Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to Build a Dynamic Team in Your Organization

By Jeffrey Suchocki

When making hiring decisions and trying to put together a dynamic team, most managers' focus on key "metrics" the organization has deemed important. The metrics selected will vary, but may include items such as years of experience, academic record, or production levels (particularly in careers requiring sales experience or in a variety of professional service roles).

More astute managers may look for signs that demonstrate a candidate's ambition or their increasing level of responsibility (demonstrating the candidate's ability to learn and grow within an organization).

When faced with multiple candidates of relatively equal qualifications, a manager may also consider how the candidate "fits" within an existing team. The process of determining a "fit", however, is often made based on "feel" or "intuition". Unfortunately, that process often yields undesirable results.

The cost of turnover is perhaps one of most recognized, but least measured and quantified costs of doing business. It is typical to hear managers discuss turnover as simply a "cost of doing business" and doing little to consider how to quantify the cost and ultimately how to minimize it. Some research studies have indicated the cost of turnover is as great as 125 percent of the lost employee's annual salary.

Some large companies have resorted to complex and costly psychological tests to try and "predict" how a new hire will perform, believing that good performance will lead to a long tenure and successful team. But these tests often fail to consider the personality fit, as it relates to the personalities of the existing team. And while there may be a number of reasons why an employee will voluntarily leave their job, it is a poor personality fit that is often overlooked as a cause.

Fortunately, there are simple and inexpensive tools that can be used to quickly evaluate a candidate's personality, and ultimately their fit within the organization. One of the simplest and most dynamic tools was created by Dr. Paul Dobransky, a Chicago based psychiatrist, and relationship expert. Dr. Paul (as he is affectionately known by his fans) refers to his model as KWML (an acronym for King, Warrior, Lover, Magician).

The model's simplicity is where its power lies, utilizing just two primary psychological indicators, each with two possible outcomes. By "crossing" these two indicators' results, there are four possible "archetypes"-King, Warrior, Lover or Magician. Encompassed in each of these personality archetypes are the only factors one needs to know to determine whether a person is likely to be a friend, or a foe.

Though the model was originally created as a tool for individuals looking for a potential relationship partner, the model is entirely based on scientific literature and psychological principles regarding friendships, and how they are formed.

Because in business, as in life, success is often determined by the quality of your friendships and relationships. And knowing how a personality archetype will "plug" into your existing team increases the likelihood of that team working well together-increasing productivity and decreasing a company's turnover costs.

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