Does Your Business Have A Team?

Teams are critical to success. No one person will ever experience success on their own. Having a team where each person can focus on their strong suit will ensure everyone enjoys their role. When everyone is working on tasks that match their strengths. 

Wearing multiple hats in a team setting will not be a scalable method long-term. Starting out, any new bootstrap business owner will have to do marketing, accounting, management, the whole nine-yards. But as business capital grows, reinvesting into an innovative team will take the stress off of all the tasks that need to be done.

The truth is you don’t need all the best people…

You need to foster the best teams. “Many of the problems coming up amongst teams today are far too complex to be solved by a lone genius working in isolation.” For that, entrepreneurs need to avoid being the guitarist, violinist, and pianist and focus on being the orchestrator. 

When we refer to an innovative team, it’s not just about finding people who are “idea-machines”. It’s about finding people with a drive for problem-solving. Because in the world of business, problems are guaranteed.

As mentioned in the Harvard Business Review article, “4 Ways To Build An Innovative Team”, psychological safety is also a key factor in making a successful team tick. If every time you share a new idea or ask for help only to be teased, the team effectiveness is going to become tense and unproductive. Although having a psychologically safe team environment is key, also ensuring everyone is able to contribute to discussions will ensure more well rounded communication. Greg Satell states that “Steve Jobs types who are spouting off ideas so often that nobody can get a word in may in fact be killing innovation.” 

Innovative teams are also said to be the most diverse teams. From my experience, when you limit the backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of others on your team, we begin to exclude possible solutions that could be explored.

I’ve worked on many teams, and the best ones were those with a diverse group. We created some great projects together and had dozens of constructive ideation discussions. At one point, we were creating a product specifically for elderly people. No one on our team fit our target demographic so we went to nursing homes to get feedback from those who would be using our creation. Accepting feedback from people with a different perspective allows for a well-rounded final product. 

As a manager of teams, the challenge arises in creating a team that is both diverse and psychologically safe. Evidence suggests that a diverse team often leads to a lack of cohesion. And when there is a lack of cohesion in a team, it’s hard to feel like your ideas and input will be “safe”.

All in all, teams are certainly necessary to build a stable, long-term business around. Most of the time an innovative team doesn’t mean finding people that can just generate ideas. More importantly, it means that we find a team that will collaborate and solve problems.

When you limit the backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of others on your team, we begin to exclude possible solutions that could be explored.

Devyn Grillo