Great to hear that you have a great cross-organisational circle going. We’re very happy that you’re reading Creating Great Teams!
I’d ask everyone who asks this question how they would choose their team if they were personally in this position. If their employer trusted them to make a choice based on what is best for the company would they themselves really just do what is best for them?
I have met very few people across all the companies we have run self-selection events who did not consider both what they wanted to do and also what was fair and reasonable to their company.
You say that you believe it’s human nature to choose to work with excellent people and to avoid the not so “good” ones. I find many people enjoy teaching and mentoring others and I have seen many groups where senior and juniors, stars and average people chose to form a team.
People are usually good, constructive, reasonable and want the right things. They are perfectly capable to strike the balance between doing what is both best for them and what is best for their company.
If you really have someone where you genuinely think they’re not acting this way, I’d ask them directly during self-selection how they think their choice is best for the company, how their choice helps solve the overall puzzle and how they believe this is best for them and their employer. And if they can see other options for solving the puzzle.
Whenever this has happened in one of my events this has either prompted the person to realise that their solution probably wasn’t the best or it has made me realise that the person had a perfectly valid reason to think that this was best for the company. In short, don’t assume people’s motives. Have a conversation. And be open to the possibility they might be right.
Hope this helps …