Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Team diversity -- a different wrinkle

I've read a lot about teams, and written more than a few words, so it was that I realized Carson Tate has an idea I've not thought much about:
".... differences in work style — or the way in which we think about, organize, and complete tasks.
In any office you will find four basic types of people:
  • Logical, analytical, and data-oriented
  • Organized, plan-focused, and detail-oriented
  • Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented
  • Strategic, integrative, and idea-oriented"
Of course, this is nice to know, but what does a PM do about it?

Tate suggests two actions that are available to managers
  1. Organize tasks and parse the work statement according to who is good at what.
  2. Coach performance according to the native capabilities or dispositions
Actually, I think I do something like that routinely. In my words, it would be:
  1. Let the planners do the planning, and keep the blue sky types away from the details
  2. Don't try to push a round peg into a square hole. One size and shape does not fit all, so work assignments are tailored to skills and disposition
Of course, sometimes you have to get the work done. In that case, it's simple:
All hands on deck!

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