MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 30, 2014—CPP, Inc. (CPP.com), an industry leader in research, training, and organizational development tools, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment, has announced the completion of its engagement with ForUs in which it helped the startup’s new leadership team hone its management skills to operate at peak performance. CPP organizational development consultant Michael Segovia used the MBTI Team Performance Accelerator to integrate the insights from members’ individual MBTI assessments and present a view of the sum of the team’s styles, strengths, and blind spots.
“There are a lot of uncertainties in the startup world,” said Shin Inoue, Co-founder and CEO, ForUs. “Increased understanding of how people deal with uncertainty is extremely helpful in a world where there is often no single ‘right’ answer. The MBTI tool has given me the context now to value how other team members with different preferences think about these things.”
ForUs, a five-person San Francisco-based startup, aims to improve the U.S. retirement system with technology that enables individuals to understand their benefit options, and provides a simple way to put good choices to action. The MBTI assessment and the Team Performance Accelerator have helped the members of ForUs’ co-founding team better understand each other’s work styles and decision-making processes, which in turn has helped the company be more productive and avoid unnecessary conflict. It has provided a context for them to value each other’s perspectives, which has increased patience, clarity of communication, camaraderie, and productivity.
Bridging an Extraversion–Introversion Communication Gap
The assessment process revealed that four members of the team had a preference for Introversion and only one for Extraversion, an imbalance that created some tension as the team member with Extraverted preferences was perceived at times by the others as dominating the conversation. “Team members with Introverted preferences were able to see how their Extraverted colleague sometimes felt alone in his efforts to spur communication,” said Segovia. “Now the team understands that he’s being more vocal to prompt a flow of communication, not because he wants to dominate.” Segovia also introduced communication techniques for those with a preference for Introversion to ensure that they are able to adequately express their thoughts during meetings.
Transitioning from a large company to a startup environment
Three of the five co-founders had worked together previously at a large company, leading to some unique work style challenges as the group transitioned to a small startup environment. “It was extremely helpful to gain insight into how the core team communicated and worked together—it enabled me to understand the original team members better, which was very important coming into the high stress environment that the startup world can be,” said Co-founder Cindy Bloch.
Channeling the passion of a dedicated team
The passion at startups often gives rise to time-consuming debate. The MBTI assessment helped team members understand each other’s’ passions and approaches, reducing the unnecessary back and forth that often gives way to lengthy debate. “Understanding where our team fell along the 16 personality types helped shed light on why we’re doing what we’re doing—developing a holistic solution to a very complex and overwhelming process,” said Bloch.
For more information on CPP’s work with ForUs, please visit