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Featured Customer

Tableau

High-performing people can fall into the trap of applying the same preferred strength to solve every problem. Learning to choose a different approach—with their core motives intact—made all the difference for leaders and teams at Tableau.
“The strengths-based approach around core motivations and an unlimited approach where everybody is capable of anything was really the approach that our organization was ripe to embrace”

Andrew Pottenger

Training Manager

The Challenge

Tableau, a leading software company to help organizations change the way they use data, depends on collaboration to achieve its vision and corporate objectives. Collaboration to create a winning culture, to build world-class products, and to ensure the delivery of a great customer experience. In talking to business leaders across the company, human resources business partners found that there were issues arising related to collaboration. Miscommunication among team members was occurring, teams were driving toward consensus in place of collaboration, and decisions were not being made quickly and efficiently. To help address these issues and drive improved collaboration, Tableau’s HR leaders sought a solution to improve relationships within teams and across the organization. A key part of the solution was the fit with Tableau’s corporate values such as “We Work as a Team”, “We are Honest”, and “We Respect Each Other.” Tableau considered a range of solutions such as MBTI, DISC, CliftonStrengths, and Core Strengths to find a solution that would address the issues at hand and fit with their current culture. Ultimately, Core Strengths was selected due to its efficacy and fit with the Tableau organization.

The Core Strengths Solution

Tableau engaged Core Strengths to introduce its relationship-centric training course. The approach fit well with Tableau’s culture and was well received early on. “The strengths-based approach around core motivations and an unlimited approach where everybody is capable of anything was really the approach that our organization was ripe to embrace,” said Andrew Pottenger, Tableau Training Manager.

Over the next few years, Tableau expanded the exposure of its teams to the Core Strengths training program. To maximize its impact, HR business partners worked with senior leaders to find teams that needed a relationship tune up. Over time, it was offered to any team that wanted to take the assessment and benefit from improved communication and a reduction in conflict. In the last year alone, ninety percent of the marketing organization went through the Core Strengths training. To date, over a quarter of the company has taken the training.

In addition to the formal training courses, leaders and managers use the techniques taught in the training informally during team meetings and offsites. “I have done a condensed version of the class at an offsite and included the ‘How I See It’ activity’,” said Andrew Pottenger. “It’s the activity piece with the core knowledge that you can use as a focused exercise to create engagement around problems that are popping up.” It has become part of the Tableau lexicon and is used as a powerful communication and collaboration tool across the organization

“It’s the activity piece with the core knowledge that you can use as a focused exercise to create engagement around problems that are popping up.”

Benefit

Core Strengths training has been instrumental in improving communication at Tableau. “Tableau is an organization of high performers and people tend to keep doing what has gotten them to where they are,” commented Andrew Pottenger. “It really improved the need to speak to the communications needs of everyone and not just what the person prefers.” Another benefit is the impact on decision-making. As project teams make decisions, the language of the SDI shows up as a way to facilitate decision-making. Specifically, it supports the change management part of decision-making by helping create a pathway to move forward in a manner that meets everyone’s needs. Further, the Core Strengths training in coordination with complementary efforts have helped increase managers 360 feedback in particular around how managers develop their direct reports. In addition, retention has improved during the time that Tableau introduced and expanded its use of the Core Strengths training.

About the Company:

Tableau Software is an interactive data visualization software company founded in January, 2003 by Christian Chabot, Pat Hanrahan and Chris Stolte, in Mountain View, California. The company is currently headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States focused on business intelligence.

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When relationships work, there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved.