The Plethora Complex occurs when the team underuses the Campaigner team role.
When used appropriately, the Campaigner team role is used to focus on those particular thoughts, ideas, or beliefs that are important. Campaigners are value driven, and in a team discussion they often bring a sense of priority that is derived from their strong convictions. They seize upon and emphasise ideas or thoughts that have the greatest import, bringing them to the fore and stressing their significance. They assess the inherent value or importance of new ideas, focusing on those about which they feel most strongly.
If the Campaigner team role is used insufficiently, however, and it becomes a 'No-Go-Area' for the team, then they fail to distinguish what is important, or they regard everything as important. One of the consequences of focusing on what is important is that the unimportant falls out of focus and receives less attention and/or is de facto rejected (the rejection of things isn't necessarily a conscious decision, it is a natural consequence of focusing on what's important). But if everything is treated the same, then the team will try to do everything, ending up with too many things to do causing them and others stress.
The complex is given the name "Plethora" because the lack of rejection of the unimportant means that the team members end up with a plethora of things to do.
Complexes can be very difficult to deal with. See our general page on Complexes for more information.
A good facilitator or consultant can help the team address the Plethora Complex in various ways, such as:
- Getting the team to understand their own identity and values, which can then be used to inform decisions on what is important to them
- Setting relative priorities for their goals and tasks, so that they have a clear understanding on what is most important
- Pressing the team to identify practical ways of focusing on the tasks at the top, eg: by stopping project, saying "no" to new work, delegating or shifting responsibilities to another team.
The Plethora Complex results from the team's rigidity in their avoidance of introverted Feeling.
See all sixteen team complexes.