Trading Baseball Cards at Work: How We Were Inspired by Ray Dalio to Accelerate Our Team

Alexa Colyer
Jun 27, 2019 · 3 min read

The Opportunity

Recently, my team and I realized that even though we work with each other every day, we don’t know the specifics of each others’ personalities. We wanted to find a fun and strategic way to take a look at the ways our teammates’ prefer to work and compare it with our own individual preferences in order to truly understand how we can best work alongside one another.

Around the same time we were thinking about this opportunity, we happened to pick up Ray Dalio’s Principles. Dalio is one of the most successful investors and entrepreneurs. He wrote Principles to share his unconventional ‘principles’ that he’s created, refined, and utilized over the course of his career. Within this book, Dalio writes about how he uses baseball cards to accelerate his teams, which we were immediately intrigued by. He writes that baseball cards “…are a simple way of presenting a person’s strengths and weaknesses and the evidence behind them…” This statement inspired us to create a deck of baseball cards for our own team.

The Solution

We created a personalized baseball card for every member (16, to be exact) of our team in order to accelerate us in understanding our teammates’ personalities. By doing so, we can ensure we are providing results of the highest value to whom we serve.

After everyone took the official Myers Briggs assessment and wrote personal short-form bios, we created a personalized baseball card for every individual on the team.

My personalized baseball card

Even before the deck of cards was shared with the team, everyone was excitedly discussing their Myers Briggs results with each other. For some, it was a surprise that they had the same personality type as a teammate, and for others it wasn’t surprising at all!

The Myers Briggs assessment gives you your overall personality type description as well as your typical characteristics. The assessment also lists your general potential blind spots and your strengths and areas of opportunity in regard to how you are with others and how you are at work. Besides the three page report, Myers Briggs also provides a separate, more-detailed analysis of your personality type.

A snippet of my Myers Briggs assessment report

In order to get the most value from our deck of cards, we discussed them as a team. We spent some time reading over our own cards and then picked a few teammates’ cards to look over. Then, we shared how we think we can work well with that particular person after taking into account both own our and our teammate’s personality types.

The Learnings

Overall, our baseball cards have helped us understand the personalities of our teammates and answer questions like: How do we prefer to work? What are our individual strengths? How can we accelerate each other in order to produce the highest quality and most meaningful work?

My team is in the healthcare industry. However, no matter what industry you are in, anyone can benefit from experimenting with team baseball cards. For anyone wanting to taking a deeper look at their team or even themselves, I highly suggest taking a personality assessment, such as Myers Briggs, and understanding what you can do to create an even better environment for you and those you work with as well as whom you serve.

About me: I’m a Product Experience Manager on the Fusion team at Optum. We strive to accelerate the enterprise by bringing unique mind-shifts that allow teams to ideate and solution on an opportunity— any opportunity. My background is in Computer Science and Mathematics which helps me bring a logical mindset to all aspects of my work. Want to know more? You can find me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alexadiehl

Fusion at Optum

Alexa Colyer

Written by

Fusion at Optum

Fusion is an accelerator, empowering teams across UHG. We empower teams to define a bold vision, get in the mind of users, and deliver products and experiences to market, faster. We are employees of UHG and these views are our own and not those of the company or its affiliaites.

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