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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Kingsford

Understanding Team Dynamics

Updated: Jun 19

Understanding team dynamics and strategic planning is now more critical than ever. Two powerful tools that can help achieve this are Patrick Lencioni's 'The 6 Types of Working Genius' model and the traditional SWOT analysis. While each offers unique insights, combining them can lead to enhanced organisational efficiency and strategic alignment.


Let's delve into each model, comparing their strengths, and explore how they can complement each other for optimal results.


The 6 Types of Working Genius

Those who know me will understand how impactful Patrick Lencioni (President of The Table Group, author of many books, and inventor of many tools and models), has been on my career, leadership style, my business, and my clients' businesses, none more so than the Working Genius model, which identifies which two of the six types of work people are naturally wired to excel at and enjoy doing. The 6 types are:


  • Wonder: The ability to ponder possibilities and identify areas for improvement. People with this genius ask the big questions and are always curious.

  • Invention: The creativity to generate new ideas and solutions out of thin air. Inventors thrive on creating original concepts and innovations.

  • Discernment: The instinct to evaluate ideas and plans critically. Discerners have good judgment and can intuitively sense what will work and what won't.

  • Galvanising: The skill to rally and motivate others to take action. Galvanizers are natural leaders who can inspire and mobilise teams.

  • Enablement: The capability to provide support and assistance. Enablers help others achieve their goals by offering the necessary help and resources.

  • Tenacity: The determination to push through to completion and ensure tasks are finished. Tenacious individuals are persistent and detail-oriented.


The assessment for this model identifies which two of these areas are your Working Genius (the things that fill you with energy), which two are your Working Competencies (the things you don't mind doing, but not all the time), and which two are your Working Frustrations (the things that drain you of energy).

I happen to have the Working Geniuses of Enablement and Tenacity, which as it turns out are perfect for me, being a coach, as I naturally derive energy and joy from helping others get their important stuff done! Perfect!


By understanding these types, organisations can align team members with types of work that match their natural wiring, leading to greater satisfaction and productivity.


The SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis has been around since the 1960s and it's origins are debated. Nevertheless, it is a strategic planning tool used to identify and analyse an organisation's internal and external factors. It comprises four elements, usually arranged into a 2x2 grid:


  • Strengths: Internal attributes that give an advantage. Examples include strong brand recognition, a loyal customer base, or proprietary technology.

  • Weaknesses: Internal attributes that are disadvantageous. This could be outdated technology, limited resources, or poor brand reputation.

  • Opportunities: External factors that the organisation can exploit to its advantage. These might include market expansion, new technology, or regulatory changes.

  • Threats: External factors that could cause trouble for the organization. These could be economic downturns, increased competition, or changing consumer preferences.


Conducting a SWOT analysis helps organisations formulate strategic plans by leveraging strengths, addressing weaknesses, capitalising on opportunities, and mitigating threats.


Comparing the Models


Perspective and Application

Depth and Breadth

Working  Genius

Focuses on individual and team dynamics, ensuring people work in areas where they are most effective.

Offers a deep understanding of individual contributions and team dynamics.


Provides a broad strategic overview, considering both internal capabilities and external conditions.

Gives a comprehensive view of the organisation's strategic environment.


Integrating the Models

  • Integrating Strengths: Use the Working Genius model to identify individual and team strengths and align them with the strengths found in the SWOT analysis.

  • Addressing Weaknesses: Identify weaknesses from the SWOT analysis and use the Working Genius model to assign team members whose geniuses can address these weaknesses.

  • Exploring Opportunities: Leverage the creative and evaluative strengths identified in Working Genius to brainstorm and assess opportunities from the SWOT analysis.

  • Mitigating Threats: Use motivating and implementing strengths from the Working Genius model to develop and deliver plans to mitigate threats identified in the SWOT analysis.


As an example, let's consider a tech startup struggling with product development and market penetration. By conducting a SWOT analysis, they identify their strengths (innovative technology), weaknesses (limited marketing resources), opportunities (growing market for their tech), and threats (emerging competitors).


Using the Working Genius model, they assign team members based on their natural strengths:

  • Wonderers ask the questions that help focus what needs to be done, allowing;

  • Inventors and Discerners to iterate and refine the offering, letting;

  • Galvanisers lead the marketing efforts to tap into new opportunities, so that;

  • Enablers can support the marketing, sales, and product teams, meaning;

  • Tenacious individuals and teams can ensure projects stay on track and deadlines are met.


This integrated approach not only aligns team efforts with strategic goals but also enhances productivity and job satisfaction, and avoids burnout in people.





So, combining The 6 Types of Working Genius model with a traditional SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive approach to team dynamics and strategic planning. By leveraging the strengths of both models, organisations can achieve greater awareness, productivity, alignment, accountability, efficiency, and success.

By following these insights and integrating these powerful tools, you can transform your team's dynamics and strategic planning processes, setting the stage for sustained success as a green arrow business.


Have you used the Working Genius model or SWOT analysis in your organisation? If you're looking to explore or dive deeper into these tools and improve your team's performance, please contact me because, as mentioned, I love to help people get their important stuff done!



Thanks for reading.


Please share and comment below, and do let me know how I can help.



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