Organizations aren’t getting the performance they need from their teams.

Read the full article at: hbr.org

Last week we talked about an article “The Hard Science of Teamwork” which discussed a 2012 study by Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory.  The study identified four key points about how great teams communicate.

This week, we are looking at another aspect of how team members relate.  The HBR article explains a new system created by Deloitte “called Business Chemistry.  It “identifies four primary work styles.”   While each of us is a composite of all four styles, “most people’s behavior and thinking are closely aligned with one or two.  All the styles bring useful perspectives and distinctive approaches to generating ideas, making decisions, and solving problems.”

The four work styles are:

  • Pioneers value possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination on their teams. They believe risks are worth taking and that it’s fine to go with your gut. Their focus is big-picture. They’re drawn to bold new ideas and creative approaches.
  • Guardians value stability, and they bring order and rigor. They’re pragmatic, and they hesitate to embrace risk. Data and facts are baseline requirements for them, and details matter. Guardians think it makes sense to learn from the past.
  • Drivers value challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning count most. Drivers tend to view issues as black-and-white and tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.
  • Integrators value connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibility to the group are paramount. Integrators tend to believe that most things are relative. They’re diplomatic and focused on gaining consensus.

The idea is that we understand our own work style and those of our team members.  With that knowledge, we can learn and employ the “related strategies for accomplishing shared goals…Teams that bring these styles together should, in theory, enjoy the many benefits of cognitive diversity, ranging from increased creativity and innovation to improved decision making.”

“Once you’ve identified the work styles of your team members and have begun to consider how the differences are beneficial or problematic, you must actively manage them so that you’re not left with all frustration and no upside.”

The article goes on to explain three ways to do that:

  • Pull your opposites closer.
  • Elevate the “tokens” on your team.
  • Pay close attention to your sensitive introverts.

Sounds like advice worth considering.

Contact us and we can help you better understand how to develop high-performing, successful teams.