gandhiToday was a fun day, one in which we could spend the time looking at ourselves, and our styles. Our seating arrangement was very different from the previous day….and we were told….the arrangement has a meaning.

In preparation for the course we had to fill a questionnaire, many questions probing about ourselves, our preferences, our habits…some of the questions as usual were quite irritating in efforts of this sort, but I complied…. I knew it was going to be interesting to see the results.

The three change styles defined were Conservers (those who accept the structure, who prefer incremental change, who appear disciplined, who enjoy predictability, who may focus on detail and routine) – conservers are about 25% of the working population (roughly!), the pragmatists (those who explore the structure, who prefer functional change, who may appear practical, who are focused on result, who operate as mediators, who may take more of a middle-of-the-road approach – these are about 50% of the population and then there are the originators, the remaining 25%,those who challenge the structure, who prefer expansive change, who may appear unconventional, unorganized, undisciplined, who will likely challenge accepted assumptions, who enjoy risk and uncertainty, who are visionary and treat accepted procedures with little regards…these are the BIG ideas people….but who easily get bored, who hate routine, but these are the people who will get the organization moving and will keep it moving!. Well, for those of you who know me, it is not hard to figure out which group I fell in and with both my feet! And quite a number of fellow CGIAR System Office leaders were in the same group….surprising, eh?

I won’t tell you what an originator thinks of a conserver, and I won’t dwell on a pragmatist’s view of an originator…. but we all agreed an ideal team is composed of a diverse mix of the 3 groups, you need balance, you need to ensure that you have great ideas but that someone takes the time to implement them! But if you do not want to stagnate, get into “stationary motion”, you know who to call!