The road to new normal begins by recognizing your geniuses

Whether the organizations around the world so wish or not, the year 2021 is right around the corner. While all the Covid wounds may not be completely healed as of yet, the time has come to begin looking ahead and prepping the organization for the road ahead.

Any recovery, or development for that matter, begins from the inside. In order to maintain and even improve competitiveness, any leader’s first focus should be on the people; how to help them to be the best they can be. Engaged, happy employees being the most productive ones is common wisdom – the trick to actually make that the case is an occasion far too rare in any line of business.

So much time, energy, nerves and advisor fees have been consumed by any given leader to discover this secret of success, it may come to them as a shock when a renowned management consultant says we should simply let people use their natural talents.

“When people can do things that they are good at and bring them joy, they are happier and more fulfilled,” Patrick Lencioni explains. “As a result, they are going to love working together in teams and become more successful.”

Lencioni adds that even communication at work improves as people learn to interpret each other better.

“It’s about us understanding what we are good at and what we are not good at, so that we can make adjustments in our lives.”

To help people and organizations to discover and recognize their inner strengths, Patrick Lencioni and his team at Table Group developed the Six Types of Working Genius model.

The six types of working genius:

  • The Genius of Wonder: the natural gift of pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity in a given situation
  • The Genius of Invention: the natural gift of creating original and novel ideas and solutions
  • The Genius of Discernment: the natural gift of intuitively and instinctively evaluating ideas and situations
  • The Genius of Galvanizing: the natural gift of rallying, inspiring and organizing others to take action
  • The Genius of Enablement: the natural gift of providing encouragement and assistance for an idea or project
  • The Genius of Tenacity: the natural gift of pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results

Putting the model to work

More than anything else, the model is about how we get things done. For the leaders who want to ensure their organizations operate in an efficient and purposeful way, the key is to assign people to tasks which they are good at and enjoy doing. This begins by determining which are their likely areas of Working Genius.

Out of the six geniuses, everyone has typically two that they really relate to (working Genius), two that they are quite comfortable with (Working Competence) and two that they want to avoid, almost at all costs (Working Frustration).

“Obviously, in working life, there are no strict borders; we all have to do things outside our geniuses”, Lencioni emphasizes. “But understanding what they are helps us understand both ourselves and the people around us a lot better.”

Building a team of geniuses

Every type of genius needs and interacts with one another. This makes it easy to apply the model with a team.

“Work does not always work sequentially,” Lencioni points out. “But this is the way the model works.”

Wonder – identifies the need for improvement or change
Invention – confirms the importance of that need, and generates an idea or solution
Discernment – assesses the merit and workability of the idea or solution
Galvanizing – generates enthusiasm and action around the idea or solution
Enablement – agrees to support and assist in the implementation of the idea or solution
Tenacity – commits to ensuring that the idea or solution gets completed and that results
are achieved

When people at work can better understand their own, as well as their colleagues’ relative areas of Genius, Competency and Frustration, they can also understand why they have (or have not) succeeded in certain types of tasks and projects. This helps the leaders to assign right people to right tasks – as well as to engage them to bring out the best in them and work more efficiently.

This, again, enables the entire organization to accomplish more in less time. That does sound like an ideal framework for rebuilding.



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