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Everybody is needed in a team to bring the organisation vision

A tree has many branches and leaves so does your staff team in your organisation. In this article we discuss Meredith Belbin Team Role inventory model.

Belbin provides a mean to ensure that individuals and teams communicate and work together with greater understanding for the benefit of the operational mechanism in the organisation in line with your organisation vision.

The Belbin Team Role inventory model is composed of 9 variables that a team member can portrait in their behaviour, personality and the perception that we have of somebody.

The Belbin Team Role Inventory variables are as follow:

1. The Plant

2. The Implementer

3. The Completer / Finisher

4. The co-ordinator

5. The Shaper

6. The Team Worker

7. The Resource Investigator

8. The Monitor - Evaluator

9. The Specialist

All these variables above are role a team member can portrait or have some trait or have a natural abilities, likeness to these team role inventory as per Belbin and was extensively discussed by professional focusing on the psychometric properties of the Belbin Team Role inventory proving to be a controversial subject over the psychometric property of the instrument which were deemed as irrelevant at some point in time and further discussion took place over the number of variables the model should bare and it was suggested 5 but most recent studies of the model uses normed data from Belbin e-interplace system have found higher correlation and reliability as well as distinct analytical trait using the online normed 9-roles tool with observers added to give 360 degree feedback by providing "real world" data.

Having said that here the 9 variables of the Belbin Team Role model:

The Plant

The plant are the creative type unorthodox and creator of idea and if an innovative solution to a problem is needed the plant is the person to ask as they tend to be smart and free thinking.

They often withdrawn into their own thought and find it hard to communicate their ideas to others, too many clever cookies in the team can cause disagreement and leads to misunderstanding as many ideas are generated without sufficient discernment or the impetus to follow the ideas through to action and create problem with the timing of their ideas.

However, if the team has decided on a way forward and is now in the implementation stage will not stop the plant from arriving at a new solutions and disrupting the implementation process.

The Implementer

The implementer are the people who actually getting things done in the team, they are the practical one, efficient and well organised and turn team ideas thoughts into actual plans. They give the team a rush of enthusiasm due to their positive attitude at the start of a project by pursing contacts and opportunities.

Their focus can also lies outside the team and they are aware of the world around them where a plant create an idea an implementer will quite happily appropriate them from companies or people they are also good resource investigator and excellent networker but have a tendency to lose momentum toward the end of a project and follow thing up.

The Completer/Finisher

The completer are the confident one in the team, the stable and mature one because they recognise the abilities of others and are good at delegating tasks to the right person for the job.

The finisher have an eye for details in the team and can be regarded as the perfectionist because they are able to detect errors or omissions and strive to ensure the team adhere to deadline. They are the neat one and self-conscientious but can be worried at the slightest sign of problem.

The Finisher also have problem with delegation and would rather be overwhelmed than share their word with others.

The Co-ordinator

The co-ordinator are confident, stable and mature they recognised the abilities in others and are likely to be the chairperson of the team since they have an ability to step back to see the big picture and clarifies decisions thus helping everyone focus on their tasks.

They can on occasion perceive to be manipulative and have a tendency to delegate all works, possesse great listening skill and guide the activities of the team to what they identify to be the team's obligations.

The co-ordinator can be misguided when it comes to directing the team toward what they perceive to be it goals but leaving nothing to others but the delegating for them to do.

The Shaper

The shaper is a task-focused individual who pursue objectives with passion and is driven by tremendous energy and the need to achieve. For the shaper the name of the game is winning and play a finite game.

The Shaper provide the necessary juice to ensure that the team keep moving and does not lose focus or momentum. They challenge the team to improve and are dynamic and usually extroverted people who enjoy stimulating others, questioning the norm and finding the best approach to problem solving.

The shaper is the one who shake things up to make sure that all possibilities are considered and that the team does not become complacent. The shaper could risk becoming aggressive and bad humoured in their attempt to get things done.

