Teamwork Complex: Rut
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The "Rut Complex"

The Rut Complex occurs when the team underuses the Explorer team role.

Healthy use

When used appropriately, the Explorer team role is used to promote exploration of new and better ways of doing things. Explorers uncover hidden potential in people, things or situations. They break new ground, and are often looking one step beyond the current situation to pursue unexplored avenues, until all the possibilities have been exhausted. Explorers often challenge the status quo and experiment with the introduction of change, to see if the situation can be improved or new potential uncovered

Insufficient use

If the Explorer team role is used insufficiently, however, and it becomes a 'No-Go-Area' for the team, then they fail to recognise the potential benefits that change might bring. They continue to do what they have done and don't experiment with any change where the outcome is not fully certain. They may reject good ideas with hidden potential because the proposal doesn't contain enough certainty for them. Because of their over-reliance on "what's worked before", they fail to improve their performance. New opportunities may arise around them, but they may fail even to spot them let alone exploit them.

The complex is given the name "Rut" because the team find difficulty in changing direction, just like a vehicle whose wheels are 'stuck in a rut'.


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 Rut Complex in various ways, such as:

Psychology Footnote

The Rut Complex results from the team's rigidity in their avoidance of extraverted iNtuition.

See all sixteen team complexes.

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