The Enneagram in IT

Impactful Enneagram programs have been delivered worldwide in all sectors of the technology industry. Specific companies include Autodesk, Oracle, Adobe, HP, and Logitech in computer software/hardware; Google, eBay, Yahoo, CSC, and start-ups in IT and Internet services; Juniper Networks and Motorola in network and communications sector; and green/clean tech start-ups. At the moment, the most enthusiastic sponsors are the "early-adopter" business leaders who've experienced immediate benefits from the Enneagram personally or with their teams. One technology leader reported that he particularly likes the Enneagram because it provides a rich description of a whole person and allows him and his team to quickly identify levers for personal and professional change.

There are numerous successful examples that illustrate useful applications of the Enneagram in this fast-paced global industry. These go beyond the profound benefits from the relatively widespread use of the Enneagram in executive coaching.

  • In mergers and acquisitions, integrating the Enneagram in assessment interviews and cross-company teams accelerates the "getting to know you" phase of the merger, facilitates team integration, and catalyzes mutual appreciation of new colleagues.
  • Globally dispersed development teams report dramatic improvements in communication, increasing quality and speeding time-to-market. Enneagram-based insights into individual and team patterns made miscommunication and conflict more observable and actionable, helping bridge the gaps in relationships and trust that are common in virtual teams.
  • Teams managing change pull together more effectively after using the Enneagram to better understand their reactions to change and identify ways to be more effective individually and collectively.
  • Founder transitions can proceed more smoothly when, for example, a coach leverages Enneagram insights about the Founder and the newly hired CEO to catalyze an effective working partnership and to help the Founder let go of the CEO position and step back into a to-be-defined CTO role.
  • Internal "colleague" coaching/mentoring programs can accelerate talent development when demand for experienced professionals outstrips supply in emerging markets. A global Fortune 500 software company found using the Enneagram as a centerpiece for their 18-hour training program enabled coaches and coachees to understand their likely challenges and resistance to coaching/change as well as appropriate development approaches. Highly technical participants reported enjoying dealing with human development aspects and coachees who had well-known behavioral problems started to work more effectively. The Enneagram provides a structured framework that helps them understand and organize what previously appeared to be somewhat random and, therefore, less predictable behavior in themselves and others.




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    Karen has 30 years of experience in growing and developing leaders, coaches, boards, and brands as an executive, consultant, trainer, and coach. After 12 years of brand marketing at P&G, Karen founded WorkSpark Consulting in 1991, where her work centers on three foundational elements of sustained success - strategic focus, organizational excellence, and leadership development. She has consulted to organizations ranging from Fortune 100s to Silicon Valley start-ups to non-profits, where she is known for facilitating clearly articulated strategy, fostering effective executive teamwork, and transforming managers into leaders.

    Karen coaches CEOs to first-time managers across a wide variety of functions in computer, software, internet, biotechnology, green and clean technology, household products, and non-profit sectors. She is able to build the social and emotional intelligence required for clients to both translate their capabilities into high performance and to sustain their contributions in the midst of highly demanding lives.

    An IEA-accredited Enneagram teacher and certified by Enneagram in Business, Karen leverages and integrates the powerful insights of the Enneagram with Integral Coaching® methods to help clients embody lasting change. She is a Professional Certified Coach from New Ventures West and mentors, certifies, and trains coaches. Karen holds a B.A. from Wellesley, an MBA from Washington University, is an accredited ToP® facilitator, and certified in multiple 360° instruments.