Team Dimensions Survey Results

Two months ago, I wrote about a new paradigm for team dynamics and asked readers to indicate what type of person they were. A few days later I launched my Kickstarter campaign, and writing a proper entry about the survey results was put on the back burner. I apologize for the delay.

The good news is that the survey results aren’t all that interesting!

  1. Creator (7 people): I love to brainstorm ideas. I thrive in the world of possibilities, especially if other people want to talk about those possibilities with me. I’m innovative, creative, and imaginative.
  2. Advancer (6 people): I love to share ideas. I thrive in the world of communication, of gauging people’s interest in ideas. When I hear a cool idea, I have to share it with people as soon as possible.
  3. Refiner (8 people): I love to refine ideas. I thrive in the world of editing. I like to take a lot of good ideas, cut out the fat, challenge the bad and bring out the good, and end up with a few great ideas.
  4. Executor (6 people): I love to execute ideas. I thrive in the world of getting things done. I don’t want to discuss ideas or share them–I love getting my hand dirty and turning nothing into something. I love results.

It looks like people are evenly spread through the four categories, which makes sense. It’s a really good thing, in fact, because each type of person needs the other types for a well-rounded team.

Ever since learning that I’m a refiner with a slight creator wing, I’ve been much more attuned to interpersonal dynamics in my various ventures. For example, I’ve been working on a fundraising event at work for the past 8 months, and for some reason I kept feeling like I was offending my chairperson without knowing why. She would come up with a ton of interesting ideas, and I would immediately pare them down to the ideas that would work based on previous events. I could tell that she was frustrated whenever I did that, but it wasn’t until I took the team dimensions test to realize that she is clearly a creator and I’m a refiner. Instead of immediately refining her ideas, I needed to let her brainstorm, and later I could refine.

It’s been interesting working with my Viticulture co-designer over the last 11 months, because Alan is also a refiner (probably also with a creator wing like me). So we have two refiners working together to design and test board games. I actually don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it does mean that we’ve made thousands of adjustments to the game over the past year. It’s going to be tough to send it to the manufacturer in a few weeks and not be able to make any more changes!

Think about your working relationships. Are there any conflicts that these team dimensions might shed light on? Or perhaps some people with whom really well because you balance each other out?

3 thoughts on “Team Dimensions Survey Results”

  1. I can’t remember which of these metrics I most identified with when you first wrote about them, but after looking them over and thinking about them, I feel almost like a 5th metric should be added- one the focuses on being an organizer, someone who thrives on lists and order, which helps to keep the team on task and working in a unified manner. At work (and even at home), I don’t just like to have things in order, but actually need to have things in their “right” place.

    With my team at my old work location, each of my co-workers had an understanding of how the others operated and we were a cohesive and efficient unit. With my new team, it’s more of and “every man for himself” mentality, which makes things more challenging, especially since I’m the “new kid,” so the changes I’d like to implement (and have started) are often met with resistance, even though the changes would benefit everyone and are minor. I think one of the reasons why my old team worked so well together is we had a mix of all 4 types of people, whereas my new team has more of “executors” and not enough of the other types to create a good balance. Having an “organizer” type in the mix would probably help to set boundaries and improve morale and efficiency.

  2. I helped train an innovation class to my company a few years ago. In the class, we survey people to plot them on a grid as From top (counterclockwise) Visioning, Modifying, Experimenting & Exploring, with diagonal axes being (Bottom left) Facts to (top right) intuition, and (top left) focused to (bottom right) Broad.

    Like MBTI Types, the important lesson had to do with the dynamics of interactions between these kinds of people, and each type’s importance to a group’s goal of innovation.


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