Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Winning teams!

I have already recommended the Belbin test for you and your teams – it is a well-researched secular team test which shows the contribution each type of individual makes to a team. Belbin enables you to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your team. On any team there needs to be:

- A trusted chairperson who uses people’s abilities. Trust is key – the team won’t function without it.
- A creative person, preferably clever as well. What Belbin calls a ‘plant’. This person will often bring a new angle on an issue. I have come to value contributions from our creative people at critical times in decision making.
- A fair spread of mental abilities.
- A good spread of team roles
- A matching of team roles and responsibilities
- A shared consciousness of the weaknesses of the team. At an early stage I realised that we were missing an implementer on our team. I’m a shaper, with implementer as my secondary role. As a result everything was bouncing back to me – not ideal. So, we staffed an implementer! (All senior staff appointments at King’s will undertake Belbin testing – that way we know where we are!)

The ability to recognise gifts – is a gift! We are learning about this all the time – the important thing is that you need to understand yourself as you go to recruit. Bringing a new team member on board - especially a senior team member – could destabilise the team. The personality of the newcomer is vital, so it’s not just about gifting. They have to ‘fit’.

Appreciating those on the team who are different from me means that I recognise that we need ALL their gifts and abilities, otherwise you will end up recruiting only people like yourself which will weaken the team.

It’s important to play to your strengths as a leader – and discover and then cover your weaknesses.