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February 15, 2005
Recently Attended Author Talk On The Human Fabric (Covering Team Building)
Topic: 4) A Random Walk

I recently attended a talk by author, Bijoy Goswami. Bijoy covered team building as based on his book "The Human Fabric". I have to admit that I'm generally skeptical of the practicality of these kinds of talks, especially in cases where modern artwork is posted. Boy was I *wrong* (about both the content and the artwork - the artwork really drove some points home for me - sorry blog readers, no visual reference). All of it turns out to be great stuff. Bijoy's frameworks are useful and can be applied much like Myers-Briggs stuff can be applied (as opposed to being only descriptive).

Although I'm going to botch some of Bijoy's specific nomenclature, Bijoy's talk centered around building teams, and he talked about how successful teams need to build around three archetypes of people: the Maven, Evangelist, and Relater.

As I come from spending a good amount of time in the software world, people that are Maven-types are basically "Tools". Mavens are geniuses when it comes to technology and love architecturally cool stuff like gmail. They tend not to be good marketers.

Evangelists are thought of as people that come across as flashy, and they know exactly how to pitch a product with the one, two, and three top business points why one should buy.

Lastly, there are the Relater-types that are emphathetic and maintain relationships. They put people at ease and seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. They hate gmail, but they love Outlook because it helps the Relater stay connected with people.

In any case, Bijoy's claim is that teams (whether the team consists of two people) need to cover all bases.

As I think about my own archetype (a Relater-Evangelist), I realize that one of my past business relationships had been successful because my counterpart is an Evangelist-Maven. In one of my past client projects, I realize I plugged a key gap because of my Relater background. Now that I'm helping a friend recruit a key person for his company, aside from covering the nuts and bolts during the interview process, I'm thinking about how the new hire will round out the executive team.

Anyway, please check out Bijoy's book. I'm a believer now, and may end up buying the book for some of my clients.

Update (2/17/05): Bijoy has let me know offline that readers can take a look at the art and his website at . Thanks, Bijoy!

Steve Shu
Managing Director
S4 Management Group

Posted by sshu-s4 (c) S4 Management Group LLC at 10:00 PM CST
Updated: February 17, 2005 9:19 AM CST
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