Is DISC too Lowbrow for Leadership and Strategy?
Jul 23, 2021

DISC is a behavioural tool that is easy to use and understand by business professionals but don’t underestimate its value.

The insight provided within the reports is in-depth and complex and when used in everyday life can help strengthen relationships and positively impact all aspects of your life, both at work and at home.  

Peter Quintana is the co-founder of High Growth Knowledge Company (hgkc) a business consultancy that provides practical business advice with a focus on turning innovation into performance. hgkc are a long time DISCsimple partner and apply the learning both internally and externally with their clients. We stole a few moments with Peter over a cup of coffee to find out more about why DISC is such a great tool to employ when thinking about company strategy and leadership.  

How can DISC be used in leadership development and strategic planning?  

‘We [hgkc] use DISC in two ways. Using DISC assessments and a live learning platform when working with a leadership team or a management team, we identify their areas for personal development and improvement.   

All the products we use are from Everything DiSC® [part of the Wiley group] in our Association with DISCsimple, who are their Authorised Partner.  We use the tools of a global publisher backed with the support of a local UK specialist.   

When working with a leadership team, we use the Work of Leaders program to help support business leaders with strategic planning. The Work of Leaders program has three components:  

    •  Crafting a vision
    •  Building alignment
    •  Championing execution

We help our clients go through a process of identifying a vision, strategies, and projects or actions to deliver that strategy. We help leadership teams to understand how to best craft a vision, build alignment behind that vision, and then champion the execution of the strategies themselves.  

We use Workplace and Agile EQ profiles for individual development and ‘Work of Leaders’ to support leadership teams who are engaged in strategic planning, and they are becoming key tools for us.’  

Do you suggest using these tools for all your clients? 

‘We would like to use them with all of our clients; however, it isn’t always appropriate for everyone. Before we started using the live learning platform, Catalyst, and before we understood the nuances of Agile EQ, we used DISC Workplace on its own with a comparison report.  

So, if you became a new client, you would get a profile, and I have a profile, and we would get a comparison done between you and I so that we can understand how to better work together. We found it a useful way to start using DISC and getting used to DISC.  

Now, we still do this, however, we like to add Agile EQ because it adds an extra degree of complexity and depth to the comparison report. Whereas, when it comes to Work of Leaders, we only really use it if we’re doing strategic planning with a client.’  

Are leadership and strategy too complex to be used with DISC? 

‘No, definitely not. There are lots of other versions of DISC as well such as DISC Productive Conflict which is very powerful. I’ve used it with a client before when a leadership team were really struggling to work with each other. People usually think the concept of conflict is bad, however, when handled correctly conflict is extremely productive.  

If people disagree with you, you want to have a constructive conversation around what you disagree about. So, conflict is good, but it has to be done well. There are two extremes of conflict; you have people who always say yes at one end, and then, the other end, where you’re really aggressive, neither of which are good places to be. For conflict to be productive, you need to be in the middle, and that requires developing trust and being prepared to be vulnerable. That can be complicated. As a consultancy, we have to tread very carefully.’  

For more information on hgkc visit their website and have a look at how they implement DISC in their work. 

To learn more about the DISC tool and how you can learn to identify different DISC styles. Come along to one of our free lunchtime sessions. They are full of powerful insight into the world of Everything DiSC® (part of the Wiley group) and in just 30 minutes you will learn something!

We run a lunchtime learning session every Monday and a Pro session for professionals already working with DISC every other Thursday.