LEADERSHIP AND TEAMS - WHAT HAS CHANGED? WHY BELBIN?
Today's workplace demands leadership and teams of a different kind.
Our world is VVUCA - Virtual, Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous like never before. One person can no longer make sense of all the rapid often threatening change, and provide direction as a team leader, or contribute as team member, in all situations. That too in an increasingly impatient, disruptive, physically and socially distant world demanding instant solutions.
Given the diversity of talent and behaviors that the virtual workplace demands today, it is almost impossible for one person to have all the right answers. This challenges traditional ideas about what is expected of leadership and teamwork.
The top priority in the corner room agenda, across geographies, is 'collaboration' and 'leadership development'. The good news is, there are a few who have cracked the code.
What is Solo vs Team leadership?
Our traditional idea of leadership is around a 'solo' leader, who willingly takes responsibility and accountability for his or her followers, and never hesitates to play the role a subordinate should. A solo leader rules over her or his followers almost absolutely. This single point empowerment enables quick decision making in a crisis or an urgency and helps cut through silos between verticals or hierarchies.
The VVUCA workplace of today demands a different kind of leadership. Rising to the occassion is a new genre of 'Team' Leaders. These are ones who hold back deliberately and choose not to rule absolutely.
Such Team Leadership is characterised by:
- A sense of humility which respects and recognises the need for diverse talent
- Effective delegation to such trusted talent, adopting a coaching approach, and staying focussed on outcomes
- Inculcating a feeling of belonging, by articulating a mission which aligns contributions of people
Are Team Leaders a rare breed.. whether in remote, virtual or co-located physical environs?
Are they the privilege of only a few select Organizations?
Do Team Leaders emerge as a matter of chance?
Or, can they be groomed by design?
Why leaders learning BELBIN could be the answer?
For leaders heading increasingly remote, virtual, matrix organisations, operating in today's chaotic environments, 'being everywhere' and 'knowing everything' maybe next to impossible. 'Knowing everyone', however, need not be. Understanding the behavioral preferences of one's self and others that one leads, offers clues to creating effective inter-personal relationships at work. Being a good Team Leader demands the ability to connect... not just in an online sense. They have to jell, jam well with others as in an orchestra, in ways that inspire their people to communicate, complement and contribute for the Team's success.
BELBIN is the gold standard in leveraging behavioral contributions at work. Whether WFH or WFO, Leaders who learn the BELBIN language, develop a deep respect for diversity and learn to draw upon strengths of others in areas they find themselves wanting, and as appropriate to the situation at hand.
Proficient leaders practicing BELBIN develop the insights and humility to appreciate that all qualities expected of them may not be their individual strong points, and therefore, learn the skills to recognize them in others. The BELBIN language helps harness their strength of purpose to draw suitably gifted individuals into the team.
What makes great teams?
There is a growing body of literature on what differentiates great teams from their lesser peers.
The importance of shared goals, of psychological safety, of interdependence, of collaboration, of celebrating diversity, of doing work that people find meaningful, have all been discussed time and again. Works of Patrick Lencioni and Google's Project Aristotle are recent examples of such literature.
As Charles Duhigg summed it up simply, writing for the New York Times: "In the best teams, members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs".
How does BELBIN make HIGH PERFORMANCE teams?
Dr. Meredith Belbin discovered that high performance teams are not a collection of well balanced indivuduals, but a selection of individuals who balance well with each other. Interpersonal Effectiveness is the hallmark of BELBIN speaking high performance teams, where, people have an equal opportunity to experience all nine team role behaviors. Meaning, members of such teams experience task orientation, thought orientation and relationship orientation in the right measure, and such balance is imperative for each team member to contribute their greatest potential for the success of the team. The BELBIN Team Role Methodology helps transform Team Performance, starting right from Team Selection, to right Team Management.
When selected and managed right, BELBIN speaking teams, build on strong cohesive interpersonal effectiveness. In Bruce Tuckmans lingo, BELBINed Teams spend very little time forming, storming, norming, and much more time performing!
BELBIN measures and predicts behavior in the workplace. Irrespective of WFH or WFO, it helps team members:
Be Self Aware. Know the behavioral preferences, of self and others.
Celebrate Diversity. Draw upon each other's strengths at appropriate times. Nurture interpersonal effectiveness.. Collaboration.
Learn the art of not taking things personally, by speaking a language that depersonalises conversations within the team - Fosters Cohesion
Stay focussed on the team's purpose, transform Team Performance
Unique to the BELBIN Team Role Methodology, are BELBIN Assessments, also called BELBIN Reports.
The basic building block in the Belbin framework, is the BELBIN Individual Report - a scan of every team member's workplace behaviors - through self perception and observer assessment - in terms of strengths and allowable weaknesses.
BELBIN then overlays three to fifteen BELBIN Individual Reports, of people in a team, to create the BELBIN Team Report, that help in Team Selection, and in predicting and managing the Team's Performance.
When two BELBIN Individual Reports are taken together, we have a BELBIN Working Relationship Report that helps the two people involved, in strengthening their working relationship.
Armed with these valuable insights, team leaders and members choose to adapt their behaviors for the team's success. They learn to celebrate diversity, drawing upon each others strengths at appropriate times. And team sponsors choose, train and coach their teams, in ways that help the team succeed. No wonder, BELBIN is the assessment of choice for Leadership and Team Coaching. As Solo Leadership feels challenged, BELBIN empowers Team Leadership, in self managed teams.
Nobody is perfect, but a team can be. BELBIN is the language and the method to that possibility.
Let's transform performance of people and teams . Let's make BELBIN happen!