Case Study: How Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Helped Tennick Accountants Achieve A Record Month
It’s September 2019. Graeme Tennick, CEO of Tennick Accountants based in Newcastle upon Tyne, calls me after hearing about how a Manchester-based accountancy firm used a personality assessment tool so effectively they’d noticed measurable results.
Keen to see if I could help with something similar, we put a plan in motion that would see his team achieve a record month.
This short report details what happened, the outcome, and highlights how Myers-Briggs will benefit your staff and organisation.
Let’s get started.
What is Myers-Briggs?
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment tool that identifies the personality types of you and your staff, helping you all become the best version of yourselves.
Developed by Katherine Myers and Isobel Briggs in 1942, it is to this day the most popular and most trusted personality assessment tool.
Carl Jung, the legendary Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology (whose work MBTI is based on), said: “to be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful,” and this sums up why MBTI is so effective.
You see, unlike other assessment tools you may have heard of, the Myers Briggs personality type assessment describes the different ways we see and interact with the world and each other in a positive way. It celebrates how different we all are, and plays you and your staff to their strengths.
Plus, MBTI is not as ‘rigid’ as other assessment tools – taking into account that while we all prefer a certain way of doing something, we are not limited to that way.
For example, if you think about ice cream for a second (I know it’s February but treat yourself), would you pick vanilla or chocolate? While you’ll have a favourite, you’ll sometimes fancy the other flavour (just for a change).
In a business setting, Myers-Briggs helps you understand yourself and your team better so you can play to each other’s strengths. And that’s exactly what Tennick Accountants were looking for.
So many businesses get caught up in trying to figure out their USP, and maybe you’re the same, but your USP is sitting all around you. In fact, ‘what is my USP?’ is the wrong thing to ask. Instead, ask yourself this: ‘who are my USP?’
You see, the strength of your business is your people. It’s your staff who differentiate you from your competition.
Graeme Tennick, CEO of Tennick Accountants, recognised this and knew he needed his team to perform at their best if his business were to stand out from his competition.
There was nothing wrong, but he felt the team had even more to give and could benefit from some team development.
MBTI was a good fit because Graeme wanted to support and develop each member of his team individually, and the team as a whole.
“Whilst we as a team didn’t have any major issues, I felt that a bit of realignment and greater self-awareness would be really beneficial to us… and wow did I underestimate the impact.”
Graeme Tennick, CEO of Tennick Accountants.
He was also aware his own leadership style may not always get the best out of everyone.
Before committing, I was keen to understand what Graeme wanted to get from the assessment and, most importantly, how he was going to embed the outcome within his organisation.
You see, Myers-Briggs is a tool. While highly effective, it only works if your whole team embraces it.
To ensure this happened, Graeme gave me full, direct, and confidential access to his staff. Plus, he encouraged me to use his results as an example.
The first step of the Myers Briggs personality test is for everyone in your team to individually complete a questionnaire.
Once that’s done, I analyse the results and hold a group feedback session. In Tennick Accountant’s case, everyone (bar one person) confirmed their best personality-type fit was correct.
I then take your team through a series of fun exercises to help everyone understand their own personality-type better and, most importantly, understand each other.
This part of the process is always fun for your team. Unless you’re Graeme, that is, who after my likening him to David Brent was the butt of a few jokes from his staff.
Now remember, for MBTI to be effective, you and your full team must embrace it.
In this case, one individual still had doubts and so I met with him afterward to discuss the findings further. As it turned out, he’d previously used Myers-Briggs and didn’t find it useful. But after a productive 1:1 meeting, he changed his viewpoint completely:
“It was like a light switched turned on. The difference I have seen in him since has been phenomenal and the way he’s engaged at work since then has been totally different.”
Graeme Tennick, CEO of Tennick Accountants.
After completing Myers-Briggs, Tennick Accountants had a record month in October 2019. Plus, if it weren’t for Graeme taking time off, he noted how November would have been a record month too.
The Tennick Accountants team applied everything they’d learned during the course to not only understand each other and their clients much better. Plus, the team made key organisational changes, such as:
- Structuring meetings completely differently so that now they get more done in less time.
- Understanding the team has unique motivations and so the same cannot be expected of everyone.
- And the team now takes on roles based on their gifts.
As a business owner, you may be in the same position as Graeme
You see, the Tennick Team’s dominant personality clashed with Graeme’s. It’s why he’s the business owner. Business owners have different drivers and motivations. And as a leader, it’s hard not to expect your team to have the same drive as you.
In short: you can’t expect people to do things the way you do.
Will Myers-Briggs Help Your Business?
Going back to Carl Jung, he said: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves,” and he’s right.
Myers-Briggs is the best way to understand yourself and your staff, and will work brilliantly for your business especially in the following circumstances:
- If your team is new
- If your team is facing a particular challenge
- If your team is defensive, lacks trust, or de-personalises feedback
- If you or a member of your team want to improve their communication
- If you are interested in executive coaching (which leads onto MBTI Step II)
If you have any questions about how Myers-Briggs can help your business, email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or to read more of my articles on human resources and organisational development, see below:
- Five Lessons 2020 Taught Us
- The Importance Of Networking In Lockdown
- What is Organisational Development?
“In a word, Alison has been amazing. I couldn’t recommend her more.”