Tag Archives: Myers Briggs Type Indicator

How to create exceptional managers and teams – a snapshot. RiverRhee Consulting newsletter, January – February 2016.

By Elisabeth Goodman, 12th February, 2016

The seminars and workshops that we have been delivering during January and February have been typical of our work in enhancing team effectiveness.  So we thought we would share four aspects, and eight tools representing some of the most popular approaches.

  1. Building an understanding of the strengths within your team
    • OPP’s MBTI ‘flip-a-type tips’, and Belbin’s Team Roles
  2. Fostering individual development
    • The GROW model of coaching, and ‘clean questions’
  3. Enabling change
    • Common factors for successful change, and creating navigators rather than victims of change
  4. Simple tools to enhance your effectiveness
    • Lean Sigma’s 5S, and the Mind Gym’s ‘5Ds’

Building an understanding of the strengths within your team

We started the year with a team workshop using OPP‘s MBTI ‘flip-a-type tips’.

OPP's MBTI Flip-a-type tips

OPP’s MBTI Flip-a-type tips

It’s an insightful tool for understanding the dynamics between people. Through it you can explore your respective strengths and how to work more effectively together and build stronger relationships within the team.

The Belbin Team Roles also continue to provide valuable insights on how to make good use of the diversity within a team and also the gaps that the team might want to address.  We delivered two in-house courses where we used scenarios to bring this diversity to light.

Fostering individual development

The GROW model of coaching continues to be a favourite in our team workshops and management training courses. This simple tools enables managers to switch from a directive to a supportive approach, and to cultivate individuals’ ownership and initiative in solving their problems.

GROW - a coaching model

GROW – a coaching model

Active listening and open questions are key to a manager’s effectiveness as a coach. I’m exploring ‘clean questions‘ with my peers in my NLP learning group as an additional tool to support this.  More on this in due course.

Enabling change

Managers and teams are subject to continuous change – whether they are leading it or dealing with its implications.  I’ve spoken in two recent seminars in my capacity as committee member of the APM Enabling Change SIG and as a practitioner / trainer in managing change. Delegates at one of the seminars had a good discussion that have helped us to identify more common factors for managing successful change.

I also continue to be passionate about the things we can do to create navigators rather than victims of change.

Creating navigators rather than victims of change

Creating navigators rather than victims of change

Simple tools to enhance your effectiveness

We’ve delivered two Lean Sigma courses this month during which I introduced our new 5S video developed for us by John Stinson.

5S video by RiverRhee

5S video by RiverRhee

Like many Lean Sigma tools it gives you a structured approach to a relatively simple concept that can make a big impact on an individual’s or team’s work. Several of our delegates indicated that they would be applying it to their desk, in their labs or in their storage areas.

How to make better use of their time continues to be one of the challenges faced by the managers attending our courses. The Mind Gym’s mantra that “there will never be enough time” to do all the things we want to do, but the main thing is to be happy about how we are using it, continues to strike a chord.  The “5 D”s combined with Stephen R. Covey’s urgent/important matrix are simple tools that are popular with our delegates.

The 5 Ds for managing time

The 5 Ds for managing time

What’s next?

Our portfolio of courses can be adapted and expanded to match your own portfolio of requirements so that your managers and teams get just the training and development that they need.  For instance we have recently carried out a training needs analysis for an SME and designed a one-day Management Training workshop for their managers.  And we have created a couple of new half-day courses at the request of another organisation one of which “Effective Influencing and Communication” has now been added to our portfolio.

We can carry out a training needs analysis for your organisation and design the right content just for you.  Or you could take a look at the full list of RiverRhee’s training courses and contact us with your choices.

Do get in touch to help us deliver the right portfolio and approach for you.

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Building your team in 2015. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, January – February 2015

By RiverRhee Consulting, 2nd February 2015

We’ve had a busy start to the year delivering in-house training on management skills and performance reviews, and Janet Burton and Elisabeth Goodman are looking forward to delivering our popular “Introduction to Management” open access course in Melbourn (UK) in March. Details of this and other upcoming courses can be found at the end of this newsletter, or on the RiverRhee Consulting website.

We also like to add new skills to our portfolio each year, and thanks to Elisabeth’s recent accreditation, can now add the Belbin Team Roles alongside MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming). These tools can be very powerful not only to help us understand our individual strengths and make better use of them, but also to foster stronger relationships and communication both within and outside the team.

Whilst white water rafting may be one approach to building your team, it’s not the one that everyone would choose.  We thought we’d devote this newsletter to exploring how you could use personality tools and other approaches to engage your team members in building your team in 2015.

Using personality tools to develop the team

There is a whole host of tools available to help us better understand our own and other’s strengths, and so plan how we can make better use of these strengths to build stronger relationships and improved communication within a team.

Some people are concerned about the risk of being ‘put in boxes’, but it is the individual’s choice to share their profile or not. At any rate, we can all choose to and do behave differently from our profiles, and we can and do learn skills in areas that are not our natural strengths.

