Turner Susan Cain

Executives and Professionals on Their Views of Introversion and Extroversion in Organizations

In its X-Over series, Turner organized a session on neurodiversity, focusing on the power of introversion in an extroverted world. The dialogue between NYT bestselling author Susan Cain (Harvard, Princeton), Nathalie van Berkel (member of the Board of Directors at UWV), and Jeroen Geurts (Rector Magnificus of VU) prompted participants at this Turner X-Over event to reflect. Attendees were asked to select their top three favorite statements from nine options.

The key takeaways from participants at this Turner X-Over, traditionally gathered on post-its, provide a good insight into the insights gained during the afternoon. “Introversion vs. Extroversion is a spectrum,” read one note. A variation on this: “You can behave introverted and extroverted in different settings.” Susan Cain’s anecdote about former Campbell’s Soup CEO Douglas A. Conant left an impression. “What do I wish you knew about me?” wrote one participant, “as part of the introduction.” And the practical lesson from Nathalie van Berkel of UWV: “Include a reflection moment in every session.” Another participant linked their insights to rewards. “Do we reward what everyone is good at?” Another participant noted: “Mixed teams perform better.”

Participants were also asked to select their top three favorite statements from nine options. Fifty people voted during this X-Over (see Figure 1), resulting in the following ranking:

  1. A better balance between introverted and extroverted leaders and employees leads to better leadership, better results, and talent retention, including in the design of work environments and remote work arrangements.

  2. There is no correlation between good speakers and good idea generators. Ideas can best be articulated by confident speakers.

  3. Solitude is important! Solitary contemplation and idea formation are as important as group idea formation. Solitude, free from group dynamics and noise, is generally utilized by individuals.

  4. Organizations need a better balance between group/teamwork and individual work to enhance creativity and productivity. We need a better set of beliefs and diverse forms of stimulation. This is not an argument against collaboration!

  5. Extroverts should give more space, and introverts should claim more space. As equals, to thrive together. It’s not just extroverts who need to change. No one is strictly introverted or extroverted anyway.

  6. Open offices are terrible for everyone’s productivity, but deadly for introverts. Open offices are harmful to everyone’s productivity, as research shows.

  7. Excessive use of teamwork and the resulting group dynamics stifle innovation and lead to missed ideas. Teamwork and meetings are unfortunately the dominant organizational mechanisms.

  8. Extroverts underestimate the damage an unbalanced work environment has on their introverted colleagues’ engagement, such as (1) the perceived obligation to attend social events and (2) the perceived higher tolerance of extroverts for lower quality (including spelling errors).

  9. My organization does not do enough to promote an inclusive work environment for both introverts and extroverts.

9 statements about neurodiversity: the power of introversion in an extroverted world

Figure 1: Select the three statements you agree with most (collected during the Turner X-Over using Menti, June 14, 2024)

SC-blog-Afbeelding1

Figure 1: Select the three statements you agree with most (collected during the Turner X-Over using Menti, June 14, 2024)

Cast your vote

Indicate which three statements out of nine you agree with the most. The results are updated regularly based on new votes. You can cast your vote here.

 

TURNER X-OVER: FRESH INSPIRATION, EXPANDING FRAMEWORKS, ADDRESSING STRATEGIC THEMES

Susan Cain is one of the speakers in the Turner X-Over series. Turner organizes an exclusive X-Over series for its clients, featuring leading speakers (scientists, thought leaders, top executives) who share the latest insights in psychology, ethics, HR, behavioral science, theology, leadership, and AI. The focus is on fresh inspiration, expanding frameworks, and addressing important strategic themes. Strategy execution is a multidisciplinary field that increasingly involves combining different disciplines and perspectives. The lectures are compact, held during lunchtime or at the end of the day. You can usually choose to attend digitally, live, or in a hybrid format. Want to know more? Visit the Turner X-Over page.

Strategy = Execution. Improve, renew and innovate faster

How can organizations make strategy execution their top priority and improve, innovate faster? Find out in *Strategy = Execution*. Based on Turner’s research into success factors of strategy execution & innovation, this publication includes interviews with 60 executives, analysis of over 75 cases, 300 relevant books and articles.

  • American Management Book of the Year 2021, No. 1 in Strategic Management, bestseller top 100, seventh edition, translated into: English, German, Spanish, Russian, and Bahasa.
  • Selected as a top management book by innovative organization CEOs (FD new champions). Included in the library of classics (MB.nl).
  • Nominated for Management Book of the Year.
  • Featured in numerous articles and interviews in FD, Emerce, Frankwatching, and CFO.
  • 24 recommendations from top executives.
  • Numerous TED Talks and in-company workshops at top 25-50 organizations, average rating 8.7.
  • American Management Book of the Year 2021, No. 1 in Strategic Management, bestseller top 100, seventh edition, translated into: English, German, Spanish, Russian, and Bahasa.
  • Selected as a top management book by innovative organization CEOs (FD new champions). Included in the library of classics (MB.nl).
  • Nominated for Management Book of the Year.
  • Featured in numerous articles and interviews in FD, Emerce, Frankwatching, and CFO.
  • 24 recommendations from top executives.
  • Numerous TED Talks and in-company workshops at top 25-50 organizations, average rating 8.7.
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Neurodiversity: The Power of Introverts in an Extrovert World

In its X-Over series, Turner organized a session on neurodiversity, focusing on the power of introversion in an extroverted world. Under the moderation of Annelieke van Schie, American bestselling author Susan Cain (Harvard, Princeton) engaged in a discussion with Nathalie van Berkel, member of the Board of Directors at UWV, and Jeroen Geurts, Rector Magnificus of VU. The unanimous conclusion: we need to do more to allow introverts to thrive. Their contributions are far more valuable than often realized.

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