I am a huge fan of the magazine Fast Company. The September issue is loaded with some great stuff about brands that matter. One of the cool highlighted companies this month is Casper (https://www.fastcompany.com/40438355/why-casper-is-the-750-million-startup-that-just-cant-rest ).
Casper is a mattress company that did $200 million in business last year. With over 300 employees, it has become a global contender in the trending sleep space. Casper has five founders who came together to solve a problem; mattresses apparently are highly marked up and consumers find shopping for this staple to be confusing. They decided to look at a model where costs could be contained with an on-line approach to shopping, similiar to Warby Parker (love my glasses!)
What I love about this company is their appreciation of diversity. Yes, the founders are five white millennial men. But diversity needs to be looked at in a variety of ways, including diversity of thinking. When Fast Company asked the founders to what they attribute their skyrocketing success, they all say it is the unique perspective each of them brings to the company. “There are major advantages of having 5 different sets of expertise rather than a singe domineering vision of the job,” one of the founders stated. They recognize that their customers are uniquely drawn to various types, including the idea guy, the tech guy, the fact guy and the systems guy.
Although they don’t call it Whole Brain Thinking, this approach to building a heterogeneous team is what Whole Brain Thinking is all about. In a six-year study, the US Forest Service found that teams that are balanced in terms of thinking preferences are more effective; they consider more options and make better decisions. The study also found that when faced with a complex challenge, whole brained teams were 66% more efficient than homogeneous teams.
What’s really interesting is that as a leader, you can actually look at your teams collective thinking styles by using the HBDI® team profile. With this information in hand, you can think about how to build thinking capacity and diversity and to identify team blind spots. I am not sure that the Casper crew was using this tool, but they sure are a great example of why Whole Brain Thinking matters.
For more information about the HBDI® and the Whole Brain Thinking approach, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.