As accredited practitioners, RiverRhee Associates can help your team explore the ethical and constructive use of such tools as Belbin Team Roles, MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming) for developing your team.

MBTI summary slide

MBTI summary slide


Defining a common team purpose and goals

Strong teams don’t just rely on good working relationships. They are also aligned around a clear team purpose and goals: the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of their day-to-day existence. Having common values will also enable team members to work together more effectively and so become a high performance team.

As Elisabeth describes in Chapter 3 of her recently published “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”, “a team’s vision sets out what it aspires to do. It is a futuristic statement .. [that] is meant to inspire the team and attract its stakeholders to do business with it.” So a team might have a vision something like this: “we are recognised as a centre of excellence in what we do. Our peers consult us as a role model for how they too can excel in their work.”

The Effective Team's High Performance Workbook, RiverRhee Publishing, 2014

The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook, RiverRhee Publishing, 2014

As for goals, the ideal is to have a cascade from the organisation’s objectives, through to those of each department and team and hence to the individual: a joined up approach that not all organisations that we work with find easy to achieve.

Finally, as also described in the book, “values represent how we go about our work: how we see ourselves, what we would like others to hear about us, what we feel is important.” These values might include expertise in the team’s area of work, being attentive and responsive to customers, or always behaving with integrity. Team building events are a good opportunity for people to share what values they care about, and which ones they could align themselves around as a team.

Identifying and agreeing opportunities to enhance working practices

Team building events are also a golden opportunity to review working practices, and to engage everyone in how these could be improved. As external facilitators, we help people to articulate what could be improved, and how, if needs be anonymously. We collate all of the suggestions for improvement, as well as confirmation of what is working well, and so facilitate constructive discussions during the team building event.

Areas covered in past events have included internal communication, clarity of roles, managing workloads, meeting management and more. Again, a full list of potential working practices to explore, along with suggestions for the pre-workshop diagnostic, can be found in “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”.

Upcoming courses and events

We are delighted that John Riddell and Elisabeth Goodman’s application to present a masterclass on “How to add value to your organisation as a ‘knowledge facilitator’” at CILIP’s 2015 conference has just been accepted. This interactive session will give us an opportunity to share and explore insights from our book: “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry”, Gower, 2014 and more!

Details of all our upcoming courses and events are kept up-to-date on the RiverRhee Consulting website. Here is what is coming up in the next few months:

  • Managing Change (with One Nucleus and Cogent) – 23rd February, Melbourn (UK)
  • Elisabeth Goodman will be co-presenting at the APM Midlands branch event – How to keep programmes on track and teams inspired during periods of change, 24th February, Nottingham
  • Introduction to Management (with One Nucleus and Cogent ) – 17th-19th March, Melbourn (UK)
  • Effective Project Planning and Management(with TFPL) – 23rd April, London
  • Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma (with One Nucleus and Cogent), 27th April, Melbourn (UK)

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams in 2015.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.


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Looking back on 2014 and forward to 2015. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, November – December 2014

RiverRhee Consulting, 11th December 2014


December is traditionally a time when many of us reflect on our achievements, what we have learned and what we can look forward to in the coming year.

2014 has been our most active and varied year so far, in the just over five years of RiverRhee’s existence. We thought we would share a little about our achievements and our learning, and several things that might be of interest to you in 2015 under the headings:

  • Developing management and interpersonal skills
  • Managing and dealing with change
  • Continuous improvement
  • Knowledge management
  • Strategy facilitation
  • Upcoming courses

Developing management and interpersonal skills is an important area for growing SMEs as well as larger organisations

Interest in Elisabeth Goodman’s and Janet Burton’s off-site courses and customised in-house training and coaching for new managers and supervisors has really taken off in 2014. Our client base for management related skills is continuing to expand with bookings for January through to March 2015.

Delegates at our Introduction to Management course, September 2014

Delegates at our Introduction to Management course, September 2014

We have learnt that some SMEs can spare the time for people to attend our off-site 3-day Introduction to Management course and really appreciate the opportunity to network with and learn from colleagues from other companies.

Equally important though, is our ability to customise our Supervisor Training course so that the content and duration match what other clients would prefer to have delivered in-house. Elisabeth and Janet ran one such course for Red Balloon, Cambridge and subsequently shared the experience in the blog “There will never be enough time

Sometimes our support takes the form of short coaching sessions with individual managers – we did some of this in 2014, and are due to do more in 2015.

How to enhance team effectiveness is one of the topics included in supervisor and management training, and Elisabeth recently published “The Effective Team’s High Performance Workbook”, now available through Amazon as well as through the RiverRhee publishing page.

We’ve also found that SMEs appreciate the help we can give them in reviewing and rolling out improved performance review and appraisal processes . And we have used Elisabeth’s and Lorraine Warne’s skills in MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and NLP (NeuroLinguisticProgramming) to help individuals understand their strengths and enhance their interpersonal skills.

Managing and dealing with change is a big topic of interest

We have run workshops and delivered seminars on the subject of change for Library and Information organisations (CILIP, UKeIG, Health Libraries Group), and at Project Management (APM) events in 2014 (see for example “Common factors for managing successful change“).

