Week 4 Blog post: Benefits and risks of homogeneous teams
Chapter 4, Relationship Dilemmas: Flocking together and playing with fire, The Founder’s Dilemmas
Chapter 1, the Value of A-Players, How to Hire A-Players
Starting Your Business: Avoiding the “Me Incorporated” Syndrome
I don’t have the luxury of having the backing to pay employees off the bat, otherwise I would gladly do that. In my situation it might be “Me Incorporated” in the beginning with me doing every job. But not because I want it that way. It will have to be that way until I can make enough profit in order to pay employees, and enough work that would require the need for employees. I will be starting out as a bootstrap small business and will be required to do all jobs from the get go. Once the business gets big enough to share the work load I will definitely appreciate any help I can get. In the beginning it will be hard to get help because I won’t have enough profit to pay them so it will have to be friends or family willing to help for little to no compensation at that time.
Recruiting A-players is essential to making a business run well, especially without supervision. By having A-players it makes it easier to attract more A-players, and by giving them opportunities to progress and feel motivated to do more. “A -player principle: Recruit A-Players by showing them how you can help them to reach the next level in their career.” I think this is very important, if an A-player sees potential in a company that they can grow with and progress with throughout their career, they will be drawn to that company. “A-player principle: Don’t try to solve a recruiting problem with a coaching solution.” Meaning if you hire A-players you can solve issues through coaching, you can teach them the trade or the process, but you can’t teach C-players to be A-players. So it’s better to hire quality people that are dedicated and eager to learn rather than an experienced person that knows that trade but is not a dedicated, passionate person.
In The Founder’s Dilemmas they discuss relationship dilemmas of homogeneity teams versus diverse teams. Homogeneity teams have short term benefits and longer term risks. The risk includes founding a startup with friends or family or both. Usually you have to choose between damaging your social relationships or damaging the startup, which is referred to as “playing with fire”. The only way to avoid this is by forcing sensitive discussions and creating firewalls. Keeping business and personal separate, having business issues discussed by involving others so it doesn’t get personal, it just is a business discussion.
There are so many family businesses out there, where they make it work. There are also a lot of businesses that friends started together, that do great! It actually seems to me that most small business that start up are usually family and friend run. But some do fail because of relationships and some you hear of failing even because of divorces. When they fail sometimes they split the business and they take a piece of it or the idea to start their own business. The ideal situation with friends and family would be a diverse set of strengths and backgrounds to be able to contribute different things to the startup to make it successful. So it is kind of a combination of homogeneous and diverse teams.