The people at KAE Marketing Intelligence thought they were pretty good at communicating. But as partner and marketing director Simon Dannatt reports, they found there was ample room for improvement
KAE Marketing Intelligence is a boutique marketing consultancy that provides strategic marketing advice to a large range of clients including American Express, Vodafone, British Telecom, Unilever and Charles Schwab.
Our 35-person team is incredibly diverse - an eclectic mix of strong willed and independent people from a wide range of very different backgrounds. Managing this group, as someone who has seen us working put it, is like herding cats.
The biggest common divide within the team is between the creative types and those of a more analytical nature - the word explosive springs to mind. Interestingly, our commercial success depends on these two groups working together in perfect harmony, or as close as we can get to it.
We have tried a wide range of team building and communications training exercises, events and courses in an attempt to get the company to function as a lean and mean consulting machine with, I have to say, imperfect results.
Putting Insights Training & Development’s Charles Grimes into the KAE lions’ den might have seemed foolhardy. Charles is a soft-spoken, mild mannered human resources professional - or at least that is the way he came across the first time I met him.
It was with some trepidation I introduced him to KAE at our annual team building event. But Charles is the Clark Kent of the team building world - he was energetic, dynamic and fully in control at all times.
We started by working on understanding the impact of personal perception focusing on how our view of everyday events, people and even world events is coloured by our internal beliefs. With personal examples and interactive exercises Charles demonstrated how each of our personal heroes could be someone else’s villain, how our best approach to a challenge can become a waste of time and how what makes something right for us can be completely wrong for others.
We moved on to the simple colour classifications Insights uses to describe the personal personality or style preferences we all have - fiery red for the competitive, demanding and strong willed behaviour of some of us, sunshine yellow for the sociable, dynamic, demonstrative and expressive, earth green for the caring, encouraging relaxed and amiable, cool blue