Changing the way we change - APM event at GSK June 2014

Changing the way we change – APM event at GSK June 2014

This subject continues to be something that people would like more help with, so that they can make change happen in a more positive and effective way.

We have introduced a new off-site course on Managing Change for Life Science organisations in 2015 and look forward to finding out how popular this will be.

Elisabeth Goodman became the ‘pillar lead’ for Capabilities and Methods in the APM Enabling Change SIG, and this is already giving her access to new knowledge to bring into our work with clients. We also recently heard that Elisabeth’s jointly authored article with Lucy Loh’s “Organizational Change: A Critical Challenge for Team Effectiveness” is to be included in a collection of such articles in an academic work entitled “Change Leadership” edited by Colette Dumas and Richard H. Beinecke which will be published by SAGE Publications in May 2015.

There continues to be an appetite for continuous improvement

We have continued to run in-house courses on Lean and Six Sigma, and are now offering this also as an off-site course in 2015. In fact, this is one of three courses (the other two being Introduction to Management, and Managing Change) that we are now accredited to deliver through Cogent as another source of potential subsidised funding for SMEs. (Elisabeth also continues to be a registered coach and trainer with the GrowthAccelerator programme and organised a fairly well attended free event with them at Babraham Science Park in the summer.)

We delivered a half-day version of the Lean and Six Sigma course as one of two seminars with Janet Burton for the Herts Chamber of Commerce, and there are prospects of delivering more of these in 2015.

We facilitated some in-house continuous improvement with an academic organisation during 2014, and a few of the delegates who visited our stand at One Nucleus’ recent Genesis event also expressed interest to Sue Parkins and John Riddell in potential support from us in this area in 2015.

(By the way, Sue joined our team of associates during 2014, along with Paul Hadland, Rose Bolton and Margie Gardiner.  We shared a little more about the team under the theme of “What motivates us in our work“.)

Look out for Elisabeth’s next book on the topic of continuous improvement in 2015: “The Effective Team’s Operational Excellence Workbook”.

Our work in knowledge management has picked up some new momentum

The big news was the publication of Elisabeth and John’s book with Gower “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry” at the end of August. An immediate outcome was that we were invited to give an “inspiring” talk to help a Pharmaceutical company develop its knowledge management strategy.

Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry, by Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell

Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry, by Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell

Elisabeth also delivered a session on Knowledge Management to IMPI earlier in the year on behalf of TFPL, and worked with the Open University Library Services to carry out an audit and facilitate a stakeholder workshop for their metadata project.

Our strategy facilitation skills have been in demand

We returned to the EU organisation that Elisabeth and Lorraine Warne had worked with in 2013 to help them shape their forward strategy.

We called in another independent consultant, Janette Thomas, at the start of the year to help us with a strategic workshop with a health research organisation.

And Elisabeth has been working with a government organisation to facilitate a workshop and a focus group to help shape one of their strategies.

Upcoming courses

Details of our upcoming courses and events are kept up-to-date on our website. Here is what the list is looking like at the moment:

If you would like to find out more

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams in 2015.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

Meanwhile, we wish you a healthy and happy end of year and start to 2015…


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Summer and the 3 Cs. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, July-August 2013

Collecting, connecting, creating

As Elisabeth Goodman mentioned in her recent blog – Umbrella 2013, a view from a CILIP trainer – there are some common themes in Information and Knowledge management in terms of collecting information and knowledge in a form that can be made accessible to others, and then connecting people to these assets, and to each other to really make that information and knowledge flow.

The ultimate goal of these activities is of course to enable us to create ideas and opportunities that will lead to incremental improvements in what we do, or to break-through innovations.

We thought this would be a great theme for our summer newsletter as summer holidays are traditionally a time to collect new experiences or to simply relax and pick up pebbles on the beach; to connect with friends and family or our own inner thoughts; and to create new energy and ideas for the coming months.



A lot of RiverRhee Consulting’s work also centres around these 3 Cs: we help teams to collect facts, perceptions and insights relating to what they do; to reflect and connect with these insights and with each other; and to then create and implement improvements to their work as a team.


Any effective initiative makes use of sound facts and data.  Information and Library professionals have a vital role to play in helping to make the wealth of in-house and external information more accessible to individuals within an organisation.

We are now all ‘knowledge workers’, and so tapping into what we already know should be a prerequisite for anything that we undertake.  It is something that the APM and Project Managers continue to be passionate about in advocating the collection and sharing of ‘lessons learned’ before, during and at the end of any project.

Operational teams can also benefit from collecting facts and data on their work, and this is something that we support through the use of team ‘temperature checks’ or diagnostics, and as part of the Lean Sigma ‘Measure’ phase as input for analysis and discussion in team workshops.




Elisabeth Goodman has been doing one-to-one consultations using the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) psychometric tool to help people gain a deeper understanding of their strengths and of how they can use these insights in both their personal development and in their interactions with others.  This makes MBTI a powerful tool for team building activities – and Elisabeth will also be using this in her work with a client in September.

