MBA project teams can experience a lot of stress, dysfunction and conflict that can really get in the way of accomplishing goals and tasks.
Should B-Schools Teach Collaboration?
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Q&A with Russ Schoen
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management students wanted their teams to work better together. FourSight expert Russ Schoen took on the challenge. We asked him to explain how he did it.
Do MBA students actually need training in teamwork?
Most first year MBA students work on project teams but don’t necessarily get deliberate training on how to be an effective team member. As a result, some teams work well together. Others don’t. Just like in organizations, MBA project teams can experience a lot of stress, dysfunction and conflict that can really get in the way of accomplishing goals and tasks.
How did you teach students to collaborate?
We used FourSight to give teams a common language for how to problem solve. It helps people be deliberate about clarifying, ideating, developing and implementing. Then it reveals their personal preferences for each of those steps, so folks get an understanding of why conflict may be occurring. Everyone naturally wants to operate in their own comfort zone—the part of the problem solving process where they have a high preference. But different team members have different preferences so without deliberate awareness of preferences, conflict can occur. FourSight becomes a sort of GPS for navigating the problem solving process. It helps the team see what... Read the full interview.