A team can consist of very smart individuals and still fail. If the team members are proficient at the skills needed to perform a task but are not able to understand each others’ thinking styles, they are likely to fail or carry out a project that does not meet its success criteria.  For example, one of my clients has recently put together a project team. Each member represents a different discipline. Their goal is to implement a new software system that is integral to the company’s business. Each member is extremely knowledgeable and skilled at their respective functions within the team. However, they are unable to get the project off the ground.

The networking expert has a tactical, analytical approach. The business analyst has a strategic outlook. They have discussed the project many times but are not able to establish any next steps to move the project forward. They go off on their own after the meeting and work on tasks based on their thinking styles. However, their tasks never converge into a cohesive plan. Unless, they understand and agree upon the level at which they need to approach the project, strategic or tactical, they will not make progress.