One of the four dichotomies in MBTI describes where we prefer to focus and draw on our energy.  In a sense this is also about how we prefer to connect: outwardly in interaction with others, or inwardly through quiet reflection.  (Of course, as with the other dichotomies, many of us will like a mixture of both.)

Information and Knowledge Management resources and processes also provide the means for connecting with hardcopy or electronic resources, and for connecting with other people either individually or as part of a community.  Elisabeth’s latest article in her and John Riddell’s ‘Knowledge Management Surgery’ explores how understanding the MBTI personality profiles could help with many aspects of Knowledge Management.

NLP is also a powerful tool that we have been using to foster personal understanding and for team building.  Lorraine Warne and Elisabeth are running a workshop in Cambridge on the 24th July Increasing your Personal Effectiveness, which will give delegates an opportunity to explore both of these techniques alongside each other.




This brings us back to the last of our 3 Cs that we mentioned in our introduction.  If we have our facts and data, our experiences, our insights, and reflect on them individually or with others, we can start to identify new ways of doing things.  We can come up with new products, services, improvements to our processes, and ways to achieve a high performing team.  We can be in the flow, enjoy what we do and achieve great things!

Speaking of which, John and Elisabeth have completed the body of our book – Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry – and are now reviewing the content with contributors.  We anticipate getting the final product to our publisher, Gower, by then end of the year, 10+ months ahead of our delivery date…

If you’d like to find out more

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops, and how we can help you to enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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Life as a small business. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, Mar-Apr 2013

Life as a small business

The start of the year has become something of a traditional time for networking and marketing for RiverRhee Consulting.  This year it’s also been a time for soul-searching with other small business owners who are either just starting up after a previous life in the corporate world, or are reflecting about what the new budget will bring in the UK.

So our March – April 2013 bi-monthly newsletter is dedicated to ‘life as a small business’, and some of the insights that we’ve gained about how to make this successful.  Not surprisingly, some of these insights will apply to medium and large organisations too.

Keep focusing on what your customers want

One of the most valuable tips we learnt when we started up RiverRhee was from Andrew Halfacre, of Lighthouse 365 in his ‘Start Your Own Business’ workshops, when he advised us to focus on what your customers ‘are hungry’ for.  (This is how Elisabeth Goodman came about giving one-to-one tutorials and occasional seminars on using LinkedIn and other Social Media for personal and business development.)

Focusing on what your customers want is also the starting point in our operational excellence / process improvement workshops, where we encourage teams to think about what their customers value: it’s the individual deliverables, and it’s also the quality criteria that the customers expect.

Understand your core expertise

For a small business, understanding your core expertise operates at two levels: the area of expertise that you are offering your customers (in our case, enhancing team effectiveness) and, from a business point of view, knowing the competencies that you need to supplement from other sources.

To run a small business requires competencies in marketing and general management, as well as the ‘technical’ capability or expertise that is core to your business (whereas in a large organisation individuals can just focus on what they are best at).  For a business owner to be aware of this is already a start, finding ways to supplement their competencies with those of others is the next step.

Be clear about your values

The importance and nature of our values was brought home to us in a recent practice run for a 1½ day team building workshop that Lorraine Warne and Elisabeth Goodman will be delivering in the spring.  Our values lead us towards the goals that we want to fulfil.

At the heart of RiverRhee’s values lies our passion for helping others: we see many teams struggling with too much to do and/or a lack of clarity about how to best go about their work.  Our greatest reward is seeing and hearing the ‘aha’ moments in our workshops when people realise they now have the capability to improve the way they work, and to do so on an on-going basis.

Build your support network

One of the most dramatic changes for a small business owner coming from the corporate world is the need to rebuild the support network that they might have previously taken for granted.

People that you knew in that previous life, and who have started a business ahead of you are often enthusiastic and extremely helpful mentors.  So finding, and keeping connected with them on LinkedIn can be invaluable.

There is also an abundance of local ‘geographic’ networking groups of other small business owners to learn from and that can act as sources of support (accounting, marketing, technology and more).

These groups can also be a good audience for you to practice your offerings (as Elisabeth did in a recent presentation on MBTI – Myers Briggs Type Indicator – to the Melbourn Business Association) or they may indeed be a source of associates to work with in the future.

Keep visible and active in your area of expertise

A lot of small businesses get their clients as a result of direct interaction with potential clients, past clients, or through current or previous associates.  So it’s important to keep visible and active in the fora where these people are likely to be.

That means for example going to related professional events, giving seminars, writing articles in related publications (John Riddell and Elisabeth have just sent in the 3rd article in our “Knowledge Management” surgery series for Aslib’s Managing Information).

Keeping visible and active in your area of expertise involves doing whatever is relevant for your client group and for your professional skills.

Be flexible

New client requirements, different ways in which you can use and develop your expertise, new support and associate opportunities will emerge on a continuous basis.  Amongst a small business’s greatest assets is its flexibility to adapt to this changing environment.  Being responsive in this way is both our challenge, and our opportunity!

