What Is Deloitte Business Chemistry?

The Deloitte Business Chemistry model was created by Deloitte co-workers Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg, who first explained it in their 2018 book Business Chemistry

According to Deloitte’s website, the Business Chemistry framework “provides a simple yet powerful way to identify meaningful differences between people’s working styles.

The company also states that the framework is “used by hundreds of thousands of professionals around the world to build stronger relationships, increase team performance, and create exceptional organizations.

Introduction to Business ChemistryDeloitte Business Chemistry is a personality assessment and team-building framework developed by Deloitte, a multinational professional services firm. It’s designed to help individuals and teams understand their work styles and preferences, ultimately improving collaboration and communication within organizations. Business Chemistry categorizes individuals into four primary personality types, or “chemists,” each with its own characteristics and communication preferences.
The Four Primary Personality TypesAt the core of Deloitte Business Chemistry are four primary personality types, often referred to as “chemists.” These chemists represent distinct work styles and preferences, each with its own set of characteristics and communication styles. Understanding these personality types is the foundation for successful application of Business Chemistry.
1. PioneersPioneers are known for their creativity and innovation. They thrive on brainstorming new ideas and exploring possibilities. They tend to be risk-takers and are comfortable with ambiguity.
2. DriversDrivers are action-oriented and results-focused. They are often seen as determined and competitive. Drivers like to set goals and achieve them efficiently, and they value challenging the status quo.
3. GuardiansGuardians are known for their attention to detail and structured approach. They prefer stability and predictability, and they excel at planning and organizing. Guardians are often risk-averse and value reliability.
4. IntegratorsIntegrators prioritize relationships and harmony. They excel at building connections and fostering collaboration among team members. Integrators are often empathetic and diplomatic, seeking consensus and avoiding conflict.
Purpose of Business ChemistryThe primary goal of Business Chemistry is to provide individuals and teams with insights into their work styles and those of their colleagues. By gaining a deeper understanding of these personality types, teams can maximize their effectiveness, improve communication, and work together more cohesively.
Applications of Business ChemistryDeloitte Business Chemistry is applied in various ways within organizations to enhance teamwork and productivity:
1. Team Dynamics EnhancementUnderstanding the mix of personality types within a team allows for the optimization of roles and responsibilities. By aligning tasks with individuals’ strengths, teams can function more smoothly.
2. Leadership Skills DevelopmentBusiness Chemistry helps leaders become more effective by understanding their own work styles and those of their team members. This knowledge enables leaders to adapt their leadership approaches for better results.
3. Collaboration OptimizationWhen teams recognize and appreciate the diverse work styles within their group, they can optimize collaboration. By leveraging the strengths of each personality type, teams can tackle complex challenges and projects more effectively.
Challenges and ConsiderationsWhile Business Chemistry offers valuable insights, it’s important to consider some challenges:
1. OversimplificationCategorizing individuals into four primary types may oversimplify the complexity of human behavior and personality.
2. Flexibility and AdaptationIndividuals may exhibit characteristics from multiple personality types, and their preferences may change over time. Therefore, it’s essential to remain adaptable and open to differences.
ConclusionDeloitte Business Chemistry provides a valuable framework for understanding work styles and improving collaboration within teams. By recognizing and appreciating the diversity of personality types, organizations can enhance their effectiveness and foster a more inclusive and productive work environment.

Understanding Deloitte Business Chemistry

Deloitte Business Chemistry is a model that organizations use to develop emotional intelligence within teams.

In more concise terms, Business Chemistry is a way to increase the emotional intelligence of individuals with organizational teams.

It is well suited to businesses that often pose the following questions:

  • Why do some colleagues click while others clash?
  • Why do some teams excel, and others falter?
  • How do leaders make or break team potential?

Based on extensive research and analytics and years of proven success in the industry, Deloitte developed four different learning styles which comprise various behaviors.

Employees tend to exhibit a mix of all four styles but will favor one over the other.

These styles, which are explained in the next section, enable employees to:

  • Better understand the working styles of others and how they react to external stimuli.
  • Discover the unique composition, characteristics, and skillset of their teams.
  • Adapt their style to suit various contexts and better engage with co-workers, and
  • Create fun, memorable experiences that facilitate active learning.

The four primary Business Chemistry working styles

Let’s now take a look at each of the four Business Chemistry working styles:

  1. Pioneers – individuals that enjoy taking risks and are open to new possibilities. They tend to be imaginative, creative, spontaneous team members who place less emphasis on finer details or how things have been done in the past. Unsurprisingly, pioneers are advocates of brainstorming and other methods of collaborative idea generation. They’re also comfortable with ambiguity and are adaptable to change.
  2. Drivers – Deloitte notes that drivers love a challenge and can generate momentum even when it’s difficult. They tend to be focused, competitive, and adept at determining the shortest possible path to their objective. They’re also logical, technical, quantitative, and disdain small talk. But they do respect those who are at their level.
  3. Guardians – these individuals are best known for their stability. They are methodical, disciplined, and meticulous, and only move forward once a solid foundation has been established. Guardians also believe it is important to follow a structured process when completing a task.
  4. Integrators – as the name suggests, integrators love to create connections between people and ideas. They possess a trusting nature and the ability to develop meaningful relationships that extend beyond standard networking or team collaboration. Integrators are also more than happy to help when required and will always do so with a smile on their face.



