Does your Insights profile change over time and how do you turn a non-preference into a preference?

I love my job! As a Management Consultant using Insights I am exposed to different companies, sectors and people all the time. One minute I am in Devon working with the University of Exeter and the next I’m in London with The Bank of China . . . and, of course, I am with many other clients along the way. It’s a job that provides positive challenge . . . and sometimes that comes from a tricky question asked by a delegate.

When we are lucky enough to introduce people to Insights Discovery profiles we are often asked whether people are ‘stuck’ with their preferences or wheel position. The short answer is no but, of course, there’ s lots more to it than that . . .

To share my personal experience – I was first introduced to Insights discovery in 2014 and came out with wheel position 47. That means I had Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Fiery Red ‘above the line’ (as a preference for me). I re-did my Insights profile a couple of years later and was then in wheel position 7 (Sunshine Yellow only ‘above the line’). I did my profile again in early 2018 and came out in wheel position 27 (Sunshine Yellow and Earth Green ‘above the line’). When facilitating a session I often ask delegates to reflect on why a change might have occurred. For example, “have the demands of your role changed’ or “are you in a new role”? When I reflected on my own change in profile it made me realise that my new job role demanded a very different approach from me and that this had been reflected in my profile. The really interesting bit for me was the one consistent between all three profiles. My ‘Cool Blue’ had remained my lowest colour and had never become a preference for me (or even close). That brings me to the tricky question ‘what do you have to do in order to turn a non-preference into a preference’?

The answer, or so it seems to me, is through hard work. There is no short cut. A senior executive at the University of Exeter pondered this. They did their original profile in 2006 and then completed the questionnaire again in 2018. During the conversations they revealed that in 2006 they made a decision that in order to progress during their career they needed to ‘dial up’ their use of Earth Green energy. Upon further analysis it appeared that this conscious effort had in fact had an impact upon their profile. Their team wheel position had moved to reflect the change:

Wheel position in 2006:

Wheel position in 2018:

This was also reflected in the change in their graphs:

Insights colour preference percentages in 2006:

Insights colour preference percentages in 2018:

So the simple answer seems to be that no you aren’t stuck with your preferences; you can make a concerted effort order to change your preferences and therefore your wheel position – it might take effort, discipline and practice (just like it would to ‘fold your arms the opposite way’!) but it can be really worthwhile for you . . . and those around you.

Easy!? We’d love to hear from you if you’ve re-done your profile recently and noticed a change or if you would like to re-do your profile (or participate in the Insights 360 process to find out how others perceive you). Let us know what your thoughts are.

Jack Orchard – Agar Management Consultancy

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