Does this lament look familiar to you? If so, it is time for a team role analysis according to Meredith Belbin, a proven method in team development. The charm: Even if you find that your team is not blessed with innovation drivers, this tool can be used to boost creativity. A short questionnaire for self-assessment and external assessment, a few key questions and a maximum half-day workshop are often sufficient, especially in well-rehearsed teams.
According to Belbin, nine different roles are ideally represented in a team, such as the implementer, the perfectionist or the pioneer. A team role analysis shows you whether there is one or even more so-called innovators in your team. Besides that, it shows you what forces are working against them.
Every team needs lateral thinkers
The innovator is a breath of fresh air for the team. She or he likes it unconventional and often finds a way out even when others have long since given up. Without innovators standstill threatens. But what to do if no innovator can be found? When your team is made up exclusively of doers or specialists? Then you don’t necessarily have to hire someone. According to Belbin, team members can also take on a role for which they do not seem to have been born. He calls that team role sacrifice.
Support network for innovation
Suppose one of your team members takes on the role of innovator, you have identified or hired a innovator. Then you should make sure that the surrounding (team) system supports him or her by making you as a manager work together with the team:
- clarify what kind of innovation you are looking for – and to what extent.
- define rules on how to deal with ideas in the future.
- define concrete (problem) areas which the innovator should give priority to
- encourage the innovator to encourage colleagues in the team to think outside the box, to learn and try out various creativity techniques. Invite the innovator, for example, to see your processes through the eyes of an austerity man. An eighteen-year-old, an environmental activist, etc.
The short detour of the team role analysis allows you to drive innovation in the team and to avoid accusations. It’s worth trying! Our consultants will be happy to assist you.