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The Critical and Neglected Role of Behavior

By Dr. Paul Hertz and Chris Dowse  |  Posted 05-19-2009 Print

The Critical and Neglected Role of Behavior

Although many organizations have reorganized players and roles, redistributed decision-making rights and developed "hot" technology skills, most organizations still have not dealt with the essence of the people equation: recognizing and effectively managing personality- driven behavior, or the "imprint," created by individuals and the IT organization on the IT-business partnership. These unique behavioral signatures go right to the core of IT's overall position and influence, the ability to listen to business needs, the posture and tone of communications, the design of IT customer processes--everything that explains the fundamental strengths and weaknesses of the IT organization in this relationship.

The impact of behavior has not been explicitly explored in IT management, but it merits further discussion. We have noticed dominant behavior profiles that exist in the IT management ranks. We have observed recurring patterns of behavior within IT organizations--and between IT and the business--that can-not be explained solely by hierarchy or company culture.

To prove our hypothesis, Neochange and The Paul Hertz Group have completed a breakthrough study into behavior patterns between IT's roles and layers and across the business. We have collected profiles of more than 500 IT executives, managers and their staffers using one of the survey components of The Paul Hertz Group's proprietary Print System.

Print is a relational model that associates behavior patterns (a.k.a. personality) with specific, underlying "Unconscious Motivators." These motivators reflect both what we seek and what we seek to avoid. They color our interpretations and emotions, and consequently drive our instinctive actions and reactions.

There are nine known core motivators, each having its own pattern (or spectrum) of behavioral expression, ranging from positive ("Best Self") to negative ("Shadow"). These motivators naturally occur in pairs, creating 72 distinct Print profiles, each with a major and minor motivator. So, depending on our Print, we exhibit behaviors in our interactions with others that may or may not resonate with their Print.

The key to successfully shaping or reshaping our relationships is to move from following the instinctive reflexes that get in our way to intentionally managing our behavior as Best Self. It's the only way to create and maintain productive relationships with others, especially those who think and act differently from ourselves.

There are some very valuable insights to be gained from the study. Many of the critical IT management challenges can be explained in terms of personality-driven behavior. However, we intend to focus on how the dominant Unconscious Motivators (and associated Triggers and Shadow and Best Self behaviors) of the two dominant profiles of IT management factor into the quality of the IT-business relationship.


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