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Which Belbin Team Roles do you think would be most represented at the CIPD Festival of Work?

We have exhibited at the CIPD’s London show for over twenty years, and we thought we had our customers sussed. The ones who attend the show tend to be inquisitive, enthusiastic, interested in people, caring, keen to impart their knowledge and to find out more. In Belbin terms, we had a typical show attendee as a Resource Investigator/Teamworker/Specialist.

This year, we thought a change may be coming. We asked all those who came for a chat if they had been ‘Belbin-ed recently’ and if they could remember their top two Team Role strengths.

They put their names on stickers, and a picture began to emerge…

The results

The culture has shifted. Where did the Shaper behaviours come from? Is this a result of HR and L&D having to be more business focused? Is it because they need to be more results orientated?

The social roles are still there, but the amount of Specialist is in decline. This wasn’t a surprise to us – we had far less ‘in-depth’ conversations around the research into the importance of teams, and far more business-oriented ones - we were talking ROI and costs.

Maybe the people who attended the show have changed – there were fewer familiar faces…

We could draw many conclusions. We welcome your thoughts – [email protected].

What this means for you

Just imagine if you had this type of data for your team, department or organisation. What would you want to see? What questions would it raise, and importantly, what would you do?

How could you use this data to help cross silo working, to understand differences in culture? Could it explain any areas of misunderstanding, miscommunication or conflict?

One organisation we work with has put together the data so they can start asking the right questions – these are two of their departments:

Sales and Marketing (over 1000 people)

Research and Development (over 1300 people)

If these were your departments, what would be your first observation? What question would you want to ask?

What's next

We were planning to give a talk on how you can use these types of people analytics to help you plan what you need to provide in terms of help, resources and training. We didn’t have the opportunity at the CIPD Festival of Work, but we will be presenting on this topic at The World of Learning Exhibition in October. Come along!


Belbin Training and Workshops

Practical Belbin Workshop

A 'train the trainer' hands-on workshop to help you understand how to use Belbin Team Roles - to help you, your managers, teams and organisation!

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Team Workshops

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Belbin Team Role Accreditation is recommended for anyone who wants to use Belbin Team Roles to improve the performance of teams, and maximise working relationships.


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Belbin Team Roles are used to identify behavioural strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. Whether developing people, resolving conflict or fine-tuning high performance...

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