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Case Study: Annie Luu - Head of Asia Expansion, Culture & Founder Coach at Investible

Annie uses Fingerprint for Success extensively in her work, supporting and powering teams, corporates and investors to work through team blind spots to achieve scale rapidly and harmoniously.

by Catie McHugh
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Annie Luu is in a key leadership role within early-stage investment group, Investible.

She’s the dynamo responsible for coaching and developing some of the world’s most promising up-and-coming founders. Her focus is on startup accelerator programs and team coaching in the areas of business development, raising capital, pitching and founder chemistry.

Annie uses Fingerprint for Success (F4S) extensively in her work, supporting and powering teams, corporates and investors to work through team blind spots to achieve scale rapidly and harmoniously.

Take a look at how Annie leverages F4S:
 

Her client

Annie coached two co-founders in the Investible Lab – an 8-week accelerator program for promising startup founders.


Their challenge:

Like any relationship, communication is key to a high-performing and successful business.

These two co-founders (one male and one female), despite their brilliant business ideas and excellent complementary skill-set, found their communication was a constant emotional rollercoaster that made it difficult to manage their productivity from week-to-week.

There were frequent misunderstandings, arguments and the constant feeling of not being on the same page. This was getting in the way of progressing in their startup venture, as their business was identified among the top three of the Investible Lab program.

An example of this mismatched communication style was apparent in this regular scenario with Co-founder One - they would look over to Co-founder Two and ask “What’s wrong?”, based on their internal interpretation of Co-founder Two’s body language and facial expression. Co-founder Two was often left surprised and taken aback by comments like this, and would reply, “Nothing’s wrong!” but was then triggered into a negative bad mood because of the words chosen by Co-founder One. This was usually the start of many disagreements.


Annie’s solution:

For everyone to make the most of the Investible Lab accelerator program, it is crucial that co-founders are on the same page and operating in an optimum environment.

Using F4S, Annie identified that Co-founder One had a high motivation for affective communication - that is, they are highly attuned to the nonverbal expressions, body language and tone of voice in communication.

Co-founder Two was highly motivated on neutral communication - they place importance on the content of what is being said, paying high attention to specific words and their precise meaning. These opposing styles essentially pitted the co-founders against each other, creating tension because neither was giving or receiving the kind of communication they thrive on, or to which they typically relate.

Annie could determine that these co-founders had completely different communication styles through their F4S assessment profiles. Neither party were aware of the communication styles of the other, and both were easily and accidentally triggered by the other. She used the F4S Assessment Engine to identify the fundamental issues at the core of the partnership, and provided the opportunity for both parties to have the awareness, understanding and appreciation of the different styles.

This awareness, understanding and appreciation between the co-founders allowed Annie to facilitate on a working style resolution for them.  

Annie said, “communication affects one hundred percent of the relationship - their complementary unique skills make them a brilliant team, but they are let down by misinterpretations on how they speak and interact with each other.”

The tools in F4S provide visibility to behaviours, so the co-founders finally had a context for each other’s style and could start forging common ground. Annie used F4S to coach them in language they could use to decrease their individual motivation for such polar opposite communication methods, and eliminate tensions to build towards a stronger partnership.

“Ultimately, it was incredibly insightful for them to be conscious of each other’s different communication styles, learning to accommodate those different styles and see the relevant work context for those motivations.”


The outcome:

Upon completion of the 8-week accelerator program, the co-founders’ improved communication styles enabled them to pivot their business model, generate revenue and start growing a strong customer base. In less than 12 months, they expanded their team to five people and moved their startup business overseas.

Annie is passionate about supporting startups to succeed at crucial points in their crazy, thrilling journey. In mentoring these co-founders, she’s been able to build rapid rapport and employ productive coaching more efficiently with F4S, and the co-founders have reported a marked improvement in their relationship that has allowed them to excel in their venture without unnecessary tension.

“Startups are fast-paced, and I need to be able to uncover the core issues quickly. I love being able to show immediate transparency with a client in their F4S results, and eliminate the need for endless questions to determine a working solution.”
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