Team Selection - A Systematic Approach

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Some use astrology in selecting teams. Raymond Domenech, the French coach admitted he used astrology as a means for team selection. If I recall, "scorpions" were left out because they would destabilize the team.

Right or wrong, believe it or not, it is a systematic approach. One advantage of astrology in team selection is that everyone has some idea about it. The disadvantage is that this idea people have about it is very limited and often not too serious. If you ask a man in the street why a scorpion could be a bad team-player, you wouldn't get an answer.

Another way to select a team could be by using (some may call it misusing) Belbin's team roles. A first requirement to use this system is to have (potential) team-members perform the test to know their most suitable team role. The Belbin system is very thorough, but it requires understanding of nine team roles. This is less than the astrology types, but in astrology there are four main elements beneath the twelve signs (water, air, fire and earth). In fact there are also four main motivators that drive the Belbin team roles (will, act, think and feel, or in another categorization: lead, do, think and socialize).

A similar approach in team selection could be done by using the Myers-Briggs psychological preferences. This is also a categorization system where four main elements are used and are focused on taking decision, processing information, etc.

For team building all these techniques can be used. It offers a way to understand people from a different side and more explicit than normal behavior in teams will offer. But it is only a means to better understand people and to solve tension, increase the teamwork.

Yet for team selections, the first question a manager needs to make is: what does the team need to do? This is often a question that is forgotten, even though it seems so basic. Depending on the (business) domain of the team, this may result in a variation of required team roles.

Have a look at the following link if you are interested to find out about productive team roles and a possible use for team-selection.


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© 2008 Hans Bool

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Team Selection - A Systematic Approach

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This article was published on 2010/04/04