Modeling Collaborative Team Building to Address Wicked Problems: Navigating and Negotiating Dispositional Distance

Thursday 3:15pm Northrop Hall: 116


Dave Gosselin, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Ron Bonnstetter, TTI Success Insights
Schylir Rowen, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
A big challenge for education is to prepare students to effectively collaborate to address the many "wicked problems" and "grand challenges" facing society. Collaboration is a critical competency, among others, that today's students need to meet future workforce demands. Studies of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams indicate that team members struggle to achieve knowledge integration across disciplines. This type of integration is at the heart of addressing important societal challenges. Part of the struggle with integration is that not only are their differences in conceptual disciplinary understanding, there are differences in the dispositional characteristics of team members. The concept of dispositional distance© is used to describe the differences in the dispositional characteristics (i.e., behaviors and motivational drivers) of team members.

The Environmental Studies (ES) program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL-ES) program has partnered with TTI Success Insights® to focus undergraduate student's on the key attributes to effective interdisciplinary teams. Using an inquiry-based collaborative leadership action model, model-based reasoning, and a business-academia partnership, the UNL-ES program employs assessment instruments to help students understand themselves and adapt (i.e., navigate and negotiate) more effectively to others in the professional world. Output from this instrument provides verbal and visual models about the how, why, and what of individual performance. This instrument provides important information about the student's dispositional characteristics. Assessment output is used for team blending and managing differences among group members. These assessments play a positive role in group dynamics. Certain mixtures of behavioral styles and motivational drivers have been identified that may be problematic to group work. Many students have experienced team projects, but in addition to learning about collaboration and development of a shared-vision for a project, we have taken the opportunity to add an important factor to the process: the science of self.
Presentation Slides (Acrobat (PDF) 2.8MB Apr18 18)