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Why is your team underperforming?

Team Work

Have you ever put together a dream team of highly skilled personal only to find that they are not performing at the level you expected?
You know it is not their skill level or their desire to achieve results.
It might come as a surprise to you to learn that individual personal have preference in the tasks they undertake in creative problem solving, although they may not be conscious of it.
In its team building projects the Applied Innovation Centre uses the Foursight Personal Preference Profiling Tool developed by the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College.
The Breakthrough Thinking Profile is an assessment designed to help individuals and teams better understand how they approach solving problems through creative thinking.
FourSight helps individuals recognize their natural strengths when solving problems creatively. As people become more aware of their natural tendencies and strengths, they become more adept at employing them. The measure also indicates areas in the creative process that pose a challenge for the individual, thereby illuminating blind spots that may limit personal effectiveness. Once aware of such challenges, individuals can learn strategies to enhance their creative problem-solving skills.
The 6 Stages of CPS
• Identify Goal, Wish or Challenge Identifying a goal, wish or challenge that requires creative thinking
• Gather Data Gathering background information about the goal, wish or challenge
• Clarify the Problem Clarifying the problem by identifying the specific issues that need to be resolved
• Generate Ideas Using imaginative thinking to generate many varied and original ways of resolving the problem
• Select & Strengthen Solutions Selecting, evaluating, and refining promising ideas into workable solutions
• Plan for Action Developing a plan of action that builds on sources of assistance and overcomes potential sources of resistance
The profiling identifies 4 distinct profiles:
• Clarifier
• Ideator
• Developer
• Implementer
Each individual has preferences for one or more of these problem-solving steps.
Ideally your team would benefit from an induvial having a preference for all – called a Chameleon
If your team is comprised of all Clarifiers – you may suffer from analysis paralysis and not solve the problem.
If you have a team full of Ideators they may race of and solve a problem – maybe the wrong problem.
Ideally you have a team consisting of Chameleons and a spread of Clarifiers, Ideators, Developers and Implementers.
Knowing preference can help each individual to eliminate blind spots, making the team more effective as a group.

Case Study
The Applied Innovation Centre conducted a controlled facilitation session in a medium to large organisation in the maritime industry.
Before the facilitation session we asked the attendees to complete the Foursight questionnaires and the results for each attendee was analysed and shared with the Manager HR.
During the facilitation session each participants involvement in the four CPS stages was monitored.
We observed that the participation of attendees matched their preference profiles. For instance, one attendee participated strongly in the clarifying stage but when we entered the ideating stage he withdrew to the back of the group and started playing with physical problem-solving equipment. He did not participate in the Ideating session.
When we asked the Manager HR if the participants behaved in the facilitation session according to their preference profile, he was amazed that they did.
This study confirmed for us the power of the Foursight Preference Profiling tool.
We now use it to assist team formation and teambuilding exercises for clients.

About Author

Peter Newman Managing Director BEc, Dip Public Admin, Cert IV Government Investigations, Cert III Investigation Services.

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