The Right Mix of Personality Types: 5 Lessons From the Animal Kingdom

We all know from personal experience that the right mix of personality types is essential for the success of a group, whether it’s a project team, a committee, a department or an entire organization. Some function smoothly, with good communication and everyone playing to his or her strengths, focusing on the task at hand. Others bog down in palace intrigue or bureaucratic infighting, accomplishing little if anything.

A recent Forbes Insights study, sponsored by ACCA and Ipsos, “Nurturing Europe’s Spirit of Enterprise: How Entrepreneurial Executives Mobilize Organizations to Innovate,” examined this issue in terms of innovation within European companies, classifying executives as one of five personality types.

But some recent animal studies may offer further insights into the optimal mix of personality types. Since the stakes involved in success or failure of a flock, pack or school are a matter of life, death and reproductive success, these lessons often emerge with a stark clarity.

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