You are bound to remember the motley collection of animals from A A Milne’s Winnie The Pooh stories, either from the books or the Disney cartoons.  Charming certainly, but how can they apply to business?

A lovely insurance broker, Howard Cooke, occasionally visited my networking group and would read out Winnie The Pooh tales to us.  He realised that there was always a moral which business owners should note.  That’s only the start of their value, though.

When you are building a team at work, you need to consider the combination of personalities just as much as the technical abilities of your staff.  You may have heard of DISC profiles; Computer Troubleshooters had this done and the apparently disparate and random set of choices on the questionnaire produced an eerily precise description of our team members.

Take a look at the Hundred Acre Wood team.  Milne has brought together quite a range of characters who work remarkably harmoniously together.  Instead of using DISC profiles, maybe Winnie The Pooh profiling is the way to go for your company!  The aim is to set up the right combination suitable for your business – no-one can cope with a roomful of Tiggers after all!

So, who are you in Winnie The Pooh?

Here are thumbnail sketches of the main protagonists to help you decide:

Winnie The Pooh – friendly, thoughtful and insightful if a little naïve and slow-witted.
Christopher Robin – the team leader: cheerful, compassionate, looked up to.
Piglet – Winnie’s anxious best friend who can be brave with Winnie’s encouragement.
Tigger – energetic, fun, overconfident and a bit of a troublemaker.
Rabbit – a stickler for the rules, impatient and smart.  Seems bossy but he cares and is very friendly.
Eeyore – pessimistic but will go along with the others fatalistically.
Kanga – the mother figure: protective, kind-hearted, calm and docile.
Roo – youthful qualities: cheerful, playful and energetic.
Owl – the stuffy and talkative elder mentor and teacher.  Appears knowledgeable but can actually be rather scatterbrained.

Just as in business profiling, your team members will generally exhibit characteristics of more than one of Christopher Robin’s friends.

What do you reckon?

Do you see yourself or your colleagues reflected by the Pooh Corner inhabitants?

And have you guessed who I identify with?  It’s got to be Kanga of course, the mother of the team!

Clearly this is just a bit of fun for a warm Summer’s day, but maybe there could be a grain of truth to help you understand your team a bit better.  And what perfect weather to go out and enjoy a game of Pooh Sticks on the river too!