structures. As a tool, the survey is based on the belief that teams -- not individuals -- are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. Unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn.
A data-driven process for decision-making, Result-Based Accountability (RBA™) helps organizations move from talking about problems to taking action to solve them. This common-sense framework is easy to understand and implement. RBA starts with the organization's goals, the difference it is trying to make, then works backward to identify the means. It has been proven highly effective for nonprofit and mission-driven organizations.
The Johari window is a psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. It’s a useful tool for understanding and promoting: self-awareness, personal development, improved communications, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, team development, and intergroup relationships, that can be applied in a variety of situations and environments.
As a qualitative research method, ethnography seeks to describe and to understand another culture from the point of view of a member of the culture. i4cl uses this approach to understand an organization from the inside. This usually involves conducting observations, interviewing employees, taking notes and collecting relevant materials and documents.
Feedback is essential for learning of individuals and organizations. Inquiry-based Feedback is a set of tools used in a process that is both generative and collaborative.
This model is unlike traditional models, in which feedback is based on the opinions and judgements of the giver. This approach is not "done to" but "done with" the recipient through inquiry and has as its foundation authentic curiosity.