If you’d like to find out more

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house courses, and how we can help you to enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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Developing your team in 2013. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, Jan – Feb 2013

Developing your team in 2013

When RiverRhee Consulting started up in 2009 much of the Western world was already experiencing economic problems. There has been little let up since.

Companies have a choice at this time to tighten their belts and/or to invest in the development of their staff in anticipation of better years to come.  Some of our clients have chosen to do the latter, and it is thanks to them that we can continue to offer a rich portfolio of training for the coming year.

Our January – February 2013 bi-monthly newsletter therefore focuses on our range of training, and how it could help you to develop your team in 2013.

Customer relationship management and change management

It may on first sight seem strange to discuss customer relationship management and change management in the same breath, but both of these activities require listening to and understanding your stakeholders in the context of your business objectives, and then shaping and delivering your products and services, communication, training and / or support accordingly.

Our revised UKeIG course Marketing and internal change: a case study based approach… , that Elisabeth Goodman is delivering in conjunction with Shaida Dorabjee, explores this association in more detail.

Our off-site Change Management courses have been amongst our most popular over the years.  Other courses scheduled for 2013 include:

As with all of our courses, we can develop tailored versions for delivery within your organisation.  Our course with CILIP is an example of one such offering:

We can also deliver an updated version of our original course for the CILIP East of England branch:

Operational excellence, Process Improvement, Lean and Six Sigma

Many organisations are looking for ways to ensure that they deliver quality to their customers whilst managing growing demands on their time, with limited resources (‘doing more with what you’ve got’).

The Lean and Six Sigma principles and tool-set are variations on approaches that people have used to improve the way they work over countless years, and they are continuing to evolve.

Our interactive workshops have been very popular, and have enabled our clients to identify ways to improve their processes and address their challenges, as they learn.

Our scheduled course for 2013 is:

Other courses a-waiting scheduling, available on demand or that can be customised for your needs include:

Knowledge Management

Although this concept has also been around for many years, project and operational teams still grapple with how to make the most of the internal and external insights and expertise available to them.  We have a course available through CILIP, and can also help people make the most of social media tools such as LinkedIn to meet this need.

Project Management

Project management techniques can be applied to individuals’ everyday work, to broader team goals, or to an organisation’s more strategic programme of work.  The approaches involved are not rocket-science – but with careful planning and on-going management, individuals, teams, and organisations as a whole can ensure that they achieve their operational and strategic goals to the desired time, cost and quality in as painless a way as possible. These are examples of the training that we provide or can customise for your needs:

Enhancing team effectiveness

Being able to help your team to work more effectively is what we are most passionate about.  All of our courses are variations on this theme.  But we can also address the effectiveness of your team as a whole: personal awareness, relationship building, team development and more.  Here are examples of the courses that we can deliver for you, including our first one to explicitly include MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator):

If you’d like to find out more

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house courses, and how we can help you to enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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Personality types, teamwork and innovation. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, Sept-Oct 2012

Autumn is proving a very busy time!

These early months of autumn are proving a busy and fascinating time for RiverRhee Consulting Associates.  Our work has been very diverse and has included:

  • Applying an understanding of personality types to our work with teams that are experiencing significant change and implementing Open Innovation.
  • Working at the interface of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming).
  • Applying our expertise in Knowledge Management to help establish Communities of Practice.

In reflecting on the breadth of our work, we thought you might be interested in how an understanding of personality types and mindsets can help with teamwork and innovation.

MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming)

There is of course a whole range of psychometric and related tools available to help us get a better understanding of ourselves, our personal strengths, and how our individual preferred ways of behaving affect our interactions with each other.

Elisabeth Goodman has been helping the Babraham Bioscience Technologies team and some of their colleagues in the Babraham Institute in Cambridge to do just that: to help them prepare for some significant changes expected from a major growth in their client base.

One of the tools we use is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which describes four preference pairs, and 16 personality types that reflect how people prefer to behave.  We can all of course display aspects of each of the 4 preferences at some time or other and what we experience and our own development will help us to do this more over time, but we will always keep our intrinsic preferences.

Very briefly, the 4 pairs address how we prefer to:

  • Direct and take in energy – through a more dynamic interaction with others, or through more individual reflection (Extravert and Intravert)
  • Take in information – through a more precise use of our five senses, or through a more intuitive, ‘bigger picture’ approach (Sensing and Intuition)
  • Make decisions – with a greater focus on logic, and cause and effect, or a greater focus on what we and others might be feeling (Thinking and Feeling)
  • Generally approach what we do – in a fairly structured way that seeks closure sooner rather than later, or in a more exploratory, open-ended way. (Judging and Perceiving)

It turns out that there is a strong relationship between MBTI and NLP.  Lorraine Warne ran a 3-day Coaching Diploma in Cambridge which included looking at how the NLP “Meta Programmes” influence values and behaviours.  The “Meta Programmes” are based on the MBTI model.  It helps new coaches understand how others communicate within a team environment and gives them greater flexibility in how they do so.

Applying personality types to teamwork

An understanding of our own personality type, and that of others’ in the team not only helps us in communication as mentioned above, but in everything that we do together.

