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Are you getting the skills mix right?

The best teams I've worked with all had a mix of individuals who brought something different to the table in terms of skills, perspectives and experiences. The blend is what makes the magic happen! Getting a good level of cognitive diversity in your team is key to fresher thinking and better performance. Are you getting the skills mix right? The first step is to explore your current skills mix using a simple skills matrix. This can be built informally in a team meeting, by individuals completing a self-assessment survey or by using more rigorous tools. Using something lightweight and informal is totally fine when you're just getting started. As an aside, completing this process business-wide also helps you to be more proactive with learning and development and with internal mobility. Once you've built a skills matrix, you can easily spot the strengths and gaps at a team level. The key is to plan for how you can bridge any gaps that exist. Some ideas to get you started include:

  • Have a team member actively play a different role, even if it's not naturally their strength

  • Bring in someone from a different team to offer a new perspective

  • Get someone from a similar but non-competing business to work with your team

  • Bring in a new face on a short-term basis to plug the gap

These are just a few ideas (explored further here). The important thing is to be deliberate about how you create cognitive diversity in your teams. Happy mixing! Viren


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