One of the foremost scholars of team building, Meredith Belbin, identified that in order to function effectively an organisational team requires members with different skills and attributes. In her research she identified that there are nine alternative “team roles” as she described them (see Appendix for full details). Belbin observed that the most effective teams possessed at least 5 and ideally 7 of the roles, and that an individual member within a team was capable of fulfilling more than one role, but rarely more than two. Tuckman established that when people are first brought together in a team they experience various stages of team development, popularly referred to as “forming, norming, storming and performing”. This concept is reflected in Figure 2 overleaf. In short, the theory holds that as employee are brought together in a group they experience an evolutionary process whereby they come to understand and appreciate one another’s skills and strengths and then utilise these complementary skills for the best advantage of the team as a whole.History has shown that Tuckman’s theory has almost universal application, however, when used in combination with Belbin’s theory it becomes even more powerful as it becomes possible to identify in advance whether or not a group I likely to succeed based on the unique skills and attributes of each team member. For example, if there are too many “plants” within a group then it is likely that the group will be highly creative but the ideas will rarely be translated into action. Similarly, too many co-ordinations is likely to result in arguments as the co-ordinator role is known to be quite stubborn and even manipulative.