Imagine this…
You’re a manager in a large corporate, and you’re working on an important project. You assess your current team, and you realise that you’re a little short of some skills, and the team is not quite as balanced as should be. It could also do with a little bit more diversity. So, using your company’s latest web-based staffing software, you go online and enter a request for two additional staff members to provide 20 hours a week of input to your team. You are able to select from a wide variety of fields – either specifying a particular selection, or deciding which criteria are not important.
You may be able to specify some of the following: age, gender, culture, language, country of origin, current country of residence (for multinationals), personality profile (Maybe Meyers-Briggs MBTI, or Enneagram type, for example), leadership style (based on agreed profiles), team style (e.g. Belbin), skills and talent themes (e.g. Markus Buckingham’s ‘Now Discover Your Strengths‘ and Gallup’s StrengthQuest profile), expert knowledge and subject expertise, etc.

Then, from the database emerges a few options, and you’re able to approach them to contact them and interview them for a place on your project team. The software could also go the other way round, showing particular positions that need to be filled, and allowing people to apply for them.
Software like this does exist in many big corporates, but it often does not add all of the fields that indicate who a person is, how they work, and what their drivers are.
Of course, we must beware of putting people into boxes (see previous post on this). These types of tools could easily become blunt instruments with which to bludgeon a workforce into teams. That’s not the intention. The vision I have is of an extremely emotionally intelligent environment, where the people allowed to use such a system have proven their people-leadership abilities, and would simply use the software as a tool in their toolkit, rather than a short cut.

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