The 16 Team Types

IRAD: The Intuitive Builders

Information is surfaced and shared organically.
The source of the information matters when it is being evaluated.
Decision is driven by direction from team leadership.
Plans are thorough, closely followed, and regularly updated.
IRAD: The Intuitive Builders

The IRAD team, known as "The Intuitive Builders," is a unique combination of creativity and precision. Picture a film set where crew members efficiently execute the vision of their director. These environments are often ambiguous and data-scarce, yet IRAD teams navigate them with an ability to combine open-ended solutions with structured follow-through. The team's informal and relational communication style allows for the free flow of ideas, while their authoritative decision-making and deliberate execution ensures that once a plan is set, it is followed with meticulous care. This blend makes them adept in creative fields, where projects evolve from broad concepts into detailed, concrete plans under the guidance of a lead architect’s creative intuition.

However, IRAD teams face challenges when there is a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities, especially concerning leadership. Their informal way of sharing information can sometimes clash with their need for structured execution, posing difficulties during rapid changes or unexpected situations.

Words that typically describe


teams include:


Characteristics of



  • IRAD teams exhibit a casual and organic communication style, allowing ideas to flow freely and spontaneously among team members. This approach fosters a creative atmosphere, and key individuals on the team use their intuition to interpret data and influence decision-making.
  • IRAD teams operate under a top-down decision-making process. This authoritative approach ensures that decisions are made quickly and decisively, often driven by the intuitive insights of their leaders.
  • Once decisions are made, IRAD teams are meticulous in planning and executing their tasks. They follow detailed plans diligently, ensuring that the team’s creative visions are realized in a structured and efficient manner. This disciplined execution is critical for translating innovative ideas into tangible outcomes.



teams excel:

  • IRAD teams excel at implementing innovative solutions to complex challenges. Their ability to blend informal communication with intuitive decision-making allows them to approach problems creatively, often leading to unique and effective solutions.
  • These teams excel in fast-growing, dynamic organizations where adaptability and quick decision-making are crucial. In environments lacking clear guidelines or structures, IRAD teams use their informal communication style to ensure that ideas and information flow freely and efficiently across the team. As "super-connectors," early team members are adept at extracting and integrating valuable insights from informal and often chaotic environments, enabling the team to pivot strategies quickly and effectively based on emerging data.
  • IRAD teams create environments where standout individuals are empowered to shape the team’s direction. Leadership in these teams fosters a culture where creative and influential members can drive change, enhancing innovation and responsiveness to new challenges.

Potential blind spots for



  • IRAD teams often struggle when there is ambiguity regarding who the key decision-maker is. This uncertainty can lead to inefficient and circular conversations, causing decision-making churn. Without clear leadership, the team can find itself stuck in endless discussions, unable to move forward decisively.
  • The informal communication style that fosters creativity and openness in IRAD teams can sometimes clash with their need for detailed and rigorous project management. Managing this tension requires constant vigilance and adjustment, as too much informality can undermine the structured execution that their projects demand.
  • IRAD teams face significant challenges when project directions are not clearly defined or when necessary adjustments aren't made timely. Their reliance on detailed plans makes them particularly susceptible to issues arising from stagnation or abrupt changes, as both scenarios disrupt their strategic execution and planning efforts. This makes it crucial for them to have a clear, adaptable roadmap to navigate effectively through projects.

Areas of growth for



  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities are vitally important. Make sure these are clearly defined for every project and decision.
  • It usually takes a while for new team members to figure out how the team "works" — understanding communication patterns, identifying influential individuals. Invest more in onboarding, like making sure new team members have an assigned peer to guide them.
  • When you know a project might be subject to rapidly changing goals or circumstances, either ease up on how rigorously you adhere to processes or make sure you account for the additional time cost (and psychological toll) of constantly updating your plans and goals.
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