Our preferences will influence every aspect of our interactions: how we share information, tackle problems and projects, make decisions, innovate and respond to change.  Understanding the diversity of the personality types within your team will enable team leaders and members to draw on individual strengths, interact more effectively and be aware of and address any potential blind spots!

Personality types and innovation

Elisabeth introduced the MBTI personality types to delegates at a recent 3-day course on Open Innovation in R&D with OI Pharma Partners and WTG Training.  We will be running this again in January!

It’s fascinating to understand how different types are drawn to the different phases1 of innovation in open innovation networks and collaboration or partnerships and through crowd-sourcing platforms:

  • Defining the problem to be addressed, or solution to be offered
  • Discovering all the potential ideas ‘out there’
  • Deciding on the ideas to be adopted
  • Delivering them through implementation

The Sensing and Intuition pair come into play in exploring ideas: where those with a Sensing preference might look for more incremental improvements, those with an Intuition preference tend to look for more original (or “disruptive”) ideas.

The Judging and Perceiving preferences are important in implementing the ideas: those with a Perceiving preference tend to want to ensure that options have been fully explored, whereas those with a Judging preference tend to drive towards closure.

Lucy Loh has also been looking at the profiles of innovators and entrepreneurs in terms of the thinking styles they use in a series of workshops that she’s been running on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercial skills.

Elisabeth and Lucy will be exploring these themes further in November in their seminar “How can Personalities and Mindsets Influence Creativity and Innovation?” at the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst OI Summit on 15th November.

A quick mention about some other things RiverRhee Consulting Associates have been involved with.

John Riddell has been working with Knoco Ltd where he is supporting the start-up of several Communities of Practice (CoPs) in Belgium, Europe and the USA.  The work for two of these will be carried out virtually, which should pose some interesting challenges!

Elisabeth also led a half-day workshop on “Healthy Change” with Pelican Coaching and Development.  The focus was on helping the team involved to understand the change process and cope with their reactions to change in a mutually supportive way.  We drew on ideas from the ‘Being Resilient’ book to support this.

If you’d like to find out more

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house courses, and how we can help you to not only enhance team effectiveness but create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

1. Based on: “Introduction to Type and Innovation”, by Damian Killen and Gareth Williams, Introduction to Type Series. CPP, Inc. Mountain View, California.

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Half a dozen reasons for considering the individuals within your team. RiverRhee Consulting – April 2011

We know of course that teams are made up of individuals, but do we properly consider the value that each can bring to the team, as well as the differences to respect in working with them?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a tool that helps people understand and respond in a positive way to the differences between individuals.

RiverRhee Consulting already works with associates qualified and experienced in MBTI to complement its process improvement, knowledge management and change management approaches for enhancing team effectiveness.

Recently, RiverRhee Consulting Owner and Principal Consultant Elisabeth Goodman completed her own certification in the MBTI Step 1 instrument so that she could more fully appreciate and help her clients to make the most of the strengths of individuals within teams.

1. Individuals will engage in the formation of a new team at different rates and in different ways

Many of us are familiar with Tuckman’s model of team formation: forming, norming, storming, performing and a fifth stage: mourning (or re-forming as the old team comes to an end, or changes into something different).  We recognize that there is no set rate for these stages of formation, and that teams might sometimes ‘slip back’ into an earlier stage.

Different team members will not all be at the same stage at the same time and, being individuals, will have different needs and different responses with respect to the team leader and the other members!

Elisabeth Goodman will be delivering a course for “First Time Managers” in May with colleagues in Stronger Business Ltd that will be addressing this theme as part of developing individual, team and task based skills.

2. A team that collaborates successfully takes account of the needs and situation of its individual members

Some team members will value more opportunities to have full-team face-to-face interactions to build the team, whist others will prefer to receive information and ask questions on a 1:1 basis or through written communications.

Successful teams are either co-located enabling lots of whole team and 1:1 communication, or make skillful use of collaborative technology.  Agreed ways of working and some form of local facilitation complemented with occasional face-to-face meetings are critical success factors for effective collaboration between ‘far flung’ or dispersed teams.

One of RiverRhee Consulting’s case studies illustrates how we can help teams develop effective collaborative working.

3. Each individual will interpret and communicate information in different ways

Whilst some team members will value detailed descriptions of roles and responsibilities, objectives and plans, others will prefer to have more autonomy based on generally agreed goals.

Effective teams will therefore have a clear ‘charter’ and give team members an opportunity to contribute to and review this at the level of engagement that suits them best. The important thing is to ensure buy-in from all concerned and that they have sufficient commonly agreed information to be able to communicate it to others outside the team as needed.

Similarly, in the course of the team’s work, some will have a preference for examining problems at a greater level of detail, whilst others will prefer to take a more intuitive or ‘big picture’ approach.

We help team members to build a greater awareness and respect for these different individual needs and strengths through our workshops and 1:1 guidance, as in our recently recognized work with Porsolt, a CRO to the Pharmaceutical Industry based in France.

