Many SME owners understand that they are not operating on a large scale yet. Nevertheless, they know that in due time, their team will have to expand beyond one or two people to grow.
Most entrepreneurs are very good at spotting and seizing opportunities, while taking high risks to execute on their ideas. However, most are not skilled at every task that is required to run a large and growing business.
The Importance of Diversity in Team Building
People often prefer to hire and build teams of people that are like themselves. Theoretically, they believe that they would work better with like-minded people. However, research has proven that effective teams comprise a balance of diverse skills, opinions and viewpoints. A simple example is a soccer team. Here, there is a blend of strikers, defenders, and midfield players that combine to create a winning team. Of course, let us not forget the goalkeeper, who saves the team into winning habits.
We have probably all been on dysfunctional teams as well as hugely successful teams. Why is it that some teams are more successful than others? Why would the same set of people be configured on a different team and barely survive? When building a team, it is critical to first understand what the group is expected to deliver. Thereafter, they could figure out what skills and personalities to hire. Therefore, the team’s objectives should first be established, before they can set out to accomplish their mission.
Building Effective Teams
There are two broad schools of thought to building effective teams. One is to have a healthy mix of opposite people. The fact that people of opposite natures do attract one another is important to consider when building teams of people in the work environment. Opposites may ultimately cause problems for the team if they do not have a strong shared vision, strong leadership (that’s you) and long-term goals to work towards together.
Of course, the other option is to have people in the team that think alike and behave alike as that would intuitively lead to a harmonious team dynamic. The problem with this cookie-cutter composition is that it leads to “group thinking” without adequate stimulation of differing approaches and ideas.
A coherent approach would be to have a group of open-minded, mature people with the ability to come up with diverse options and debate them thoroughly in a safe environment. Again, this depends on strong leadership.
Building an effective team may appear to be an impossible task but as with most issues in business, establish some processes to follow while also allowing yourself a healthy dose of gut feel.