The team with the “best” players will not always provide the best team results. This holds true for teams in organizations as in sports. The question is what drives a winning team? That question has triggered many investigations with interesting results you can benefit from implementing them.
In soccer for example, this teamwork is most visible. There are many teams – picture one for yourself – where this counts. A team can have very talented players, but not necessary will they win.
Belbin investigated the requirements for teams to be successful. According to her philosophy, it is the team, rather than the individual (player) that makes the difference.
The result of what is now called the Belbin team roles is that a successful team carries certain characteristics. One of such a characteristic is that a team needs a “implementer,” someone that is preoccupied with the implementation of ideas. Yet, too many of these implementers will make the team less successful.
As with many things in both life and business; “balance” is the keyword.
To design a successful team you need different roles according to the situation and the results you want to shape.
The fundament of the Belbin concepts is that (group) activities require different roles; like mental, action and social roles. Some of the resulting team roles are complementing or even contrasting and to build a successful team individual rivalry needs to be managed by a social team role. Much of this is like common sense; put ten expert authors in a team and have them write an essay about change management. Don’t stay up for the result.
Important lesson for managers to improve the team spirit is to cater diversity. For existing team this would mean to assign different roles to different team members.
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days.
You can apply for a free demo account