4. Individuals bring different strengths to problem resolution and decision making processes

Decision-making requires both logical thinking, and an appreciation of the impact of decisions on people and their values. Again, MBTI teaches us that whilst we’re all able to think logically and appreciate what people feel, one or the other of these ‘dichotomies’ will come most easily to us.

Elisabeth Goodman’s work with Pelican Coaching and Development has helped teams to graphically appreciate the strengths that individuals can bring to a team to ensure a good balance of both approaches to decision making.

5. Individuals will have the greatest insights and expertise on their (part of) the process

A key principle of Lean and Six Sigma implementation is to involve the individuals who do the work as they will have the best knowledge of the problems to be resolved and the possibilities for resolving them.  Involving them from the start will also be a strong guarantee of gaining their buy-in for change.

Tapping into, and developing this individual (tacit) knowledge can be a real asset for continuous improvement, as well a challenge.  John Riddell and Elisabeth Goodman ran a very positively received workshop on this topic at the recent Business Process Excellence for Pharmaceuticals, Biotech and Medical Devices, conference in London and will be sharing notes on this as part of a fuller conference write-up during April.

6. Each individual has the ability to act as an opinion leader for change

Elisabeth Goodman introduced the ‘change model’ in a recent workshop to help a University Library team centralize some of its workflows as a response to, and also a driver for organisational change.  The model is based on Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief, and is a vivid way to help professionals understand their own, their colleagues’ and their customers’ reactions to apparently less traumatic change, be it perceived as positive or negative.

How we respond to change individually, our own knowledge and credibility, and the networks that we each have with colleagues and customers will be strong factors in how each individual within a team influences change2.  These individual perspectives will be something that Elisabeth Goodman will also be including in the UKeIG course that she and Shaida Dorabjee will be running in May.

Notes and further reading

  1. RiverRhee Consulting enhances team effectiveness using process improvement, knowledge management and change management.  Follow the links to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, and about Elisabeth Goodman and John Riddell
  2. Influencer – The Power to Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson et al, McGraw Hill, 2008
  3. Effectively influencing Stakeholders: powerful techniques for marketing AND change management (UKeIG) 18th May, London http://ow.ly/4i7QA
  4. Introduction to Type and Teams, by Elizabeth Hirsh, Katherine W. Hirsh, Sandra Krebs Hirsh. CPP, Inc. Mountain View, Califormia, 2003, 2nd Edition.
  5. Personality Type and Project Management – with reference to MBTI http://wp.me/pAUbH-3S
  6. Intuition revisited: how it could be important to a business environment (Part 1 of 3 blogs) http://wp.me/pAUbH-39
  7. How people (individuals) are integral to business process improvement In: Supply Chain Management in the Drug Industry: Delivering Patient Value for Pharmaceuticals and Biologics, by Hedley Rees, Wiley, 2011 pp. 372-376


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Ten Top Tips for Successful Lean and Six Sigma Implementation – RiverRhee Consulting – February 2011

RiverRhee Consulting1 has several conference engagements and workshops on Lean and Six Sigma coming up in the next weeks/months, together with some recent and forthcoming publications on this theme, so we thought it would be timely to share with you some of the top tips for implementing Lean and Six Sigma that we will be discussing.

1. Effective Lean and Six Sigma implementation is about behaviour as much as the tools

Elisabeth Goodman, Owner and Principal Consultant at RiverRhee Consulting, is part way through reading ‘Influencer’2: VitalSmart’s insightful overview about how to successfully implement change.  Like VitalSmart, we believe that changing behaviour is central to effective implementation of change.  For Lean and Six Sigma, a key behavioural change is people’s willingness to relentlessly address problems as they arise, rather than simply work around them.  This is one of the core competencies that RiverRhee Consulting has been coaching one of its clients on through a series of improvement projects. Once people have committed to changing their behaviour in this way, then the tools come into their own. Without this change in behaviour, training in Lean and Six Sigma tools is simply academic.

2. Integrate Lean and Six Sigma into organisational strategy and core methodologies

As delegates attending Elisabeth Goodman’s presentation at IQPC’s ‘Business Process Excellence in Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Devices’3 conference will learn in April, Lean and Six Sigma implementation will be at its most effective when integrated into the organisation’s strategy and goals.  Without that, it will just be another initiative with an associated short-term life.  What’s more, if an organisation has a core methodology which is integral to its way of working, then integrating Lean and Six Sigma into that will also increase it’s chances of success.  This is a theme that Elisabeth Goodman, and RiverRhee Consulting Associate John Riddell will be exploring in a workshop with the APM (Association for Project Management) that is being scheduled for the spring.

3. Make sure all leaders and managers are engaged with, supporting and reinforcing Lean and Six Sigma

Although it can be tempting to start applying Lean and Six Sigma in a bottom-up approach, our experience is that it is well-worth the effort to engage middle and senior managers. Not only will their engagement facilitate the implementation of ideas and improvements, but, by modeling and reinforcing associated behaviours, they will cause an exponential adoption of similar behaviours by others.  Without the engagement of middle and senior management, adoption of Lean and Six Sigma will flounder and die.

