The Individual Directions Inventory has been used by coaches and organizations around the world for years, delivering deeply personal insights about (as the name suggests) an individuals motivations and drivers. With the introduction of the IDI Team Development Report earlier this spring, however, these insights expanded into the team development environment.
What is it like to facilitate a conversation about such personal data in a team environment? How does one structure this kind of feedback to invite thoughtful reflection and productive discussion? The report itself provides a great deal of interpretation support and guidance, but many members of the MRG network have expressed interest in getting a more thorough understanding of how this new report can be applied.
In response, MRG’s Tricia Naddaff and David Ringwood – who were instrumental in creating the report – delivered two online training sessions this week, diving deep into the report’s uses and applications, and providing guidance around choosing themes, team sizes, and much more.
If you plan to use the IDI Team Development Report, we recommend taking the time to watch this 90-minute training to get in-depth preparation from the experts who created it. A few of their key suggestions for success with the tool:
- It’s not for crisis intervention. The IDI Team report is not meant for use with teams who are in extreme turmoil. If you observe signs of major conflict during your individual work, it may be wise to do more in-depth work with individuals before proceeding to the team work.
- Give it the space it needs. If an organization is looking for a quick fix or a fast team-building exercise to help people get to know each other, the IDI Team Development process is not ideal. It is better suited to teams and organizations who are eager to take a more in-depth approach to team relationship building. And keep in mind that while the report can accommodate teams of up to 18, the larger the team, the more time it will take to deliver and digest the insights.
- Take adequate time to prepare. Since there are many more data points and interactions to consider, it’s no surprise that facilitating work with the IDI Team Report requires a bit more preparation than facilitating individual feedback. You should take the time to get firmly grounded in the IDI composite data for the team. The ample facilitator materials are also available to help you, along with the MRG experts – contact us to schedule a call, as we’re always happy to help you prepare.
- Less is more. Resist the temptation to tackle too many themes in a single session. You will find that as the team members begin to explore the report, the room comes alive with conversation, empathy, insights, and critical breakthroughs. To allow space for this exploration, we recommend limiting yourself to only a handful of themes (no more than __ in a full day session). You can always order up to 8 in the report, and explore them over multiple sessions to ensure that
- It’s about building working relationships… so make sure the participants have working relationships. The IDI Team Report was designed to help people dig deep into the patterns of how they work together, and how their energies impact that work. For it to be effective, it should be used with intact teams who are working together with some frequency.
Did you miss the live webcast?
Catch up on anything you missed in the training by getting it on-demand here.
We held two sessions of this training, and each yielded its share of interesting questions. You’ll hear some of the answers when you catch up on the on-demand webinar, but the remainder have been answered here. Read on for questions and answers from the training…
Q & A from the webinar
Q: When do you recommend doing the individual IDI feedback – before, during, or after team coaching?
A: That’s partly going to be driven by context and budget. My recommendation is to do an initial feedback session before the team event, to do some early stage peer coaching during the team development session, but to focus the real coaching initiatives on the post-team session. At that point each person can address what they need to focus on individually as well as relative to their colleagues and the wider team agenda, plus they will have had some time to reflect and to organize their thinking.
Q: Would you recommend this for teams with members located in different countries?
A: We don’t yet have a case study in these circumstances, but it’s certainly possible to do it successfully, with some modifications. As a facilitator, you would certainly want some experience and expertise in effectively facilitating online learning. It might be wise to break the work into shorter sessions with just one theme per session, since stamina for online learning might be more limited. You could experiment with homework between sessions to help sustain energy.
Q: What about cross-cultural differences?
A: Cultural factors are certainly always worth considering. However, since the insights that the IDI reveals are motivational, and thus deeply personal, in our global experience, we have found that cultural factors may not play as large a role as they do in more behavioral assessments, like the LEA.
Q: Could this report be used with an unrelated team that doesn’t work together regularly – for example, a group that is together in a leadership program?
A: While the report was designed for intact teams who work together regularly, there could be some interesting possibilities here. If it was a leadership development process that took place over an extended period of time, and was focused on building a learning community from the cohort, this could be an effective tool.
Q: Are there “composites” (groups of individual dimensions) that been developed for interpretation?
A: This is the core purpose of the themes themselves. The thematic approach allows us to gather specific groups of dimensions that impact a specific facet of team dynamics, so it’s the most practical way of using specific clusters of IDI drivers. It may also be helpful to look at the IDI facilitator manual for this purpose, which offers insight into a number of IDI dimension combinations.
Q: I’ve used climate measures with the LEA as a way of selecting priority LEA dimensions for a team. If one is trying to impact things like climate, can this be used and how?
A: It depends on how you define climate. If you’re referring to cultural dynamics, then this absolutely can be used with IDI to identify specific aspects of the team motivational footprint that will align with or challenge the types of cultural characteristics they want in the team. In fact, the facilitator materials include a slide deck specifically designed to support that process with a team and to help them to relate this to the team IDI composite profile.
Q: What if the client prefers not to invest time in the individual IDI, but only wants the team report?
A: They will need to do some version of the IDI individual report as this is a pre-requisite to ordering and using the team report version. And with good reason – when we experimented with doing the team feedback before any individual feedback, we found that participants were not able to focus on the team profile or team dynamics because they were (understandably) only focused on understanding their own profile. One option is to do a group feedback rather than one-on-one, as this will keep time and cost investment to a minimum; but it’s a false economy to skip the individual feedback at any level. Participants need that initial understanding, familiarity and personal awareness in order to get the most from a team IDI development session.
Q: Can you get a page by page team description of each motivational behavior for the team still in the package, or just the aggregate and the focus areas?
A: This isn’t a part of the report. The team composite is best viewed in terms of the broader patterns of medians and diversity, and related to where the team needs to be. It’s probably best to leave that level of granularity until the themes themselves, otherwise it might be too much details for each of the 17 drivers times the numbers of people being assessed.
Q: What languages is the report available in?
A: It is currently available in US and UK English; a schedule of translations into additional languages will be published in early 2019.