Thursday, August 4, 2016

Intelligent Teaming: The Competitive Battleground for the Next 20 Years

By: Ciaran Nagle, Global Marketing Manager, OND LLC

First it was quality, then it was customer service, then it was business process re-engineering, then it was globalization.

When each of these competitive strategies came along, CEOs first ignored them, then they laughed at them, then they fought over them and then you (the consumer) won.

Now a new game of boardrooms has emerged from its chrysalis and is looking coyly around the throng of shareholders, analysts and consultants watching for the next big thing. But this time there promises to be a whole new class of winner. This time it's the foot-soldier of the corporation, the honest team member who works hard and never gets the glory who will stand to benefit most. This time, the employee wins.

Yes, the corporation will make honks of cash too, but more of that later.

Intelligent Teaming has arrived. It's different from all the other differentiators because it doesn't use employees to deliver its ends. It uses its ends to deliver employees. (That's 'deliver' as in 'save', of course, but you knew that). Employees, staffers, corporate slaves, whatever you call them, for the first time their happiness and job satisfaction (engagement, as HR calls it) is at the centre of all the overlapping circles on that chart they're gathered around in the boardroom.

The root cause of all this is an unlikely-sounding source. You see, it all comes from scientific research. Yes, I know what you're thinking, science is a cold-hearted, unfeeling thing that makes bombs and over-priced haircare. But on this occasion science has delivered (that word again) on its promises and done something wonderful for human kind. Truly, it's done something kind for humans. 
What science has done is uncover some truths about the natural strengths and talents that lie deep within us and how these are absolutely vital to the effectiveness of our work and our joy in performing said work. Put simply, if we treat our talent as the bedrock of our ambitions and grow our career roots over it, every workday will be like a birthday. But if we fail to discover our natural talents and base our career on our learned skills instead, we will always be miserable. (Deloitte Shift Index: 80% of us hate our jobs.)

Not only that, but the science has discovered how we can find out what those natural talents are. (One day, when the story of this research is told, it will sound like Marie Curie discovering radium.) And when it's done that and revealed to us what we were made to do all along, we can pin our place on the talent map, where all the rest of the world is, and see clearly the kind of work we will actually enjoy.
If you think that all sounds too good to be true, I can hardly blame you. But here's where it gets really interesting. Those C-level suits circling the flip chart many floors above you have worked out that people who are happy at their work are also more productive. Are you seeing it now?

That's right, they are ready to invest wheelbarrow loads of the money you earned for them last year in ensuring you are excited to come to work next year. Here's the difference it will make to you. You will have a jaw-dropping moment when you understand, for the first time ever, what you're really about. It will be like those moments when a deaf person hears for the first time or a blind person sees. Armed with this information you and your boss can start to move you towards the role that you always wanted but didn't know it. Maybe it's the job you're doing now, but with a few changes. Or maybe it's a completely different job. Or maybe it's somewhere in-between. Whatever it is, you will have the excitement of knowing with crystal clarity what direction your career should go in.

As to the corporation you work for, you're probably not interested to learn that they will achieve an average of 28% growth in productivity from your team. Or that their recruitment costs will drop while job continuity will rise dramatically and employee engagement will skyrocket. But they will.
So when you hear of Intelligent Teaming coming your team's way, watch your colleagues and note their reaction. This is how it will go. First they'll ignore it, then they'll laugh at it, then they'll fight it and then they'll win.

About the Author: Ciaran was introduced to Method Teaming, OND's ground-breaking science for effective business team formation four years ago. Realizing that his marketing skills, honed at GE over 10 years, could help OND break out of their narrow client set (HPE, Big Four Consultancies) into the wider corporate world he was excited to become their world marketing head. He is based in London and can be reached at

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