The Business Book

(Joyce) #1


is encouraged by new challenges,
since they help to keep the work
fresh and engaging.

Successful roles
Individuals offer different talents
and attributes, and these need to
be taken into account when putting
together teams. UK management
theorist Meredith Belbin claims
there are nine distinct roles within
a team that are essential to team
success, and that the key to a well-
organized team is balance. For
example, Belbin found that teams
without Plants (creative,
unconventional thinkers) struggle
to come up with ideas; but if there
are too many Plants, idea generation
starts to take precedence over
action. Similarly, if there is no
Shaper (a dynamic, driven person
who pushes the group toward
decisions), teams lack drive and
direction. But in a team with too
many Shapers, arguments occur
frequently and will lower morale.
Now an established business
tool, the Belbin Team Inventory is
frequently used by companies to
maximize team effectiveness.
However, many companies make the
mistake of using it after teams have
been formed; to work successfully, it
must be used before creating a team.

Managing talent
Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager
of Manchester United, one of the
world’s best-known soccer teams,
is a master of building winning
teams over and again, and his
methods can be applied to the
business environment. His team
was bonded by a strong sense of
shared mission—a desire to win.
Players were cohesive on the field,
because Ferguson demanded
cohesiveness off the field. An
exceptional team culture ran
through the veins of every player

Belbin Team Inventory

Team role











Creative, unconventional
thinker who excels at
solving problems

Communicative extrovert
who develops contacts and
explores opportunities

Mature, confident person
who is able to clarify goals
and promote decision

Dynamic, outgoing, highly
strung person who will
challenge, pressure, and
find ways around obstacles

Sober, strategic, discerning
person able to see and
judge options objectively

Social, mild, perceptive and
accommodating, this
teamworker averts friction

Disciplined, reliable,
conservative, efficient
person who can turn ideas
into practical actions

Painstaking, conscientious
person who is always able
to meet deadlines

Single-minded, dedicated
self-starter who brings
knowledge or technical
skills that are in rare supply


Not good at managing
(or communicating with)
less creative people

Loses interest once initial
enthusiasm has passed

Can be manipulative and
appear aloof

Prone to provocation and
short-lived bursts of temper

Lacks drive and ability to
inspire others

Indecisive in crunch

Somewhat inflexible, slow
to respond to new

Inclined to worry unduly,
reluctant to delegate

Contributes only on
a narrow front
Free download pdf