Outstanding team performances begin with Belbin.
Chairman Vincent was furious. “ Am utterly disappointed with this team going in circles. Richard, please remove from the business plan, whatever bottom-line contribution we expected from this project. I will find some other options” He then glanced at Suma the CEO. Suma knew she had to follow him to his corner office. This was not her day.
Having seen the tough side of Vincent for the first time, Suma rushed for a cup of coffee.“Hari, can you come in please.. Project Aakraman needs a quick turnaround”. By the time the coffee arrived, she was listening attentively to Hari, who showed her a couple of graphics that looked like pie charts. “I see the problem and the solution, Hari. How much time should this take?”“We will need about 3 to 6 months, Suma.. Trust me, you can do it. Am with you”.“Thank you, Hari. Keep this under wraps, until we actually do a turnaround. I will then take this to Vincent”.
Eight months later, Vincent was beaming before his Board. “Suma & Hari have transformed Team Aakraman. What an outstanding performance it has been!”
Suma thankfully smiled at Hari. “Not me” said Hari.. “It’s Belbin”. What did he mean?
Suma stared at the pie chart kind of graphic on her table.It was titled ‘Belbin Team Role Circle’. It was a good 3 minutes of reflective silence before she looked up at Hari, thankfully.
“This reads like a horoscope of this team!” Suma read a paragraph from the BELBIN Team Report
“This team has a strong service orientation with a willingness to do what is needed to do and do it well.This combination will be invaluable, given the right setting. However, much will depend on whether it has been brought together for an assignment that is well-devised and well-understood from the outset. Failing that, the question is whether there is one strong creative person within the team who will take the lead. If not, then this team may lack direction”.
“This nails it for me, Hari, this team needs ideas! How did I not see it this way?! I always kept pushing them to make progress on the limited options they had. Vincent felt the team is never doing enough. May be this is what Vincent meant. This team needs to generate more ideas. What can we do now?”
Hari stood up and wrote on Suma’s white board - ‘PLANT’ -“This is what this team needs..A BELBIN Plant. Let me scan through the BELBIN Profiles of all our high potential people and revert later this evening. You can choose a couple of them for this team.. and then watch the magic!”
That evening, Suma was delighted to see two BELBIN Plant profiles – creative people – named in an email from Hari. Hari had already sounded out their managers on their need to serve a urgent 6 month project assignment. One of them was on board Team Aakraman in a week. Things quickly changed over the next 4 months. And Chairman Vincent stood beaming before his Board!
Suma confessed to Hari “I was your worst critic when you wanted BELBIN Individual Reports done for hundred of our high potential people.Little did I realize then that understanding Team Roles - behavioral preferences - of people was the missing ingredient in transforming team performance.I have always looked at people through their Functional Roles.Thanks to Project Aakraman and Vincent’s pushback, am wiser today! Going forward, would it be a good idea to include the BELBIN Team Report with every Project Team Proposal? Will that help us get proactive about Team Performance?”.
“Certainly!” said Hari.. "Suma, given my experience with BELBIN, I see the BELBIN Team Report as an indispensable part of planning a team’s performance. Well begun is half done. I always begin with Belbin".
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