4. Start with some Lean and Six Sigma champions to lead the way and show how it will work

In any organisation, there will be some people who are more eager to explore new ideas and ways of working than others.  Rather than spend a lot of time and energy at this stage trying to convince the skeptics, we’ve found it best to start with a handful of people who will help to lead the way in exploring how Lean and Six Sigma can bring benefits to their work.  Others will become curious about what their peers have been doing, and the word can then start to spread through the champions’ internal networks.

5. Start with some high profile and quick win Lean and Six Sigma projects

This point builds on the earlier ones.  Pick early projects that support the organisation’s strategies, are endorsed by middle and senior management, are led by champions, address something that people care passionately about and will bring some early tangible results.  Our 1-day UKeIG ‘Getting Better at Everything You Do’4 workshop for Library and Information Professionals, helps people to identify just these kinds of improvement opportunities.

6. Recognise that people will have different styles and preferences in their adoption of Lean and Six Sigma

Elisabeth Goodman is part-way through her MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) accreditation and it has confirmed our experience so far that people will take to the Lean and Six Sigma tools and approaches in different ways.  For example, some will enjoy the clearly structured step-by-step DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) approach, others will want to make more use of their intuition or of their creativity. Elisabeth has summarized many of her earlier blogs on this topic in the recently published “How people (individuals) are integral to business process improvement”5 See also her most recent blog on intuition and Lean Six Sigma6.

7. Recognise that organisations will have cultural differences in their adoption of Lean and Six Sigma

Each organisation has its own distinct culture and our experience is that cultures will differ between countries (we have experience in the US, UK and France in particular) and between different kinds of organisations (e.g. international vs. local, corporate vs. small or medium, private vs. public or government).  So we’ve found it important to try to put aside assumptions about how Lean and Six Sigma will be adopted and certainly to avoid using the ‘jargon’ unless this is what an organisation wants, and look for ways again to integrate with the language that the organisation uses.

8. Encourage your organisation to keep records and measures of impact and benefits of Lean and Six Sigma projects, and to prioritise them accordingly

Once people start realizing the power of Lean and Six Sigma, there can be a rapid proliferation of improvement projects.  We’ve found it important to work with middle and senior managers to prioritise these projects and assessing the potential strategic benefits of the projects can help with this.  We encourage participants to define measures (both tangible and intangible) to monitor the actual impact of their improvements, and also to keep a central record that again will help with the wider communication to the organisation.

9. Ensure that there is ongoing communication to engage the wider organisational community in Lean and Six Sigma

Our experience is that there can never be enough communication, and that this needs to be in as many different forms as possible to ensure that people a) receive the communication (see it, hear it etc.) and b) absorb it in a way that will lead them to either reflect or act upon it.  Small group, face-to-face communication with opportunities for discussion always seem to be more effective for example than mass e-mail communications. Our clients have also used local displays with updates on work in progress and visual summaries of forward plans or targets to be achieved as a way to help with engagement.

10. Create Communities of Practice and other knowledge sharing approaches to help sustain Lean and Six Sigma in your organisation

This last theme is one that we will be exploring in our pre-conference workshop for IQPC in April3, and also one that Elisabeth Goodman will be speaking about at IQPC’s SmartLabs7 conference in Berlin.  Knowledge Management techniques have a lot to offer Lean and Six Sigma practitioners to learn from each other’s experience, continuously improve their skills in applying the principles and tools and generally sustain the application of Lean and Six Sigma in their organisations.

If you have any views on this newsletter, do let us know.  And if you enjoyed it, feel free to pass it on to others, and/or sign-up to make sure you don’t miss future issues on https://riverrheeconsulting.wordpress.com


  1. RiverRhee Consulting enhances team effectiveness using process improvement, knowledge management and change management.  Follow the links to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting (http://www.riverrhee.com), and about Elisabeth Goodman (http://www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethgoodman) and John Riddell (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/johnriddell)
  2. Influencer – The Power to Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson et al, McGraw Hill, 2008
  3. Business Process Excellence for Pharmaceuticals, Biotech and Medical Devices, 6th-8th April, London (running workshop and presenting) http://www.bpe-pharma.com/
  4. ‘Getting Better at Everything you Do’ UKeIG course, Tues 28th June 2011, Birmingham, UK
  5. How people (individuals) are integral to business process improvement In: Supply Chain Management in the Drug Industry: Delivering Patient Value for Pharmaceuticals and Biologics, by Hedley Rees, Wiley, 2011 pp. 372-376
  6. Intuition revisited – implications for process improvement and Lean Six Sigma (Part 2 of 3 blogs)
  7. SmartLabs Exchange, Berlin 28 Feb – 2 March 2011 Creating the right Knowledge Ecosystem to drive Operational Excellence http://ow.ly/3VNVE
  8. Readers may also be interested in: Lean and Six Sigma in R&D and Service Delivery – opportunities and challenges; Employee engagement – some interesting data and perspectives for Lean and Six Sigma practitioners; and High performing organisations: interweaving process improvement, knowledge management and change management.

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