We have partnered with the Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance, integrating with their innovative executive programs to help drive and measure behaviour change. We’re already off to an award-winning start!
Why we chose the Honeycomb
by Claire Masson, Impact Analyst, Headspring
The Honeycomb is more than a digital tool, it’s a method based on behavioural science, learning science and agile principles. Although grounded in good science, the Honeycomb puts people first. It integrates behavioural feedback and structured development into their daily working lives.
I chose The Honeycomb Works because they built a framework of observable behaviours. Just four to six such specific behaviours comprise one cell. This approach allows each person to get highly personalised, detailed feedback on the behaviours and skills that are shown to drive success in that area.
Although the Honeycomb method is designed for the individual, human resources isn’t forgotten. They receive invaluable data detailing strengths and weaknesses, aggregated across populations. Such Honeycomb reports allow me to integrate their findings with my own impact reports to provide relevant, actionable insights.
We live in a data-rich age for impact measurement. Recognising the dangers of relying too heavily on things that are easy to count and the limits of dashboard reporting, we search for forward-thinking partners like The Honeycomb Works. In this way, impact reporting becomes part of the learning solution. Measurement isn’t merely an end state result, but becomes part of the individual’s reflective experience, resulting in even more growth.
'Our collaboration with The Honeycomb Works will help us reach deeper into our clients’ organisations to drive behaviour change and ascertain whether the learning has impact,'
CEO at Headspring
Inclusivity that works
Over the last few years we’ve been diving deep into what makes inclusive cultures. Our research has been academic - doing an analysis of the most compelling evidence and speaking directly with researchers - and pragmatic - talking to organisations that are trying really, really hard and still struggling to make it work whether they are big or small, tech or traditional.
What we found is that while there are a lot of quick fixes that claim to help you with inclusivity, to actually have an impact you need to be strategic.
Here are three of the most important things to remember:
1) Hard decisions, not communications
A leadership team we work with kept asking ’how do we get people to believe we really care about inclusivity?’
Then another...and another. Many leadership teams were asking that same question and really agonising about why people didn’t believe them when they said it.
If your people don’t truly believe you care about it, the first question to ask yourself is whether you really do? Will you make painful sacrifices (slowing down hiring for critical tech teams, challenging a client’s biased communication) to support it? If you are only willing to do the easy things, no amount of communication strategy is going to help people feel you truly support under-represented groups.
Too often we find that saying you care is thought to be enough. When we work with a leadership team, they have to be prepared to hear some hard truths - with empathy, but challenge. Importantly we’ll give them specific habits they can build that will create the inclusive culture they want and deliver on their long term business priorities.
2) Inclusivity is not an initiative, it is the validation for any decision
Don’t think of inclusivity as a separate thing but the lens through which you should evaluate any decision. An L&D team in a global corporate was being told consistently that people lacked presence and that was hurting the promotion process - instead of taking that at face value, they realised that perception could be coloured by bias. So, we partnered to do a research project to uncover fixes to the promotion process and necessary changes to manager behaviour. No massive training initiative needed.
3) Get the data
There are many ways you want to use evidence and data to drive inclusivity but to start, you need to understand the demographics of the people in your organisation and how that influences feelings of belonging or other similar measurements. Without the demographic data, good stats can be hiding some painful truths - it’s great that eighty percent of your population is happy but if the twenty percent that aren’t make up the entirety of an underrepresented demographic, then you have a big problem.
And without benchmark belonging data, you’ll have no way to measure yourself against progress. As a start, we use the wonderful and freely available survey from Paradigm. If you are outside of the US, you’ll have to change the demographic questions and we recommend adding some custom open-ended questions, but it gives you a solid foundation.
With our behavioural data approach, we’ve also been able to generate some critical insights that if unnoticed could perpetuate inequality. For example - in one organisation we found that women were rating themselves consistently higher than other people were rating them. We thought this was odd, so we looked at the research and found that women were often not given as much direct, constructive feedback as men, making it harder for them to improve. We therefore knew we needed to focus on giving good feedback equally as a key area to develop for managers.
You’ll have your assumptions, we all do, but you need to design your data capture to mitigate that bias and analyse it in a way that lets you discover new insights and generate new hypotheses. Our Honeycomb methodology looks at specific, observable behaviours and maps that data against other data sets to develop actionable, impactful interventions.
"When looking for a partner to help Pusher with our diversity, inclusion, and future culture, I evaluated nearly a dozen firms.
The Honeycomb Works were the only ones to not lead with a discussion of "category work" (hiring and promoting people of under-represented groups.) And while categories are important, this work is really the visible result of a diverse organisation, not the cause.
Honeycomb focuses on the harder, much less visible work of calling out the mental and behavioural habits that block those in power from creating and maintaining an environment of belonging.
I'm enjoying my work with the experts at Honeycomb, I'm seeing progress within the company, and I’m sure we’re on the right track.”
VP, People at Pusher
“The Honeycomb lets us focus on the behaviours that will have the most impact for our business. Their blended approach motivates individuals to form positive new habits that really benefit them as well as the organisation.”
Head of HR, IBC
“Our business has really ambitious growth plans and with that comes a need to be ever more strategic – both in thought and action.
The Honeycomb Works continues to be instrumental in helping drive the strategy forward, ensuring we are setting up our management team for success.”
HR Manager, Global Brands Group
“We engaged The Honeycomb Works to help with a significant cultural change programme, transitioning our business to become more commercial and customer centric.
I certainly recommend them if you need to positively shift capability and performance in your teams.”
CEO, Premier Global
“As a coding school for refugees and disadvantaged people, we chose The Honeycomb Works as a partner because of their passion for inclusion and innovation, as well as their scientific yet practical approach to non-technical skills development. Their work has become an integral part of what we do - and has been essential in helping our students fulfil their dreams and get jobs as developers.”
Organiser, Code Your Future