HBDI® The Business of Thinking Series: Think About™ Teams
In an ideal world, when workload exceeds the capacity of an individual, we form a team to get the job done. People think differently, with different priorities and a focus on different outcomes. Managing these differences is critical to success. Teams that have access to a full range of thinking preferences are 66% more effective.
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton
As we all know from our own team experiences, it’s not as simple as just bringing people together. From communication breakdowns to competing priorities, to conflict, there are a number of obstacles that can—and often do—get in the way of a team’s success. What we need is a foundation and specific processes that help the team leverage its collective intelligence to fuel business outcomes.
A heterogeneous team with members covering all 4 thinking styles is more creative and able to find new opportunities. As opposed to the more common homogenous teams we see in organisations, who will be very good at one or two areas, but find it difficult to stretch and innovate (see HBDI Team Profile Comparison below).
A successful team is ready to cooperatively ‘Challenge the status quo’ (Yellow), ‘Test the theory’ (Blue), ‘Be part of the team – we are all us’ (Red), and then ‘Make it happen’ (Green). Whole Brain® thinking lets us understand where each of us is coming from, where everyone else is coming from, and then meld that together to form a team that is ready to move beyond forming, storming and norming, in order to start performing.
Here are three simple things you can implement in your team:
- Individual then collective brainstorming: Research has shown teams make better quality decisions if people are asked to reflect individually on solutions and then come together as a team to do collective brainstorming.
- Create “Diverse by Design (DbyD)” teams: based on employees’ thinking preferences and predispositions, along with other relevant dimensions of diversity, and assign them to specific projects to drive enhanced outcomes. This allows you to “yield-manage” Diversity of Thought to produce 66% more effective results.
- Create communication space for each team member: actively ask each member to contribute their ideas and don’t accept silence or argument. Make it clear that each team member is expected to be different and this will guard against groupthink and allow you to identify the right employees for each part of what needs to be done.
Microsoft, when they developed the X-box Connect, acknowledged they were facing a number of challenges when designing the new ‘in-box’ game that comes with the console. They were wanting to expand the product’s appeal beyond the traditional narrow fan base of ‘gamers’. They also wanted to create a high appeal in-box game that would be interesting for all audiences. And meet an aggressive timeframe for getting the product to market.
Their solution used Whole Brain® thinking to assemble a team with diverse thinking preferences, who then used the Whole Brain® framework to understand their audience, manage the process, for designing and evaluating every aspect of the game. The outcomes were:
- A world record for fastest-selling consumer electronic device with 133,333 devices sold per day
- Reduced time to market – 2 years took only 18 months
By getting to understand you and your team better and letting everyone see where they fit on the Team Profile you can start to turbocharge performance. This will allow you to produce measurable improvement in results as people learn where they need to stretch, to achieve the challenging goals ahead of them.
Find out more about the Start Thinking Online Program here.
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