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We Are in This Together, Sink or Swim

October 3, 2017

A great American leader, Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” In an age where independent thinking and individuality can be taken to the extreme, coming together in unity toward a common goal is a dream to aspire to. This dream is the key to prosperity, both for countries and companies.

Teams are necessary for success in the modern economy. We are no longer living in an age of craftsmen, where individual talent is enough. With global competition and hypercomplex products, no man (or woman) is an island. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg knew this when she said, “I feel really grateful to the people who encouraged me and helped me develop. Nobody can succeed on their own.”

However, teams, like individuals, are not always productive. The 2004 NBA Olympics Men’s basketball team was made of superstars including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade. They followed a string of NBA Olympic teams that had never lost a game. Yet this team somehow lost the opener to Puerto Rico, lost to Lithuania and squeaked into 3rd place with some very close wins. This team was stocked with talent, but it was not a good team by American NBA standards. Organizations can’t just hire top talent and cobble it together to achieve gold. There is no “I” in team.

What if there was a secret sauce to team success, and it was on sale at the local supermarket? The shelves would soon be bare. There is high demand for this insight into team success. This insight starts with a theory, a theory in which both diversity and inclusiveness are important for success.

Diversity within a workgroup brings positive benefits such as more creative outputs and less groupthink. However, it is also important to have a shared culture and a shared understanding to reach a consensus and achieve goals. Studies show that managers spend almost a quarter of their time dealing with conflict within teams. Employees also spend significant time dealing with interpersonal conflict. This is a drain on productivity and promotes turnover, the chronic illness of teamwork.

Identifying people who enjoy working together and complement each other in the pursuit of organizational objectives can lead to both higher productivity and lower turnover. Managers can create teams with a wealth of diversity in backgrounds, skills, and experiences, while promoting a shared culture and understanding. They can do this through a broadly inclusive job model, wide recruiting net, and focused behavioral profile for the team.

Recently, Infor developed and released a tool that is the next step in behavioral science-driven predictive analytics for determining team success. Infor Team Dynamics extends the Talent Science predictive analytics solution to not only identify those who have the right behaviors to succeed, but also how to select, align, and group employees based on their fit to each other, and also to their manager. This product will enable companies to intelligently select and build high-performing teams across their organization with a click of a mouse, understanding detractors, promoters, champions, and allies, maximizing their abilities to work together to outperform the competition

Understanding team member behaviors is the secret sauce to creating cohesiveness. Now that we can bake this ability into HR software and guide managers on making the tough decisions about who to bring together on a project or what new team member will fit best with their team, organizations can build a culture of success without the guesswork.

Look for Infor Team Dynamics at the 20th Annual HR Technology Conference where it will be featured as part of this year's line-up for the popular "Awesome New Technologies for HR" session on October 11, 2017, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at The Venetian in Las Vegas. The "Awesome New Technologies for HR" session features live product demonstrations of the best new technology from every part of HR. Nominees undergo an extensive vetting process that results in a slate of outstanding industry leaders who take the stage to showcase their innovation.

See more information on the behavioral aspect of talent selection by visiting Infor Talent Science.

Joel Philo, Senior Behavioral Scientist, Infor

  • Talent Science
  • North America
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