Team Tool – Business Brainpower
With the title of ‘Manager’, an incumbent will have responsibility for the performance of a number of people who comprise ‘the Manager’s Team’. The performance of a manager is dependent upon his or her ability to manage the team in order to achieve the key performance indicators, measures and targets assigned to the manager’s area of responsibility or span of control.
Whilst charged with this responsibility, the manager will also be one of a number of managers reporting to the CEO, who together comprise ‘the Management Team’. The performance of the CEO is dependent upon her or his ability to manage this team in order to achieve the organisational key performance indicators, measures and targets.
Whether a manager or a CEO, the challenge is the same – to achieve agreed objectives with and through people. Managing a team includes managing:
- the performance of individual team members, and
- the performance of the team as a unit, and
- the team’s cohesiveness and continuity.
Team Tool – Business Brainpower is introduced here, and expanded in Chapter 4 of my book, The Left and Right Brain Business. I define it as:
”The ability to:
- accept that people can think and act differently to you, then
- understand why they do, and then
- apply this knowledge and understanding in managing problems, creating opportunities and accepting challenges”
Team Tool – Business brainpower provides a key to:
- develop a successful team,
- enhance team processes, and
- achieve agreed team results.
By understanding and anticipating team dynamics, a manager or CEO is much closer to increasing job satisfaction, effectiveness and productivity – and being able to confidently capitalise on opportunities as they arise.
Team Tool – Business Brainpower begins with the recognition that any task has three major components:
- the task itself – a series of actions or reactions,
- the persons involved with or affected by the task, and
- the environment within which the persons will be accomplish or achieve the task.
An equilateral triangle, with angles and sides of equal value and importance – demonstrating equal value and importance for three components – is the Business Brainpower triangle. The three angles and sides are task, persons and environment. If you change any one of the angles in an equilateral triangle, you automatically change the other two angles: if you give one of these three components a greater or less value than the other two, you automatically change the value of the other two.
Team Tool – Business Brainpower
A manager or CEO as team leader can apply this Team Tool to:
- enhance and increase team performance and effectiveness,
- enhance and increase self-esteem, self-confidence, and the level of job satisfaction among team members, and
- negotiate realistic expectations and achievable challenges with individual team-members.
Left and Right Brain Orientation
Read more about the Business Brainpower in The Left and Right Brain Business, one of Jean’s publications. This book is based on Jean’s sympathetic study of left and right brain orientation through the observation and exploration of the attitudes and behaviours of people in their business activities, workplaces, families, social gatherings, community activities and public office. This process has included a diversity of people and organisations.
Orientation indicates a person’s natural style, characteristics and behaviour, and is based on the dominance of either the left or right hemisphere of the brain. The book introduces three styles:
- left-brain style, where the left hemisphere is more dominant than the right
- right-brain style, where the right hemisphere is more dominant than the left
- centre style, where there is almost no dominance between the left and right hemispheres
Left-brain dominance tends to value attention to and completion of the task; right-brain dominance tends to value attention to the persons involved with or affected by the task; and the ‘centre’ style – where there is equal value for both task and persons – tends to value the environment within which the persons will be involved with or affected by the task.
By identifying with the values associated task, persons and environment within the team, the manager or CEO will have a ‘point of entry’ into the distribution of values across the team. With this point of entry, the manager can firstly influence and secondly move the consciousness, understanding and values of all team members to include task, persons and environment.
The objective is to have each person aware of and committed to the three components of person, task and environment.
The values of the Manager or CEO – and those of their respective team members – are potential contributors to an effective and productive team. However, a wise Manager or CEO will adopt the equilateral triangle principle and display all three styles of Team leadership.
You’ll recognize Dr Paul Hersey’s Situational Leadership:
What has long been needed is a system for managing people that is both conceptual and practical. An easy-to-grasp system with a scope that is broad enough to permit its application to a wide range of situations is essential. Such a model would promote a precise language in which managers could both understand and act upon the problems they experience in managing their people. This new approach must build on the existing language of management so that learning it and using it are easily mastered. Furthermore, this model must have face validity that allows it to be accepted and implemented from the executive suite to the first level of supervision.
Team Tool – Business Brainpower is compatible with Situational Leadership.
Left-brain style of Team leadership tends to be more practical:
- emphasise the importance of the task itself,
- focus on results and outcomes,
- delegate responsibility to analyse the problem,
- discuss facts, analysis, and interpretation of facts, and
- stay focused on the team task.
Right-brain style of Team leadership tends to be more conceptual:
- emphasise the importance of the persons involved with or affected by the task,
- focus on feelings and processes,
- delegate responsibility to brainstorm solutions,
- discuss possibilities and solutions, and
- stay focused on team dynamics.
Centre style of Team leadership tends to a balance between practical and conceptual:
- emphasise the environment that could impact on both the task and persons,
- focus equally on task and person, but in an objective manner,
- delegate specific tasks,
- provide a structured opportunity for discussion, involvement and decisions, and
- try to balance the focus on team dynamics and team task.
With a supportive work environment in which the Manager or CEO displays equal value for task, persons and environment, each team member will be able to recognise and accept the importance and value of their own strengths – together with those of their colleagues.
As explained in the introduction to Tool No. 1: Information, there are a number of tools critical to the management role and function – and the same tools can be used to declare and wage war, or to create and maintain peace.
The tragedy is that internal warfare at worst destroys and at best renders a manager’s role and function ineffective. Staff with management potential can ease back and do less, lose their initiative, adopt a siege mentality and ‘speak only when spoken to’, or leave when other employment is found. So much for succession planning!
It’s the manner in which tools are used – or abused – that determine war or peace!
Managers usually work at three levels within their organisation:
- with those to whom they report and are accountable, i.e. their CEO, and
- with their peers, i.e. other managers, and
- with their staff, i.e. those who report and are accountable to them.
The sad fact is that war can be declared within a manager’s staff or team without the manager’s knowledge or intention. Therefore, recognising signs and symptoms of war is as valuable as the tool itself.
More about these three levels when we look at Tool No. 5: Structure.