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Belbin worked for ICI Paints and

Cadbury’s Schweppes, reporting on individual’s suitability for different jobs. By the late 1980s, he found that demand was well outstripping supply and the process was not sustainable. At this point his son Nigel stepped in and suggested computerising the process to produce the reports. In 1988, Belbin, Eunice and Nigel formed Belbin Associates to help promote the team roles around the world. Along with IT specialist, Dave Bainbridge they developed 'Interplace' which enabled individuals to complete the questionnaire and receive a report which contained advice and insight into the individual’s team role behaviour.

Personal reflections

When TJ asked about people, places and events that had influenced him, Belbin said that he very much admired Raymond Cattell who developed the 16PF. He used the 1962 version (form A) for many years. He had hoped to meet Cattell in Hawaii during an overseas trip, but the plane developed a techinical fault in Wellington, and he arrived too late. Another important early influence

in Belbin’s life and career was his tutor at Cambridge, Nicholas Hammond. Tey both arrived at Clare College at the same time – Belbin fresh from school and Hammond from Greece and Albania, where his undercover operations with the Greek Resistance earned him the Distinguished Service Order. For a

from low self-esteem but, once they found a niche, they became more satisfied and confident with their contribution at work. He persuaded companies to take on individuals for free ‘work experience’, pioneering a concept which is now commonplace.

Belbin today

Belbin’s garden is open for charity

Belbin lives in a thatched cottage in Barton, a village three miles from Cambridge, with his second wife Sheila. He has five grandchildren of whom he is immensely proud. He enjoys gardening and

opens his garden as part of the Nation- al Gardens Scheme. Two miles from his home is the Belbin office, which he visits most days. A little further on is his golf course. He is the oldest member, so he gets his own buggy! He still plays regularly, but now requires a spotter, and he still has a long drive, al- though the direction can be hit or miss! Like many of his fellow nonage-

He's still a regular on the golf course

young Belbin he provided a role model of how to meet the most difficult and demanding challenges and Hammond encouraged Belbin to diversify from limited Greek and Latin studies. Belbin is most proud of the work he did with the US Department of Labor, undertaken while working for the OECD. He helped to integrate underprivileged members of the community, many of whom suffered

narians he shows no signs of slowing down According to his own psycho- metric, Belbin is a Plant – bursting with ideas some of them still useful! When asked what’s happening in

the lead up to his centenary, Belbin is enthusiastic about involvement in village life and his garden. But as one would expect from a super Plant he also is optimistic about saving civilisation by understanding the flaws and faults of organisations and the most unsuitable people who often run them!


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