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Working genius model explained

The Working Genius model, developed by the Table Group and headed by Pat Lencioni, is a framework that helps individuals understand their unique strengths and contributions in the workplace. Bo Johnson, a member of the Table Group, explains the model.


Working genius model breakdown

The model was not intentionally created as a new personality test, but rather discovered through observations of how individuals engage in different types of work. It was initially thought that there were three types of work, but it eventually expanded to six.

According to the Working Genius model, individuals go through six phases of work in any task or project they undertake. These phases are:

1. Galvanizing: This phase involves generating enthusiasm and vision for a team or project. Individuals who excel in this phase have the ability to inspire and motivate others.

2. Ideating: In this phase, individuals come up with new ideas and solutions. They are creative thinkers who thrive on brainstorming and problem-solving.

3. Implementing: This phase focuses on executing plans and bringing ideas to fruition. Individuals who excel in this phase are action-oriented and efficient in getting things done.

4. Perfecting: This phase involves attention to detail and ensuring quality in the work. Individuals who excel in this phase have a keen eye for accuracy and enjoy refining and improving processes.

5. Connecting: This phase emphasizes building relationships and collaborating with others. Individuals who excel in this phase are skilled at networking, teamwork, and fostering a sense of community.

6. Evaluating: This phase involves analyzing and critiquing work to ensure it meets desired outcomes. Individuals who excel in this phase have a natural ability to assess and provide constructive feedback.

The Working Genius model suggests that individuals have two areas of work where they find joy and energy. These are their "working geniuses." On the other hand, there are two areas of work that drain and exhaust individuals, known as their "working frustrations." The remaining two areas of work are considered neutral.

By understanding their working geniuses and frustrations, individuals can align their roles and responsibilities to maximize their contributions and overall job satisfaction. The model has been applied in various contexts, from career planning to team development, and has shown positive results in helping individuals discover their unique strengths and how they can make a meaningful impact in the world.


Identify and leverage your strengths

The first phase, wonder, involves asking big questions and thinking creatively. This is where new ideas and possibilities are explored. Individuals with a knack for wonder are able to see the bigger picture and come up with innovative solutions. By recognizing this as a strength, individuals can focus on jobs or projects that allow them to tap into their creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.

The second phase, invention, is about turning ideas into reality. This requires taking action and implementing plans. Individuals with a talent for invention are able to take the vision from the wonder phase and make it a reality. They are able to come up with practical strategies and execute them effectively. By recognizing this as a strength, individuals can seek out roles that allow them to bring ideas to life and make a tangible impact.

The third phase, discernment, involves making decisions and evaluating options. This requires analyzing information and considering different perspectives. Individuals with a gift for discernment are able to make informed choices and navigate complex situations. By recognizing this as a strength, individuals can pursue roles that involve decision-making and problem-solving, where their ability to weigh options and make sound judgments is valued.

The fourth phase, galvanizing, is about inspiring and rallying others. This requires effective communication and leadership skills. Individuals with a talent for galvanizing are able to motivate and engage others, bringing them together towards a common goal. By recognizing this as a strength, individuals can seek out leadership positions or roles that involve team collaboration, where their ability to inspire and mobilize others is valued.

The fifth phase, enablement, is about inclusivity and support. This requires creating an environment where everyone feels included and empowered. Individuals with a genius for enablement are able to ensure that everyone's voice is heard and that everyone has the resources they need to succeed. By recognizing this as a strength, individuals can focus on roles that involve mentoring, coaching, or creating inclusive environments, where their ability to support and empower others is valued.

The sixth phase, tenacity, is about perseverance and seeing things through to the end. This requires determination and a strong work ethic. Individuals with a talent for tenacity are able to overcome obstacles and keep pushing forward until the job is done. By recognizing this as a strength, individuals can seek out roles that involve project management or tasks that require a high level of persistence and dedication.

It is important to note that individuals may have strengths in multiple phases, as well as areas of frustration. By understanding their own working geniuses and frustrations, individuals can make informed choices about their career paths and find fulfillment in their work. For example, someone who excels in the wonder and invention phases may thrive in a role that involves innovation and problem-solving, while someone who excels in the enablement and tenacity phases may excel in a leadership or project management role.

Recognizing and leveraging strengths is crucial for avoiding burnout and finding long-term fulfillment in one's career. By aligning their work with their strengths, individuals can contribute at their best and make a meaningful impact. This not only benefits the individual, but also the organizations or communities they serve. By understanding the six phases of work and identifying their own working geniuses, individuals can unlock their full potential and create a fulfilling and successful career.


Include diverse perspectives in business

One important aspect of leveraging strengths and achieving success in business is the inclusion of diverse perspectives. This highlights the value of incorporating different viewpoints and experiences in decision-making processes.

Including diverse perspectives in business has several benefits. Firstly, it helps to avoid the pitfalls of individuals being too tenacious or focused on the wrong things. By bringing in team members with different strengths and perspectives, businesses can ensure that they are considering a wide range of possibilities and making informed decisions. This can lead to better outcomes and more effective strategies.

Secondly, diverse perspectives can contribute to innovation and creativity. When people with different backgrounds and experiences come together, they bring unique ideas and insights to the table. This can lead to the generation of new ideas, problem-solving approaches, and innovative solutions. By fostering an environment that values diverse perspectives, businesses can tap into the full potential of their team members and drive innovation.

Additionally, including diverse perspectives can enhance decision-making processes. Different individuals may have different strengths in terms of discernment, intuition, or attention to detail. By leveraging these strengths and borrowing the geniuses of others, individuals can make more well-rounded and informed decisions. This can help to mitigate blind spots and ensure that all aspects of a problem or opportunity are considered.

Including diverse perspectives in business can lead to increased engagement and satisfaction among team members. When individuals feel valued and included, they are more likely to be motivated and invested in their work. This can contribute to a positive and productive work environment, leading to higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention.


Recognize and utilize different geniuses

The concept of recognizing and utilizing different geniuses is discussed. The term "genius" refers to the innate talents and strengths that individuals possess in various areas of work. By understanding and appreciating these different geniuses, teams can effectively collaborate, communicate, and achieve their goals.

We know the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives in business. It emphasizes the value of having individuals with different geniuses, such as inventors, tenacity, discernment, galvanizing, enablement, and navigation, in a team. Each genius brings a unique set of skills and approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.

One of the key points made is the need for balance. While it is important to have individuals who excel in big-picture thinking and innovation (inventors), it is equally important to have team members who are skilled at executing tasks and bringing projects to completion (tenacity). By recognizing and utilizing the different geniuses within a team, leaders can ensure that all aspects of a project or task are addressed and that the team is working harmoniously.

To leverage the strengths of team members, we suggest mapping everyone's geniuses and identifying the team's tendencies as a whole. This can help leaders understand the dynamics within the team and ensure that tasks are assigned to individuals who can excel in their respective geniuses. For example, if a team has a strong tendency towards discernment, it may be necessary to bring in a team member with a genius for finishing to ensure that projects are completed on time.


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