Current economic hardships in the nation have exemplified Malcolm Gladwell’s assertion that before big things of significant magnitude will happen and be felt, they should have been happening gradually in little quantums. (In his book: ‘The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’).
Using the same analogy it presupposes that we are where we are as a nation not because of one administration but successive administrations, especially since the quality of the working class has not changed. There are recurrent challenges facing successive administrations which have not been nipped in the bud which keeps on rearing their ugly heads at all successive administrations.
One being low productivity coupled with massive corruptions in our entire national system; be it government, public and private sectors.
How do we ensure as a religious body, society, company or nation we work as a team to realise our collective desires and dreams? (That is only and only if we have a collective dream at all).
Mostly when one takes a cursory look at our national history or places we have been involved in, one comes to the conclusion that we have had fantastic ideas and proposed solutions to most of our problems. It looks like we are great with formulating ideas and solution but lack the wherewithal to implement them into solution spewing machines to ameliorate our challenges.
So how do we move the great ideas into implementation and life changing solutions? That’s where the Belbin’s Team role comes in. It has been used in many team settings and can be replicated in all teams in Ghana, be it religious, society or national leadership.Using the Belbin’s Team Role, the following steps can be taken to ensure a team achieves its objectives:
1. Assessment of Team Strengths and Weaknesses
Team builders (leaders) should be able to know the strengths and weaknesses of each individual on their team. Every individual according to the Belbin’s team role exemplifies three topmost roles among the nine different roles. My assessment results indicate that I am a Shaper (most preferred role), Coordinator and Implementer.
Broadly, the nine roles are categorised into the action oriented roles, people oriented roles and the cerebral roles. As shown in Diagram 1. Three of the nine roles fall under each of the three main categories of roles. Critical assessment of every individual using the Belbin’s team role questionnaires or just by checking the strengths and allowable weaknesses from the diagram below can help one know a person’s top three roles.
Diagram1 – Belbin team roles :
2. Composition of Team
Every team is required to have a fair representation of the roles in order to ensure the objectives of the team are met. For instance if you have most of the team members belonging to the action oriented roles (shaper, implementer, completer finisher), they might be bent on implementing ideas without giving it a holistic thought.
A fair composition of team roles ensures that the team takes a bird’s eye view when decisions are made. Robust solutions are implemented and completed with a touch of class.
3. Selection of Team Leader
It is recommended that a Coordinator most of the times should lead a team. Coordinators are good at clarifying goals, promote decision-making and delegate well. At the same time, depending on the team and the task, roles such as Plant and Shaper can be very good team leaders, especially when it comes to simplifying complex technical problems into simple solvable goals.
4. Numerical Strength of Team
Experts on team formulation have recommended smaller teams (maximum 15 members) in order to ensure fluidity and comradeship, especially since every team goes through the Tuckman stages of team development as highlighted in diagram 2.
Diagram2 – Tuckman stages of team development –
If the Belbin’s team role can be effected in most of our team formulations, I believe we will not only birth great ideas but will implement solutions which will improve the lot of our people, organisations and nation.
Again, scarce resources can be judiciously expended to yield tangible results. One of the greatest mark of a great leader is to know the strength of his/her team members (strength zone) and delegate appropriately to achieve the objectives. The Belbin’s team role can help us realise that.
Diagram 1- Source: http://catadv.wordpress.com/
Diagram 2- Source- http://crushtastic.ca/roundball/?p=813)