The IDI Team Development Report was released on May 31, and in those few short weeks it’s generated plenty of buzz. Few people know, however, that this solution was actually road tested well before its release – not just internally at MRG, but in 10 different projects facilitated in 5 different countries. This beta testing is an essential part of MRG’s “design thinking” approach, in which we prototype, test, and revise new products to ensure that they effectively meet the needs of the people who use them.
The official launch of the report has inspired a great deal of curiosity from ardent IDI enthusiasts, LEA users who are curious about the IDI, and consultants who haven’t yet implemented MRG tools in their work. We were eager to answer those questions and give everyone a closer look at the tool, but also give people a sense of how it works in the field. Fortunately, our beta tester and longtime network member Anne DeFrancesco was willing to share her recent experience using the tool with a three-person team, giving this introductory webinar an added level of real-world application. Read on for highlights from our full and fast-paced hour.
Inside the New Report (and the extras!)
Personal Motivation and Biases
Grounding the individual in his or her own motivations is an essential part of an effective team development experience. The report that the individual receives begins with his or her complete profile, along with interpretive statements that summarize their energy (more, moderate, less) and a summary of their own potential biases to consider as they move forward in their work with the team.
Team Motivation and Biases
By looking at a team’s collective data, we can see where their energy may cluster, and where it may be spread thin. This section of the report provides the team profile, along with interpretive text that summarizes the team’s areas of more, moderate, and less energy, along with the team’s potential areas of bias.
Team IDI Themes
The themes are one of the most innovative aspects of the new report – and perhaps the aspect that inspires the most curiosity! When ordering the report, you can choose to include up to 8 themes our of our list of 20. These themes help the team reflect in a deeper and more focused way on the areas and issues that are most relevant to them. (See the full list of themes on the brochure.) For each chosen theme, the report includes a page of team data for the 5 dimensions that are particularly influential to that theme. The report then provides processing questions, team coaching suggestions, and prompts for theme-based action planning.
While exploring team dynamics by theme, overall patterns will begin to emerge. This section is designed to help teams document their overall insights and commitments to moving forward with greater awareness – both for the individual and the entire team.
While each facilitator will approach team engagements with methods and techniques that are all their own, there are tools MRG has provided to help save you time as you plan your work. These include suggested agendas for half-day and full-day engagements, a team composite, ideas for team exercises, a library of facilitator FAQs, and more.
The IDI Team Development Report in Action: a Case Study
Earlier this year, Anne DeFrancesco, President of DeFrancesco Consulting, was working with a small trio of leaders at U.S. retail giant L.L. Bean. With her engagement already underway, she was able to incorporate the IDI Team Development Report into their work, and both she and her clients were impressed by its impact. Her account of the work is really worth hearing in its entirety (which you can do by downloading the webinar on demand – Anne’s story begins right around the 30 minute mark), but here’s a snapshot:
- A unique transition: Anne’s was tasked with supporting a team’s transition from a single leader to a three-person leadership model, with a focus on fortifying interpersonal relationships, clarifying expectations, unifying the approach to work, and making decisions together.
- Laying the groundwork: Teamwork begins with knowing yourself. With this team, Anne was already using the the MBTITM to help people understand their own preferences, and had done individual 1:1 coaching based on the IDI.
- Introducing the IDI Team Report: Before introducing the IDI Team Report, Anne reminded her clients of two important things: that there is “no glory in your own profile” – while everyone’s IDI data is different, that doesn’t make it better or worse; and that “bias” is not a four-letter word – we all have them, we just need to be aware of how they impact our perceptions of and interactions with others.
- Selecting themes: Based on her knowledge of the team, Anne chose six themes she felt would be uniquely relevant to the team. In their work, one theme – Change – drew the most attention from the group and was where they had the most energy to explore.
- Personal breakthroughs came through team work: The team members found that by seeing their own data in this new context, their self-awareness was deepened. “Using the team report felt like I was reading about myself for the first time,” remarked one participant.
