What Do Accountants and Creatives Have In Common? Personality Challenges for Executive Boards

Executive boards must bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets, each with a unique personality and approach to problem-solving. While this diversity can be a source of strength, it can also lead to challenges in achieving effective collaboration and overall effectiveness of a company board. One of the primary areas where such challenges can arise is in the personality fit. In this article, we explore some of the key differences between these personality types, and strategies for overcoming the challenges that can arise when they work together on an executive board.

Personality Fit Challenges in Executive Boards

Studies have shown that one of the primary challenges in achieving effective collaboration among executive board members is personality fit. For example, accountants and creatives typically would have different ‘default’ approaches to problem-solving and communication, which can lead to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and even conflict. Accountants tend to be more detail-oriented, analytical and risk-averse, with a preference for structure and processes. Creatives, on the other hand, tend to be more open to risk and ambiguity, and not requiring a structure to exist in order to commit to a decision (ie: whether to produce a new product), with a preference for exploration and experimentation.

Both of these roles need to be working effectively in order to perform at their respective functions, but the balance applied when looking at board decision making is often the result of how these individuals integrate from a personality perspective.

Competing Priorities and Communication Styles

When accountants and creatives work together on executive boards, they may face challenges in aligning their priorities and communication styles. Accountants may be focused on ensuring financial stability and minimising risk, while creatives may be focused on driving innovation and growth. This can lead to tension and conflict if they are not able to find common ground. Communication styles can also create challenges, particularly if accountants feel that creatives are not being clear or precise enough, or if creatives feel that accountants are being overly cautious or rigid.

This is just one example as by their very nature, effective boards need a diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experience.

Balancing Risk Management and Innovation

One of the key challenges for executive boards is balancing risk management and innovation, maintaining stability and avoiding unnecessary risk, while still pursuing growth and innovation. Finding a balance between these competing priorities can be challenging, particularly when it comes to decision-making. It is important for board members to value of each other’s perspective and work together to find solutions that balance risk and innovation.

Strategies for Successful Collaboration

Despite the challenges that can arise through different priorities and personality traits, there are strategies that can help to promote successful collaboration. One key strategy is to establish clear communication channels and protocols, ensuring that teams are able to express their views and ideas in a way that is understood and respected by all. Another strategy is to identify areas of common ground and build on these, rather than focusing solely on differences of opinion. Finally, it is important for executives to work together to find solutions that balance risk and innovation in appropriate measure.

Effective collaboration among members of an executive board requires a willingness to recognise and navigate personality challenges within the leadership team. Tool’s such as the CJPI expert occupational personality profiling is designed for use in these circumstances.

CJPI Insights

This post has been published by the CJPI Insights Editorial Team, compiling the best insights and research from our experts.

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