The other weekend I watched the British Grand Prix, which Lewis Hamilton won by the closest of margins. The win was very much down to a critical pit stop. For those of you who are not Formula 1 fans, this is carried out by a team of around 18 people, referred to as the pit crew, changing four tyres in 2.6 seconds!
Watching this team work together in true synchronisation and harmony is truly outstanding, as every person knows their role and how they fit into the team. This made me relate to some recent research I have been conducting on team dynamics and understanding the fundamentals of a high performing team.
From my research I developed Team Geometry, which takes a different perspective on what it takes to form an inspired and exceptional team. It’s a framework to help pinpoint the key skills, talents, strengths and personalities in your team, helping you make those crucial connections between the right people at the right time. With Team Geometry, you’ll get the chance to see beyond job titles, qualifications and CVs.
With this in mind, I use the analogy of the four angles of a team, hence the name Team Geometry. The four angles are a mix of Connectors, Innovators, Curators and Producers. Of course, everyone is multifaceted and you’ll find that people fill different roles at different times. The key is to harness the power of each role where and when you need it. By discovering which angles are your personal strengths, you’ll know where your natural talents lie and where to concentrate your efforts to fulfil your full potential. Who knows, you may even surprise yourself!
As a leader, your performance is only as good as that of your team. If you really want to build teams that work, you need more than the right people — you need the insight and experience to be a great leader. And that’s precisely what you’ll get with Team Geometry.
Team Geometry – The Four Angles of a Team
Connector: At first glance, Connector might just look like good team players but there’s more to them than that. Their talent lies in understanding people and processes, and using these to create crucial synergies. It’s the connections that fascinate them and they can’t help but address the needs and capabilities of a group of individuals.
Curator: It’s after the ideas have been generated that curators really come into their own. Their expertise lies in identifying the best concepts, giving useful feedback and using effective decision making to focus the team’s effort where it’s needed.
Innovator: Every team needs an ideas person, but innovators are more like ideas machines. They thrive on the first stages of the creative process and you can trust them to explore every avenue imaginable and find approaches and strategies that might not occur to anyone else. They have that all-important ability to tune into other people’s wavelengths and this is makes them indispensable.
Producers: Every team needs its producers. They have that essential talent for making something real and delivering on it, pinpointing opportunities and anticipating challenges before they even arise. They’re happiest when all distractions are swept away and they can focus on completing the task at hand.
Why did I develop this? Well, there are numerous team models and tools available to look at and assess team dynamics. From my personal perspective and own experiences I do not believe many of these reflect the ways of working in the 21st century. I believe looking at the four angles angles of a team focuses on simplicity and efficiencies in terms of ways of working in a team.
You may be thinking that’s great to undertake an assessment to understand what roles you have in your team, but so what? And to a degree you would be right. Yes you need to understand the dimensions of your team, but the critical point is what you do with them?
This is where Team Coaching comes into play, which should not be viewed as a corporate get to know each other but should be seen as an intervention that focuses on increasing team performance. With this there are some key considerations to enable this to happen.
The first is an emphasis on facilitating conversations between team members with the aim of making more effective use of collective skills, knowledge and interests. Secondly, team coaching offers an opportunity for the team to reflect together on their goals and objectives and how they are working together to achieve them. Team coaching can support a team to address specific challenges and build stronger and more productive relationships between members.
The last point is that the team coach is there to stimulate a thought provoking partnership where the team can gain insight, clarify goals, define boundaries and roles, reflect on team dynamics, build awareness to enhance team effectiveness and enhance the teams ability to respond effectively to complex challenges.
So, considering all these points, the question you need to ask is, are you leading your team like a Pro?