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Team Strengths: Using the Team Dimensions Profile to Grow Your Team

Updated: May 5, 2023

The Team Dimensions Profile is no longer sold by Wiley. However, you can still develop your team through The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team or our High Performing Intercultural Team Journey.

KnowledgeWorkx uses the Team Dimensions 2.0 tool from Wiley, Inc. As an indicator of team composition, dynamics, and workflow, this assessment tool enables the building or re-organizing of teams into effective, cohesive units.

The Team Dimensions assessment tool looks at the role each member of a team takes within his or her team. It assesses your preferred role and measures the type of contribution you prefer to make when possible. The Team Dimensions tool also allows you to assess what may be wrong with your team dynamic, and how it can be improved in order to achieve optimum outcomes in all sorts of practical and pragmatic areas, such as product development.

Team roles

There are nine main team roles, and each person in your team typically displays a unique combination of two or more of these nine. The visual representation of these roles is key to their understanding; and charts form a large part of the personalized report that each person receives. The roles are laid out in a segmented circle or dial, with four defining roles at each of the cardinal points around the circle; these four appear on the horizontal and vertical axes, at 12 o-clock, 3 o-clock, 6 o-clock and 9 o-clock. Four more roles lay on the diagonal axes in between. The ninth role is in the center of the circle.

From the top of the dial and moving clock-wise, the four main team roles are: Creator, Advancer, Executor and Refiner. The end of each axis represent opposites.

At the top of the Y-axis (12 o-clock) is the Creator. All roles in the top hemisphere of the circle, and Creators especially, are characterized or motivated by “possibilities”. At the bottom of the Y-axis (6 o-clock) is the Executor. All roles in the bottom half of the circle, and Executors in particular, are characterized or motivated by “realities”.

At the 3 o-clock position you find the Advancer; and at the other end of the X-axis, at 9 o-clock, you find the Refiner. Roles on the right side of the circle — the Advancer’s side — are characterized or motivated by “relationships”; and roles on the left side are, like the Refiner, characterized and motivated by “analysis”.

Between these four roles lay four more, on the diagonal axes: Creator-Advancer, Advancer-Refiner, Refiner-Executor, and Creator-Refiner. These four roles display strong characteristics of the two roles on either side. The ninth role is the Flexer. The Flexer is someone whose profile places them somewhere in the middle of the circle, and they typically like or take on roles involving four of the other eight roles. In other words, they are flexible, and flex between roles as needed.

A mix of roles is critical to the success of a team

What should be clear by now, is that a variety of roles are important in any team. A team needs to be balanced. If a team is notably lacking in a particular area, then it will develop blindspots, and it will face situations in which it seems handicapped. For example, one of our facilitators recalls working with a team of 60-70 managers in an IT company. This team of leaders was responsible for the development of new and innovative IT products and services. But, almost 60% of these leaders were Refiners or Refiner-Executors. There was only one Advancer among the whole group.

They were asking themselves: “Why are we developing products that none of our customers want? We like our products; why can’t we sell them?” The Team Dimensions Profile revealed to them that they were sorely lacking in Advancer-roles on the right side of the dial — roles that involved building relationships with customers.

The bottom line is that they were locking themselves behind closed doors and applying a lot of great analysis and refinement to their products. But without including customers or end users in the development process, their efforts were not appreciated by their customers and they missed the mark.

Team dynamics and workflow

Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the Team Dimensions profile is its ability to help a team develop an effective dynamic and workflow. This is demonstrated by the proven “Z-Process”, which the Team Dimensions Profile is deliberately designed to facilitate. The reports and the visual representation of roles around the dial are expressly set up in such a way that the Z-Process is clearly evident and its implementation is encouraged.

In another article, we will explore the Z-Process and its application to your team’s roles. The general application of the Team Dimensions Profile is already valuable as it enables team- and self-discovery; it reveals weaknesses and it helps you to utilize your people more effectively. But the application of the Z-Process adds even more dimensions that allow you to effectively re-organize your workflow and processes.

Contact us to start talking about a team development workshop or a team workflow workshop.


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