What’s your preferred color—fiery red, sunshine yellow, earth green or cool blue?
It’s a question Kelley School of Business Indianapolis students encounter during I-Core, a set of four integrated courses that incorporates all aspects of business. Students aren’t picking their favorite colors; instead they are assigned a color after taking a personality test from the Scotland-based company, Insights.
For the 2013-2014 school year, Kelley faculty revamped the undergraduate curriculum by adding a team dynamics and leadership course to I-Core. Lectures, discussions and hands-on activities prepare students to complete and present the results from a challenging team-based project. The first two weeks of the 12-credit-hour, semester-long course sequence is dedicated to learning about Insights—and discovering your lead color. Each individual is composed of all four colors (fiery red, sunshine yellow, earth green and cool blue). The goal is to identify which color is dominant and establish a color profile.
Individuals who prefer fiery red are extroverted, high energy and authoritative, radiating a desire for power and control. Those who prefer cool blue are introverted and want to know and understand the world around them; they desire analysis. Sunshine yellow people are strongly extroverted, radiant and friendly; they seek sociability. Individuals who seek understanding and prefer a focus on values and depth in relationships are earth green people.
After answering a series of questions, students establish their personal color profiles. The profile indicates which color you exhibit to groups and which one you show when alone. Faculty say students better understand how to work in groups because they have learned about themselves.
“Insights helps build a community by providing a common language to work with in teams,” said Peggy Daniels Lee, clinical assistant professor of operations and supply chain management and faculty chair of the Undergraduate program. “By determining that Johnny is exhibiting his red energy, students learn to deal with him in a different way than giving up or getting frustrated.”
A crucial component of I-Core is the group project. And the group project, including each individual’s final grade, relies on peer feedback and evaluation. Since the implementation of Insights, I-Core professors have noticed that the number of peer-review downgrades has decreased by half. Lee attributes this to the realization of true problems versus imagined. She also says students aren’t as intolerant to working in teams.
Lee first learned about Insights from management lecturer Josh Plaskoff, who has been an accredited Insights facilitator for many years. Joining Lee and Plaskoff as accredited facilitators are management professors Jim Flynn and Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow. They are confident in the continued positive results of Insights among Kelley students and believe it will enhance students’ self-awareness, which translates to improved team communications.