  • Advertising Creative Team: In an advertising agency, pioneers often lead creative teams. They come up with innovative and imaginative ad concepts, pushing the boundaries of traditional advertising.
  • Tech Startups: Pioneers are often founders of tech startups. They thrive in the fast-paced, uncertain world of technology innovation, always seeking new possibilities.
  • Marketing Brainstorming: In a marketing department, pioneers excel during brainstorming sessions where they generate novel campaign ideas and are open to unconventional approaches.
  • Product Design Workshops: In product design, pioneers drive innovation by proposing out-of-the-box solutions, challenging traditional design conventions.


  • Project Managers: Drivers make effective project managers who focus on clear goals and timelines, ensuring projects stay on track and meet deadlines.
  • Financial Analysts: In finance, drivers analyze data and financial reports meticulously, seeking the most efficient and logical investment strategies.
  • Legal Counsel: Lawyers with a driver style excel in structuring arguments logically, getting to the core of complex legal issues quickly.
  • Sales Executives: Salespeople with a driver style are competitive, aiming to meet and exceed their sales targets efficiently.


  • Accounting and Auditing: In accounting, guardians pay meticulous attention to detail when auditing financial records to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Quality Control Inspectors: Guardians in manufacturing settings inspect products rigorously to maintain quality standards.
  • Administrative Assistants: Guardians are often excellent administrative assistants, managing tasks with methodical precision.
  • Compliance Officers: In the finance industry, guardians play a key role in ensuring regulatory compliance and adherence to strict guidelines.


  • Human Resources: Integrators thrive in HR roles, building positive relationships among employees, mediating conflicts, and promoting team cohesion.
  • Mentors and Coaches: People with integrator tendencies make effective mentors and coaches, offering support and guidance to others.
  • Social Workers: In social work, integrators form strong connections with clients and community members, fostering trust and collaboration.
  • Counselors and Therapists: Integrators in counseling professions create a safe space for clients to open up and explore their emotions.

Key takeaways:

  • Deloitte Business Chemistry is a model that organizations use to develop emotional intelligence within teams.
  • Deloitte Business Chemistry is a way to increase the emotional intelligence of individuals with organizational teams. It seeks to provide clarification on common organizational problems around team harmony and effectiveness.
  • Deloitte Business Chemistry is characterized by four working styles: pioneers, drivers, guardians, and integrators. Whilst employees may embody a mix of all four styles depending on the context, they tend to prefer one style over the others.

Key Highlights of Deloitte Business Chemistry:

  • Creation: Developed by Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg, Deloitte co-workers, and first explained in their 2018 book “Business Chemistry.”
  • Purpose: Designed to identify meaningful differences in people’s working styles, increase emotional intelligence within teams, and improve team dynamics.
  • Usage: Used by professionals worldwide to build stronger relationships, enhance team performance, and create exceptional organizations.
  • Four Working Styles: Business Chemistry identifies four primary working styles:
    • Pioneers: Risk-takers, imaginative, creative, open to new possibilities, comfortable with ambiguity, and advocates of brainstorming.
    • Drivers: Competitive, focused, logical, efficient, dislike small talk, and value others who match their level.
    • Guardians: Methodical, disciplined, meticulous, value stability, and prefer structured processes.
    • Integrators: Relationship builders, trustful, enjoy creating connections between people and ideas, and willing to help others.
  • Adaptability: Individuals often exhibit a mix of these styles but tend to favor one over the others depending on the context.
  • Benefits: Helps individuals better understand working styles of others, discover team compositions, adapt styles, and create engaging learning experiences.
  • Application: Addresses common organizational challenges related to team harmony and effectiveness by enhancing emotional intelligence and collaboration.

Connected Management Frameworks

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Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

Harvard Business School professor Dr. John Kotter has been a thought-leader on organizational change, and he developed Kotter’s 8-step change model, which helps business managers deal with organizational change. Kotter created the 8-step model to drive organizational transformation.

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees

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McKinsey 7-S Model

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Lewin’s Change Management

Lewin’s change management model helps businesses manage the uncertainty and resistance associated with change. Kurt Lewin, one of the first academics to focus his research on group dynamics, developed a three-stage model. He proposed that the behavior of individuals happened as a function of group behavior.


The ADKAR model is a management tool designed to assist employees and businesses in transitioning through organizational change. To maximize the chances of employees embracing change, the ADKAR model was developed by author and engineer Jeff Hiatt in 2003. The model seeks to guide people through the change process and importantly, ensure that people do not revert to habitual ways of operating after some time has passed.

Force-Field Analysis

Social psychologist Kurt Lewin developed the force-field analysis in the 1940s. The force-field analysis is a decision-making tool used to quantify factors that support or oppose a change initiative. Lewin argued that businesses contain dynamic and interactive forces that work together in opposite directions. To institute successful change, the forces driving the change must be stronger than the forces hindering the change.

Business Innovation Matrix

Business innovation is about creating new opportunities for an organization to reinvent its core offerings, revenue streams, and enhance the value proposition for existing or new customers, thus renewing its whole business model. Business innovation springs by understanding the structure of the market, thus adapting or anticipating those changes.

Posci Change Management

According to Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt, the secret to successful change “lies beyond the visible and busy activities that surround change. Successful change, at its core, is rooted in something much simpler: how to facilitate change with one person.”

Read Next: Change Management.

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