MiND team profiles

"MiND is the most effective team development tool I
have ever used"

Linda Mears, L&D Manager, Santander

In the 1990s two ex-McKinsey consultants, Katzenbach and Smith, undertook one of most profound pieces of research into team performance ever undertaken. Their findings, published in the international best seller 'The Wisdom of Teams', categorised in five different ways, with each category displaying distinct characteristics. These were plotted on the 'Team Performance Curve' illustrated below to show how the effectiveness of the team process can impact the performance of the team. The following is a very brief summary of the characteristics of the various groups:

Working Group. This is a group of people who share common goals and objectives but are not required to interact to achieve their objectives. The best example is workers in a call centre where they are not interacting with their colleagues while talking to customers on the telephone. There is no requirement for interaction or synergy.

Pseudo Team. These are team that are inherently dysfunctional. It is likely that the team members do not have a clear understanding of the team's goals and objectives and that as a result there is a tendency to do things that conflict with the actions of their colleagues.

Potential Team. These are groups of people who are clear about their individual roles and responsibilities and those of their colleagues. They are getting on with their work and do an acceptable job. What they lack is synergy.

Real Team. In real teams people work together to complement one another in a synergistic way. They have a common understanding of the team's goals and objectives, they trust one another and are open and honest with each other about their work-related tasks and objectives.

High-performance Team. This is a group that meets all the conditions of real teams but have an additional level of commitment and energy borne out of an exceptional relationship between team members.

Interesting, but so what?

In their research Katzenbach and Smith found that the vast majority of teams get stuck at the Potential Team stage, despite the fact that only a small improvement in the team process would result in a massive increase in performance.

This is where MiND comes in. MiND provides precisely the information that Katzenback and Smith found was essential for moving beyond the Potential Team stage. It enables team members and team leaders to gain a neurological understanding of not just how their colleagues are (they probably already know that), but why they are the way they are - how their preferences, perspective, enthusiasm and energy is shaped by the physical attributes of their brains. This in turn tends to lead to much higher levels of mutual respect, with team members being far more likely to discuss their thoughts and ideas with colleagues who they now know can offer a different perspective to their own.

The second major benefit of running a MiND team workshop is that it increases the Mental Operating Area of the team. Think back to the occasions when you have attended a team meeting at work and heard someone make a suggestion that was immediately ignored. Alternatively, have you ever had a thought or an idea during a team meeting, but didn't say anything because you thought people might either not understand it or appreciate it? These scenarios are extremely common in teams lower down the Katzenbach and Smith Team Performance Curve, where people do not understand their colleagues well enough to realise that the different perspectives they offer may be extremely valuable.

During a MiND team workshop participants have the opportunity to compare the results associated with their quadrant preferences. The lowest figures they record represent lowest common denominators - in other words, the 'safe zone' where everyone will quickly reach agreement because thoughts and ideas in those areas are not particularly extreme or adventurous. The highest figures represent the extremities of mental diversity within the group. Discussions involving extreme perspectives like this are extremely rate in low-performing teams but are an every-day occurrence in high-performing teams. A MiND team workshop is therefore a highly effective way of helping a team accelerate its advancement towards high performance.

Apart from the performance benefits a MiND team workshop can provide, it is also highly interactive and a lot of fun. A typical workshop will include optical illusions, games and exercises, all designed to illustrate aspects of neuroscience or team practices.

For more information please contact your MyBrain Practitioner or mail us at .

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