How do you ensure your change team is balanced?

I was working with this client recently and we started the talk about their team, the question came from the client about how do we know how to identify people who would fit into certain ‘Team Roles’? and how do we ensure the team is ‘Balanced’?tw3

I’m sure you will have your own thoughts in this regard, but take is this:

…… people who co-ordinate the activities of others, including the review process. They clarify goals and promote decision making, motivate and encourage the team to achieve, listen to members’ opinions and check that they have been understood by everyone.

…… very action orientated, like to achieve tasks, very concerned about achieving objectives, they contribute drive and energy to the team.

…… carefully think through problems and ideas. They are typically very analytical and will usually enjoy planning and problem-solving.

…… very interested in developing a good team ‘spirit’. They are sensitive to people’s feelings and morale, and will work to ease tensions and develop good relationships.

One important point though. Just because you are a ‘carer’ does not mean that you only have ‘carer’ characteristics. ‘Doers’ are quite capable of thinking and caring, ‘thinkers’ are capable of doing and caring, and ‘carers’ are capable of doing and thinking.

An effective team, therefore, needs the right balance of doers, carers and thinkers. A leader needs to develop skills in blending this mix and be able to use the available ‘balance’ effectively.

One danger you must take care to avoid however, is in getting too many of one type.

Unless you recognise the danger and compensate for it, your team will show characteristic weaknesses.

Too many ‘Leaders’
Here you will suffer from too many ‘Chiefs’ and not enough ‘Indians’. You may lack planning skills and/or good team relationships.

Too many ‘Doers’
Here you tend to be very active and show a lot of effort, being particularly competitive. However, you tend not to spend enough time on planning and reviewing and tensions may well develop in the team.

Too many ‘Thinkers’
Here you will be effective at problem-solving and produce well thought out, detailed plans. Your groups discussions will be well disciplined and your review will tend to be very analytical and searching. You will however, lack drive to achieve ‘the task’, with too much time being spent on analysis without actually doing anything about it. Insensitivity to people’s problems may also cause you troubles.

Too many ‘Carers’
Your team will be ‘great fun’ to work in. The atmosphere will be comfortable and relaxed with excellent working relationships. The problems will come, however, in lacking drive to achieve your task and in giving inadequate attention to problem-solving and planning. You will tend to avoid conflict, ignoring difficult issues and explaining failures away.

In all the above cases, a simple solution is for the over-represented role members to adopt their secondary team roles.