Team roles and military personnel affairs

The typical Western military fosters roughly five personalities with its training (across branches):

enlisted personnel
non-commissioned officers
senior non-commissioned officers
leadership officers
staff officers.

Only two of these - the two officer types are very important for operational and strategic ideas and plans. The stereotypical staff officer archetype is well-adapted to working in a staff under close supervision of a superior with great specialisation and working diligently, even long hours.
The leadership officer archetype was rather trained to influence subordinates, bear responsibility, act independently and push his subordinates for performance. He was very depending on senior non-commissioned officers in his first command jobs.

These are by design two archetypes, although real officer corps are more heterogeneous, of course. I'm pointing at the fact that the military fosters primarily two types, a greater variety of the outcomes is not the merit of the training.

Now let's look at the as far as I know dominant model for character archetypes in teams: The Belbin roles.

I've looked up a nice summary for you.

All of these archetypes are enriching the team, and an industry which finds its project teams to be dominated by only two or three of these is rightfully concerned about this suboptimal composition. meanwhile, a military with an almost cult-like idolization of co-ordinators (leadership officers) and implementers / monitors (staff officers) end up with such a poor composition by design. More senior non-commissioned officers in a staff doesn't help much either, for especially the "plant" role remains underrepresented.
This is obvious, and why shouldn't it be underrepresented? A military is an organization with dozens fi not hundreds of "how to" books (field manuals) which nobody can memorize, so anybody with a novel thought can be shot down with a (false or actual) reference to one of those quasi-holy books.Even worse; failed experiments that went against such a holy book's advice often cripple a career.

The Belbin model of roles in teamwork originates in business economics, is well-known and no doubt known to many Western military institutions: The Bundeswehr even teaches business economics to many of its officer candidates during their stay at a Bundeswehr university. There hasn't been any exogenous shock that would have forced the Western military bureaucracies to do something about this or other rather hidden 'room for improvement'. Short of defeat in warfare, who could deliver this exogenous influence? A minister of defence who has a medical degree? Rather not.

The Belbin model applies particularly well to project teams - teams working on a challenge or problem that's unusual and not a repetitive activity (which would be covered by process management instead of project management).
Maybe you questioned whether the concerns mentioned above were well-founded, but this is food for thought in light of what we've seen the last 30 years: Any weaknesses that stem from poor team compositions according to the Belbin model would not be visible in repetitive, routine activities (such as most peacetime activities), but particularly much during strategy planning or procurement program management.


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