The PAEI Model

Developing Your Management Team's Roles

The PAEI Model - Developing Your Management Team's Roles

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Put together a more powerful management team.

What does it take to create a successful management team?

The answer is complex, and everyone will have their own opinion. However, one thing is certain: the most effective management teams function as cohesive, cooperative units. Each person completes certain tasks or fills a specific role, and supports and complements the others within the group. Defining these roles, however, can be challenging.

In this article, we'll look at the PAEI Model, which outlines four distinct roles that your management team needs in order to be successful.

About the Model

Dr Ichak Adizes, a management expert and the founder of the Adizes Institute, developed the PAEI Model in the early 1970s. Since then, he has applied it to thousands of organizations around the world.

PAEI is an acronym that describes four management roles that any team or organization needs to be successful. These are:

  • Producer.
  • Administrator.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Integrator.

Reproduced with permission from Adizes Institute Worldwide. Visit www.adizes.com for more information.

No one person can fill all of these roles. However, by making sure that you have someone covering each one, you ensure that your management team is strong, effective and able to meet its responsibilities and objectives.

You can also use the PAEI Model to understand your own strengths and weaknesses as a leader. You likely gravitate towards one of these roles naturally, and, when you know which one suits you best, you can then identify which you might unconsciously avoid. This can help you uncover weaknesses and pinpoint skills gaps that you should address.

Similar Management Models

The PAEI Model outlines four simple roles that management teams require, but there are other similar frameworks available.

For example, Mintzberg's Management Roles describes 10 roles that can be filled by leaders. Some of these roles align with those in PAEI, but Mintzberg's approach goes into more detail. The advantage of the PAEI Model, compared with this approach, is its simplicity: the four roles are easy to understand and adopt.

The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile also gives a useful framework for identifying and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of a management team.

The Four Management Roles

Let's look at the four roles in more detail.

1. Producer

The primary goal of any organization is to produce results, and it will typically achieve this by meeting the needs of internal or external customers. The same principle applies to your management team.

The person in the producer role is ultimately responsible for the product or service that you're offering. He or she is in charge of meeting goals and objectives, and making sure that the end product delivers the expected results.

Producers often work fast, and they tend to focus on the end result. They work hard and get things done.

2. Administrator

Administrators focus on how tasks are completed. They're interested in the rules and policies that help your team or organization function, and they are often highly analytical, concentrating on ensuring that people follow procedures correctly. They often take a slow, structured approach to problem solving and decision making.

Organizations often depend on administrators to develop the processes and systems that keep everyone working efficiently and productively.

Administrators often work in accounting, or in other process-oriented departments.

3. Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are full of ideas. They're inspired by what's possible, and they're gifted at building a shared vision of the future, seeing things that other people can't see, and taking calculated risks.

Organizations depend on entrepreneurs to come up with the big ideas that allow them to maintain strategic advantage and enter new markets. They also rely on people in this role to spot opportunities and threats, and help others respond to change. Entrepreneurs can often use an unstructured approach to solving problems and making decisions, and they tend to focus more on a global than a local perspective.

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Entrepreneurs can often be in senior leadership roles or in marketing or research and development teams.

4. Integrator

Integrators are the "heart" of a team or organization. They excel at bringing people together and maintaining harmony within a group. They can also rely on an unstructured approach when solving problems, and tend to work more slowly and methodically, as their focus is on the process and not the end result.

Integrators have a high degree of emotional intelligence and empathy. They often lead with kindness, they know how to build trust and respect within a team, and they always have time to help a colleague out. Integrators can also play a key role in building an organization's culture, especially in its early stages.

How to Apply the Model

The PAEI Model is particularly useful when you're putting together a new management team. It's a quick and easy checklist for ensuring that you have a well-rounded group of people who can work together effectively and achieve the team's goals.

Start by looking at your team charter, and identify your objectives. Then, make a list of the people who have the skills and expertise you need to accomplish your goals.

Next, think about the four roles: producer, administrator, entrepreneur, and integrator. Refer to your list and consider each person's natural working style, their talents, and their strengths and weaknesses. Who fits best within each role? Make sure that you have at least one person in each role in your team.

Key Points

Management expert Dr Ichak Adizes developed the PAEI Model in the early 1970s. It outlines four key roles that are essential to the success of any management team. These are:

  • Producer.
  • Administrator.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Integrator.

No one person can fill all of these roles successfully. However, by ensuring that you have enough people with the skills and attributes to fill each one, you'll build a management team that has the strength and focus to meet your organization's objectives.

Apply This to Your Life

  • Look carefully at each of the four roles in the PAEI Model. Which do you naturally fill most of the time?
  • Next, apply the PAEI Model to the other managers on your team. Who naturally fills each role? Are they functioning well? Would they be more effective in a different role? And are any roles missing, and is this, or could it be, an issue?

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Comments (3)
  • Over a month ago Moises wrote
    Invaluable piece !
  • Over a month ago Kiffy wrote
    Like you Michelle I think people play more than one role in a project depending on the stage in their career or even the current strategy and objectives of the team. As a consequence rather than look at the roles we play within our team (such as those in the PAEI model), we choose to consider what sort of Creative Problem Solving Style we each had (Basadur Profiles) i.e. whether we were a Generator, Conceptualizer, Optimizer or Implementer. This not only helped us understand our own personal strengths, but how to partner effectively on projects by playing on peoples strengths and aligning them with those who are strong in other areas.
  • Over a month ago Michele wrote
    When I look at the PAEI model there are two roles that I most closely identify with - the producer and the entrepreneur.

    I am extremely results oriented. I know the end result I want to achieve and I do whatever it takes to make sure that I deliver. Where the entrepreneur role comes into play is in my desire to push the boundaries of my function and the team into the new and different. Where can we go next to add more value to the organization.

    What about others? What role or roles do you typically play in your team?