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Evolving Past Prehistoric Leadership

Since launching in 2021, we’ve put over 1000 leaders through the stressful and challenging Mosaic Game, which enables participants to reflect - and be given feedback - on their natural behaviours when collaborating under pressure.  


I would rather the experience is called “The Dinosaur Test”, if only to see the confusion on procurement faces as they complete purchase orders. 


With apologies to dinosaur fans, in this context, dinosaur means traits many people view as outdated: 


  • Not collaborative 

  • Not self-aware 

  • Slow to adapt to new technologies 

  • Lack of empathy 

  • Lack of flexibility/agility

A self-aware dinosaur is no kind of dinosaur 

We all go into dinosaur-mode from time to time, especially under pressure or threat. I am regularly one myself. I talk over people, I make decisions without consulting colleagues and I can struggle with change. Being a dinosaur, and encountering them, is an unavoidable reality of collaborating through complex situations at work. However, being a dinosaur without realising it is avoidable, and probably the prime cause of cultural issues.  


The relevance and vitality of collaboration 

Amidst the insane pace of change in most industries, one certainty is over the next decade the ability of humans to work in teams to innovate and problem-solve will remain a critical mediator of commercial success. On this, leading thinkers are united – just check out Daniel Goleman’s new book, Tim Cook’s priority skills for new hires and large-scale academic research indicating correlation between “collective intelligence” as a stronger predictor of performance than IQ or EQ. Or, do as most of LinkedIn is doing now: ask ChatGPT then post the immaculately worded bullets, littered with words like “strategic” into a carousel post – for no value whatsoever. 


The “I, We, It” perspectives 

We think Mosaic Game is such a good way to assess collaboration skills that we use it in our own recruitment process. As many will attest, it is easy to assess technical skills and expertise during talent assessment. Even in interviews, candidates can present an inauthentic version of themselves. In the immersive chaos of Mosaic Game, it is impossible to be anything other than yourself. Simply, we look for the individuals who stand-out not because they are the loudest or best at the technical elements of the game, but because of their ability to demonstrate and easily move between the “I, We, It” perspectives which underpin collaboration skills: 

Perspective 

Positive behaviours 

Negative behaviours 

I: What I feel 

Sharing honest reflections, contributing ideas, providing effective feedback 

Staying silent when you disagree, dominating share-of-voice, waffling or using jargon 

We: Awareness of others 

Inviting quiet people to speak, encouragement and praise for others, creating accountability  

Interrupting/talking over, no encouragement or empathy for others, poor non-verbal communication 

It: Awareness of task 

Helping the team stick to time and to stay focused on the objective. Helping to optimise processes 

No awareness of task, process or objective. Minimal individual contribution to the task.  

 

Take the test! 

Of course, the way to limit dinosaur-mode is to increase self-awareness through safe reflection, feedback and self-observation. That is what Mosaic Game does. By engaging in a game-based, fun experience, participants exhibit natural behaviours and gain rapid understanding of the positive and negative impacts these behaviours have on others. From this insight, and ideally supported by coaching, self-awareness – and, by extension – collaboration can flourish.   


So, whether the application is in onboarding, talent assessment, leadership development, cultural change or the formation of a new team – come and join our Mosaic Game demo on Wednesday 31st January.

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