The shaper often sees obstacles as exciting challenges and they tend to have the courage to push on when others feel like quitting.

Team Worker

They are very supportive of other team members and are thus popular within the team and tends to be non-committal during decision-making because they do not want to be seen as taking side and put togetherness of the team ahead of their decision-making ability.

The Resource Investigator

The resource investigator are inquisitive and enthusiastic in nature and have an innate ability to negotiate and networking skill. They tend to be extroverted which makes it easy for others to relate to, hence they send good vibes due to their innate ability to network.

Resource investigator develop external contacts and are great negotiators for the team's resources. They quick thinkers and are good at extracting information from other people.

The Monitor and Evaluator

The monitor and evaluator tends to be fair and logical observers and judges of what is going on in the team. Since they are not bias they tends to see all available options with the greatest clarity and impartiality.

There approach to problem solving are slow and analytic with a broad view and almost come to the right decision. However, they can be very critical and damping enthusiasm for anything without logical grounds and have a hard time inspiring themselves or be passionate about their work. Monitor-evaluator have a lack of energy to motivate other team members.

Monitor-evaluator are the critical thinker in a team and are serious minded and cautious in nature rather than rushing into decision-making and prefer to critically analyse information before making any conclusion.

The Specialist

The specialist are passionate about learning in their own particular speciality as a result they are likely to be a fountain of knowledge in their craft and enjoy passing on this knowledge to others and strive to improve on their expertise and happily seek answer to what they do not know as well as happily seek the answer.

The specialist brings a high level of concentration, abilities and skills in their discipline to the team and shows little to no interest in the expertise of others because of their expert knowledge and are perceive as indispensable members of the team.

My Summative thought

The Belbin Team Role inventory brings to mind the following saying about each role above which rings true to my mind.

The plant brings to mind the saying too many cook in the kitchen in term of the disagreement which can occurs with the team when there is too many smart person in the same team but also with mean spirited personality as the person who will not hesitate to disrupt the team for their glory.

The implementer brings to mind the saying having your fingers in too many pies but unable to finish then all as they have a tendency to lose momentum toward the end of a project or follow thing up.

The Completer/Finisher brings to mind the Yin and Yang and seems to complement each other.

The Co-ordinator brings to mind the narcissist toxic leader who want to do everything in the team and diminishing other abilities and skills by refusing to delegate tasks.

The Shaper brings to mind the model person friendly helpful supportive of others and want to see others move forward and values team spirit and challenges what they think is not right for the benefit of team or organisation.

The Team Worker brings to mind the servant who work for the benefit of team and want the team to succeed and will support the team but has very little input in decision making as they prefer to be in the background so to speak.

The Resource Investigator brings to mind the social person curious about other and full of happiness and enthusiasm for other hence are able to gain information effortlessly from others and people are drawn to them.

Monitor-evaluator brings to mind the tree with strong roots firmly planted on the ground with selfish seeds.

Specialist brings to mind the clever person with a narrow-minded mind only confined to what they know about a subject and it topics but excel at it.


In conclusion the Belbin Team Role portrait trait of personality and behavioural of some people but no one person fit the exact role of belbin as a person can have many of these variables or very little of these variables hence Meredith Belbin started what I call putting people in boxes and categorising some trait of personality and behaviour into 9 defined variables not taking in consideration the myriad of behaviour a person can portrait as we are not a tick box exercise for some scientist and definitely no label can be place on a human been.

However, this seems to be widely used by some employers to select the right candidate for their team, however wrong I think it is but also have it benefit and can give the employers an idea of what they may expect in a candidate but placing your decision only on these variables the employer may miss on the right employee for their organisation who will work with the team to achieve the organisation vision.

If you like this please comment share your views have you met people like this? or do you know someone who has some trait describe above ? please comment away if you fancy it I would be interesting to know what are your thought on the Belbin Team Role Inventory.

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