12 ways FourSight speeds a team's path to high performance

In a team building session with 25 members of a leading French luxury brand, Paris-based facilitator Patrick Duhoux found a simple way to help team members understand their differences so they could work together better and speed their path to high performance.

Patrick introduced the team to a 4-stage problem-solving framework called FourSight. He explained the four stages of the FourSight Framework:

  1. Clarify the situation
  2. Ideate on new possibilities
  3. Develop solutions
  4. Implement
Individuals, he explained, have preferences for each of these stages. Clarifiers will tend to ask questions that clarify the situation. Ideators prefer to come up with ideas. Developers like to build systems for their solutions. And Implementers want to take action.

The team listened politely. Then Patrick broke them into smaller groups. He told each group they had 10 minutes to produce improvements in the team’s rituals.

What he didn’t tell them was that their groups were organized according to their FourSight preferences.

After 10 minutes, the groups came back together and made their presentations. Patrick listened with amusement. “The Clarifiers read a precise list of questions they had carefully produced. The Ideators had a long list of unrelated ideas that their presenter eventually stopped reading because he had more ideas popping up. The Developers presented a thorough process, and the Implementers used only action verbs to describe what needed to be done.”

The groups had all problem solved exactly to type.

At that point, the team’s manager burst out laughing and asked Patrick, “How much did you pay them?“

Patrick is an expert at team building. As head of training at Dodeca, an organizational development company headquartered in Paris, he has served hundreds of teams throughout Europe. He aspires to give teams two things: a greater awareness of how they work together and tools to improve their performance.

Of course, different teams have different objectives. New teams need to get to know each other and establish norms. Existing teams may need to “reinvent” themselves, onboard new team members, or deal with change or conflict.

When working with a team, Patrick first analyzes the team’s needs. Then he designs the workshop, stringing together activities and reflections that will lead a team to insight and new agreements.

Patrick uses the FourSight framework to help team members understand the essential problem-solving process. He uses the FourSight assessment to help people understand their own preferences in that process. He also uses the Tuckman model to help teams  understand the natural development phases every team goes through: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. (See graphic.) 

The Tuckman Model for Team Development

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Patrick explains, "FourSight helps teams accelerate through the development process."

  1. The FourSight Framework speeds up the forming phase by giving new teams a common language and simple process for problem solving.
  2. The FourSight assessment eases storming by helping team members understand their differences to decipher interpersonal conflicts in an objective way.
  3. FourSight speeds the norming phase with problem-solving tools.
  4. FourSight helps teams achieve performing by giving team members both self-awareness and process-awareness to solve complex challenges quickly and effectively.
Independent research conducted at IBM, shows that Patrick is not alone in his belief that FourSight catalyzes team development. According to the researchers, FourSight is one of the most effective ways to grow and develop teams, particularly teams that take on complex challenges like innovation.

The secret to FourSight’s success is a two-sided approach to team development:

  • 1) the assessment develops personal awareness and collaboration, and
  • 2) the problem-solving framework develops process awareness and complex problem solving skills.
So teams with FourSight develop both better teamwork and better solutions.



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12 ways FourSight® speeds teams to high performance

One facilitator's view of exactly how FourSight accelerates the team development cycle.

  1. The FourSight concepts are simple to understand, and expressed without jargon.
  2. FourSight's problem-solving framework speeds the “forming” phase.
  3. The assessment helps people decipher behavior in the “storming” phase.
  4. FourSight tools help teams to problem solve in the “norming” phase.
  5. People get to know each other in a different way.
  6. FourSight helps team members recognize and respect their own and others’ problem-solving preferences.
  7. This creates a common language for discussing their unique experience of day-to-day team interactions.
  8. Therefore, teams acquire a powerful tool for meta communication.
  9. New awareness of differences makes it easier to suspend one’s judgment, and natural reactivity, especially during the “storming” phase.
  10. Teams recognize the value of diverse preferences.
  11. Team preferences help map areas of strengths and vigilance for the team.
  12. Awareness of a majority preference in one area helps team members be more conscious to include input from those who prefer other areas.

Patrick Duhoux is head of training at Dodeca in Paris and FourSight certified facilitator.