“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is an old saying that properly sums up the meaning of “synergy.” When individuals must work together as a team to accomplish a goal, it takes more than individual competence, experience, or ideas.

For teamwork to truly matter, the team must have synergy. But how can you measure this so you can build better teams?

What is the Secret to Top-Performing Teams? 

Top-performing teams have the optimal conative synergy. They have the ideal mix of action modes among their team members. The Action Modes – representing differing strengths – include Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start, and Implementor.

Within each Action Mode, each person will resist, lead, or accommodate. A measurement of 1-3 indicates a person will resist certain activities in that Action Mode as a unique method of problem solving.

A measurement of 7-10 indicates that a person will initiate in that Action Mode when approaching a solution to a problem.

And when a person has a measurement of 4-6, they will accommodate, or bridge the differences between, those who initiate and those who resist in that Action Mode.

The Ideal Synergy of a team is 25% resistant, 25% initiating, and 50% accommodating across the four Action Modes.

How Do You Measure a Team’s Conative Synergy?

First, each team member takes the Kolbe A Index to uncover their conative make-up. In each of the four Action Modes, they will resist, insist, or accommodate.

Then, we place the team members’ individual results in each Action Mode on a grid. This grid represents the conative mix of the team members and measures the Team’s Synergy. It also identifies areas of Conative Cloning and Missing Methods (or conative gaps) on a team.

Based on this grid, you can see how the current team’s synergy compares against the Ideal Synergy.

How Do You Improve a Team’s Conative Synergy?

By comparing the Team’s Synergy against the Ideal Synergy, leaders can identify conative cloning and conative gaps on the team. For example, this team lacks the ideal mix of Accommodators, which skews the team to the outermost limits of Insisters and Resistors. This team will struggle to make decisions and move forward without more Accommodators to bridge the divide between the extremes.

To improve this team’s productivity, the leader should realign this team to include more Accommodators in the Fact Finder Action Mode. Other positive movements would be including an Initiating Follow Thru, Resistant Implementor, and/or Accommodating Quick Start. Any of these changes would nudge the team’s synergy to a more productive mix of conative strengths.

By realigning team members to increase synergy, leaders can increase productivity from that team. If you would like to measure and improve your team’s synergy, contact us at illuminateba.com, or email us at team@illuminateba.com.