You can take internal analysis down to the team level with a quick introductory exercise. The object is to find some common capabilities across the team (beyond the obvious) and to find some unique capabilities that each person brings to the table. Then the team must describe how some of the unique capabilities could be leveraged in a team project.
- Objective: Find Capabilities. Uncover 3 abilities all members of this small group have in common (other than the obvious things such as you have taken the same classes). For example, all may have strong spreadsheet skills or all are good at interviewing. Then identify 1 capability that is unique to each person in the group. For example, only one is an accomplished musician or has contacts in the insurance industry.
- Scribe records: Appoint (or let them self-select) one player in each group to be the “scribe.” Give the following instructions: “For the next 3-5 minutes we are going to look for 3 things each member group has in common with the other members of that group and 1 thing unique for each group member. The scribe will write them done. For the unique part, you don’t have to be the only person in the world who has the trait, merely the only person in the group. So, if everyone in the group was an economics major and you studied architecture, that is a uniqueness within the group.” When finished, ask each scribe to report on the similarities and uniqueness.
- Leverage capabilities. Given the teams another 5 minutes to answer two questions about their inventory of capabilities. First, how can the three shared capabilities be leveraged in a team project. Second, which of the individual unique capabilities can be leveraged to make a project more effective?
- Debrief: Every person has something in common with us and has something new to offer. This is great information to have as we look for ways to overcome obstacles in the workplace and leverage unique capabilities.
Contributed by Russ Coff