Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Chair

When Meredith Belbin produced his ground-breaking work 'Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail' he identified the key role of chairing. Except most of the time he didn't call it that. He called it 'co-ordinating'.

If you come across someone who is a good co-ordinator (in my time monitoring Belbin test results I have only experienced one person who had this as their headline preference) then their skill will be to use the gifts and skills of the rest of the team to achieve the desired results.

A good co-ordinator may bring nothing to the party. They may never have an original idea. They may not solve any problems. They may not know anyone who can help. But they will probably know who can. Someone in their team.

They are often very humble people although very 'in control'. Maybe the right place for the control freak is in the chair.

So one of the great things to see is a good chair announcing success. They will use the language of 'we' all the time. Whereas a control freak without the co-ordination skills will tend to take credit for success.

Here's the question. I expect you knew by now that there would be a question.

Is the Prime Minister the co-ordinator of the country? And if (s)he is, why do we need her or him to be charismatic?

The answer is something to do with democracy and ancient memes. We feel instinctively uneasy at voting someone into power who can't eat a bacon sandwich properly, forgetting, of course, that 99 photos of correct bacon-sandwich eating were disposed of until that one was found.

The best person for the job may be the least charismatic; the one who stands up afterwards and says 'My team did this - not me'

No comments: