I’m a planner. I love to plan. Yet, so many times I find myself on teams that jump right into action without taking even a moment to plan. Sometimes we don’t even share the problem we’re all trying to solve. Ever happened to you?
What is the connection between problem solving and people? In Teamwork 9.0, I describe the team dynamics that set up your teammates for success. I found this connection when studying the Enneagram.
The Enneagram describes 9 distinct dynamics. I realized the connection between people and problem solving while contemplating why Enneagram Type 1 is labeled “1,” Enneagram Type 2 is labeled “2,” and so on through Type 9.
I discovered that the Enneagram not only describes nine personality dynamics, it also describes the order in which humans solve problems!
For instance, which Enneagram type is most closely associated with a person who points out problems? The answer is clearly Enneagram Type 1 who is often called the Perfectionist. And, what is the first step in any problem-solving process? Identifying that there is a problem. The Enneagram Type 1 dynamic corresponds to Step 1 in problem solving.
Chapter 2 of Teamwork 9.0 lays out each Enneagram dynamic and shows how each dynamic corresponds to a specific step in problem solving. Here’s a summary:
Step 1: Problem-Goal — Identify the problems and define the goals.
Step 2: Stakeholder Identification — Recruit a committed team.
Step 3: Ideation — Generate ideas for solutions.
Step 4: Emotional Reaction — Assess reactions to each idea.
Step 5: Logical Analysis — Study and score promising ideas.
Step 6: Planning — Select the most promising idea and build an action plan.
Step 7: Promotion — Passionately promote the plan and get approval to proceed.
Step 8: Implementation — Execute the plan and solve the problem!
Step 9: Integration — Confirm the problem is solved with all stakeholders.
Does your team get smoothly through all the steps in problem solving? Which steps are easy for your team? In which steps do you tend to get stuck? Which steps do you skip altogether?
The Enneagram reveals the answers to these questions, and Teamwork 9.0 serves as a guide to help you understand your team and balance it for best performance.
Here are examples of other teams I have seen:
Git ‘er Done
Paralysis by Analysis
A Well-Oiled Machine
Sweeps Problems Under the Rug
What’s a phrase that describes your team?