Thought No. 1 on Team Building:
When new projects are being started or in case of Mergers&Acquisitions it often happens that staff members, who never worked together or even don’t know each other, are put together in one organization. I have made the experience that team building in such situations doesn’t automatically happen – it has carefully and systematically to be prepared and organized.
Some years ago I was in charge of a large SAP implementation project with more than 200 internal and external staff members working on it. At the beginning of the project we performed a kick-off-event over a full day including a number of outdoor activities, which challenged the teams members in various ways: physically and mentally and as well with regard to their creativity, cleverness and team spirit. We ensured that the groups in this kick-off-event were setup as diverse as possible – each group comprised staff members from as many various project teams as possible.
The success of this kick-off-event exceeded my expectation by far. I observed in course of the two year’s project duration several times, that the personal relationships, which have been build up in course of the kick-off-event between the project staff members from various project teams, were a reliable basis for an intensive continuous informal communication with mutual trust and respect.
Based on this very positive experience my recommendation is: Never underestimate and disregard systematic team building, when you expect a heterogeneous group of people to successfully working together in one team.
Thought No. 2 on MBTI:
The personality of individuals determines to a large extent, how good they are able to working together. Like chemical elements there are human personalities, which do not fit well together, when they are in direct and close contact. A simple methodology to find out, how to deal with this challenge are personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test (see: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/).
Corporate America, the US government and US universities spend millions of dollars each year giving workers and students the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to steer training programs and career goals . Based on a questionnaire comprising approx. 100 questions, individuals are assigned to one of 16 personality types with certain specifics.
The graphic below give a sense of how these 16 personality types according to the Myers-Briggs philosophy look like. The official test is based on Carl Jung’s work in psychological typology.
The second graphic below shows popular career choices based on the MBTI personality types, which indicates that the application of this methodology goes far beyond „simple“ team building.
I consider the application of the MBTI methodology as beneficial, however at least in Germany it can only be performed on a voluntary basis due to legal requirements.