This article examines team dynamics in light of the Kantor Four-Player system, an empirically based model of the structure of behavior (aside from the content of the behavior) in human systems. This system provides a simple but powerful framework for seeing and shifting team behavior. Specifically, careful observation indicates that, when we strip complex interactions to their bare essence, team members display four types of behavior:
o A move initiates a sequence of behavior
o A follow supports a move
o An oppose opposes a move
o A bystand observes and makes comments that move the group along
All interactions in teams, no matter how complex, can be observed and mapped in terms of combinations of these four behaviors.
In years of working with executive teams, the authors have noticed recurring patterns (termed behavioral archetypes) of these four behaviors. These patterns are actually structural dances – that is, they are repetitive behavioral sequences that significantly affect teams’ ability to produce results. The article discusses three of the more common behavioral archetypes: point-counterpoint, courteous compliance, and covert opposition.
Editor’s Note: I thought this was a great article.
Authors: David Kantor, Steven P. Ober
Source: Prism (Arthur D. Little)
Subject: Organizational Behavior