- A greater level of trust: By talking openly about bias, rather than trying to hide or eliminate them, the participants were able to converse with a greater level of openness, leading to new insights about the team and its patterns. “We talked about… how our drivers may actually hinder our desired outcomes,” said one participant.
- Ready for action: based on their team’s most noteworthy drivers, they were able to create an action plan based on the drivers that were hindering them in achieving their goals, and the drivers that were helping them succeed. This was one of the most unifying and satisfying parts of the team’s experience.
Did you miss the live webcast?
Catch up on anything you missed in the webinar by getting it on-demand here.
We had just an hour to hear from two accomplished professionals about a robust and dynamic solution – so of course we weren’t able to answer all the questions that came in! We’ve documented the answers in the next section of the post. Read on for questions and answers from the webinar…
Q & A from the webinar
Q: Some of the IDI dimensions like Gaining Stature and Receiving may take on additional sensitivity when shared with a team. What is your experience with this?
A: This is one of the reasons we recommend doing the individual debriefs prior to the team work. It is important to help the individuals work out their fears and biases around their individual data prior to sharing it within the group. That said, there are still many misunderstandings about interpreting the IDI that come up during the team conversation which allows the facilitator to correct the erroneous assumptions about the interpretations of the different energy patterns.
Q: Are the dimensions unique to each theme? For example, does the dimension “Giving” show up only under theme “Decision Making”?
A: Each of the 17 IDI variables are represented more than once across the 20 themes. There are 5 IDI variables per theme, so on average they will show up in 5 or 6 of the 20 themes.
Q: How are the themes identified? By the consultant or by the participants? If the team is not choosing them, how do you get buy-in from the team?
A: Different consultants take different approaches to the selection process. In the case of Anne’s engagement, she had done interviews and pre-work with them that informed her selection of six themes. In a session prior to the introduction of the IDI Team Development Report, she told them what the six themes would be and gave them an opportunity to discuss the two or three that they’d like to focus on. Across our Beta testers, there were a variety of approaches: about a third used an approach similar to Anne’s; another third worked with a team leader to choose the themes; and another third worked with the entire team to choose the themes. All of these approaches seemed to work well for our testers, and which one you choose will likely depend on your relationship with and knowledge of the team.
Q: Do the themes match up with Patrick Lencioni’s 5 dysfunctions?
A: While we did not specifically design the IDI themes to align with Lencioni’s model, Beta testers who used the Lencioni model found that the IDI teams aligned well.
Q: Can a team report be run for two people who have already taken the idea in the past? This is a manager, direct report relationship I’m thinking of, and have referred to their IDI differences many times in helping them work more effectively which each other. I’m guessing the themes would be incredibly insightful.
A: Yes it can be used for two people. I think the themes would be helpful. I think some of the processing built into the report may be more than is needed for working with two people, but we haven’t tested it, so my recommendation would be for you to look at the sample to determine which of the processing elements would be beneficial and which might be more than what is needed for two.
Q: Were all the team participants Americans? Have people used this assessment with global teams, or only teams that are located within one country?
A: The IDI Team Report has been Beta tested in the US, Canada, Belgium, France and Germany. These tests were primarily local to one country, although some of the teams had members from multiple countries.
Q: When do you think you will have the Team IDI in Spanish?
A: We’ll be releasing translations starting in 2019. MRG will publish a full translation schedule in early 2019.
Q: What kind of training is required to use the report?
A: To administer the IDI Team Development Report, you are required to be certified in the Individual Directions Inventory. If you already hold this certification, no further training is necessary. To get your certification, you can attend either an in-person, full-day certification class, or an online certification class, which is broken up into shorter sessions over a few weeks. Upcoming certification dates can be found on the MRG.com calendar.
Q: Can we get the personal biases section in the original individual IDI report?
A: Not at this time. However, as part of MRG’s commitment to design thinking, we are always paying attention to requests like these so we can take them into consideration for future iterations of the report.