The 16 Team Types

IRCS: The Explorers

I
Informal
Communicators
R
Relational
Processors
C
Concordant
Deciders
S
Spontaneous
Executors
Information is surfaced and shared organically.
The source of the information matters when it is being evaluated.
Decision is driven by consensus among team members.
Lightweight plans favor agility and adaptability.
IRCS: The Explorers

The IRCS team, or "The Explorers," have a team environment that more resembles a lively cafe than a traditional office, with ideas and conversations mingling freely. Informal communication fosters a creative and inclusive atmosphere, and consensus- driven decision-making ensures every voice is heard and valued. IRCS teams excel in environments where responsibilities and knowledge vary widely or answers are uncertain, and they perform well in fast-growing, dynamic organizations.

IRCS teams can struggle with rigid goals and deadlines. They tend to prioritize deliberation over moving fast, and value consensus over decisiveness. This is a good fit for exploratory projects where there is no clear answer, but doesn't work as well when fast-paced, action-oriented execution is needed.

Words that typically describe

IRCS

teams include:

customized
free-flowing
impromptu
flexible
sensitive
empathy
relationships
persuasive
consensus
coalition
deliberation
cooperation
doing
reactive
intuition
fluid

Characteristics of

IRCS

teams:

  • Communication and decision-making seem like a conversations among friends, with decisions coming through broad-based and collaborative discussions.
  • Despite this, a few key individuals have outsized impact on the team’s views – typically because the group looks to them for background, context, and specific expertise.
  • The group gets fatigued when plans get detailed, preferring to stay “high level” and figure things out as they go.

Where

IRCS

teams excel:

  • With their inherently flexible, consensus-driven approach and their lightweight plans, IRCs teams are always ready to pivot in response to changes in their environment. They’re well-suited to the dynamic, unpredictable nature of fast-growing, fast-changing organizations.
  • The collegial, collaborative approach of IRCS teams means they excel at open-ended projects like academic research and exploratory software development. And their constant stream of informal – sometimes chaotic! – communication can cause creative collisions leading to unexpected and exceptional new insights.
  • Due to their informal communication and consensus-driven approach, IRCS teams naturally foster a strong sense of unity and collaboration among members. This team cohesion enhances mutual support and maintains high morale, which are crucial for sustained team performance – especially in situations where success (and the path to get there) is uncertain.

Potential blind spots for

IRCS

teams:

  • Because IRCS teams prioritize consensus in decision-making, they can be slow in reaching conclusions – a liability in situations requiring quick or unilateral decisions.
  • IRCS teams struggle in highly structured or rigid environments where formal communication and strict adherence to procedures are required. They aren’t ideally suited for well-defined projects that need to be executed efficiently, especially those with lots of dependencies to manage and coordinate.
  • IRCS teams work better in small groups, as outsiders or new team members might struggle to get up to speed with what's going on. As organizations grow and structures become more complex, the informal and highly adaptive nature of IRCS teams can make it difficult for them to scale their impact effectively.

Areas of growth for

IRCS

teams:

  • IRCS teams benefit from having clear goals well-defined outcomes (while remaining flexible in the path to accomplishing them) to protect against over-deliberation and ensure productive discussions. Clear priorities serve as a North Star to keep the team focused on what's most important, preventing the team from getting sidetracked by less relevant details.
  • Time-bound deliberation to ensure that adequate time and attention is given to developing plans, and to prevent counterproductive conversations getting in the way of progress.
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