Perfect Partners

You might have seen the “Perfect Match” Ad during Superbowl 2013, pairing sexy + smart.
Where the Mac vs. PC ad series contrasted hip and staid, GoDaddy’s ad was quite effective in getting us to see the contrast, and imagine what might happen if sexy and smart were combined.

Designing for organizational effectiveness is like the game Twister. You need to cover as much of the important work to be done with the least amount of contortion and overlap.

Maximize coverage, minimize overlap

Each of us face daily tasks and responsibilities that require more effort than others. Tasks that require underdeveloped skills may leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and frustrated.

What’s the secret to personal and organizational effectiveness? At the personal level, it’s about finding your opposite – someone who shares a common goal and has skills and approaches that complement your own. At the organizational level, it may be a complementary project or function.

Partnering with our opposite can be uncomfortable. It’s much easier to hire and collaborate with people who are similar to us. The thing is, if we partner with people like us, they share the same skills and blind spots. You, and by extension, your team, will be most resourceful when there are divergent skills and points of view.

Finding our opposite requires recognition and admission of our own strengths and weaknesses. There are a number of tools that can facilitate deeper awareness, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI), DISC, and Strengthsfinder. One quick, fun assessment tool is called “Personality Poker.”

With results from these or other assessments, step back and think about your organization’s mission. Do you have the right skills and perspectives to cover the “job to be done?” Is there an overabundance of strength in one area? With the big picture view, you can hire for bench strength and create a culture of goal-based interdependence.