The Office Playbook: High performance strategies for business teams

3 minute read

Office playbook blog

You’ve heard the saying, “There’s no I in Team,” and although society tends to celebrate individuals, many of our best achievements are as a result of a collective effort. Humans, much like all mammals, are social creatures and have a fundamental need to belong. In business, understanding teams and their structure has been an undervalued process as this process of leveraging team strengths could lead to businesses achieving superior results as compared to individuals. 

Psychologist David Winsborough, states, "A real team is able to outperform its best member; it is greater than the sum of its parts."

Many managers make the mistake of putting together a team of individuals that may, on the face of it, have great potential. However, these teams rarely perform at their maximum capacity. You may have read the myriad of books and articles devoted to creating the best team, but many of these focus on mixing roles based on title and position. This may make sense at the time but isn’t sustainable in the long run. Having a need to belong, humans develop psychological roles, which are based on their personalities. 

Understanding these psychological roles, and putting your team together according to this, will help you unlock the maximum potential of your team. There are five psychological roles to which people naturally gravitate: Results, Relationships, Process, Innovation, and Pragmatism. These can be measured using the Hogan Personality Inventory (“HPI”) scale and enable you to understand your team and how each member contributes to the success of the team. 

In this blog, we dissect those roles. 

Results These are your organisers, leaders and managers in the team. They tend to have above-average scores on the HPI Ambition scale as they tend to be highly ambitious and self-confident. Too many of them in one team, however, often results in a highly competitive team and infighting. Not what you want when you are focusing on an outward team goal and delivering results. 

Relationships These are your carers and are generally concerned with harmony and co-operation within the team. They usually have a higher than average score on the HPI Interpersonal Sensitivity and Sociability scale. Results wise, they could be overly focused on others and getting along rather than performance and delivering results. 

Process As the name suggests, these are your systems and processes people who are focussed on rules and protocol. They tend to score high on the HPI Prudence scale. They are typically well-organised and attentive to details, however, they can also be seen as rigid and inflexible. 

Innovation This is typically the “ideas” person in your team. Innovators can anticipate a problem and adapt to it so they tend to have a higher than average score on the HPI Inquisitive scale. On the flip-side however, if you need someone to implement the ideas, they tend not to be the person you would go to as they tend to prefer ideas versus implementation. 

Pragmatism These are your practical team members who aren’t too swayed by emotions and therefore have low to average scores on both the HPI Interpersonal Sensitivity and Inquisitive. They promote realistic approaches and are cautious with accepting new or innovative ideas. 


Having a deep understanding of these psychological roles will help you blend the personalities to create a high-performing team that is powered to succeed.

For full information on these roles and how to implement this in your business, download the Office Playbook eBook, which is the ideal tool for businesses to unlock their teams' ability to achieve maximum performance. 


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