Week 5 Blog:
“Role Dilemmas” Chapter 5, The Founder’s Dilemmas.
Recognizing and appreciating people who may offer (the not necessarily obvious) “skills you can teach and skills you can’t” (Chapter 6, How to Hire A-Players).
Talented people can be found in various places, you just always have to be looking and aware of the people that are making a place run well. In How to Hire A-Players, Herrenkohl references different everyday places that you could find quality employees if you look around. For example waitresses, baristas at Starbucks and teachers. Another untapped market he mentioned, that I found very interesting, is the mothers that are trying to get back in the workforce. It is unfortunate that the way our society sees mothers after taking a few years off to raise infants and then it is so hard for them to get back in the workforce. The gap in their resume is viewed as negative and that they might be out of practice. But these are hardworking people who have degrees and work experience. This untapped market is filled with lots of talented people, you can hire them part-time as an incentive so they can still spend time with their kids and they will work just as hard if not harder than full-time employees.
I also liked his idea of having an internship and program where you can train and find quality A-players. Also if people get a lot out of the internship they will encourage other A-players to apply for it in following years and you could have an in house way of recruiting A-players.
Sometimes employees have to take on the work of two or three people due to layoffs or people just leaving, and they are treated the same as employees that do half the work. They don’t get raises, recognition, or appreciation, so what would make them want to stay working there. They would want to leave too. And when they do it will leave the company in a bad place then, someone that was picking up the slack and holding everything together leaves then things will start falling apart. This is why it is important to keep your employees happy and wanting to work there and to show appreciation for their hard work.
In The Founder’s Dilemma, Wasserman points out the strengths and weaknesses to overlapping roles and division of labor in a startup. Overlapping roles, having more roles that cover the same thing works well in a start-up when you don’t have much money you can have fewer people covering many roles. The division of labor is clear, separate roles that don’t overlap in any way.
Overlapping Roles Strengths:
- Offers flexibility to early start-ups.
- Team members can help where help is needed.
- Collective knowledge of the combined team.
Overlapping Roles Weaknesses:
- Responsibility dispersed may weaken incentives.
- Overloaded startups should try to minimize redundant responsibilities
- Tension may increase with founders conflict
- As the startup grows and overlapping minimizes, team members may resist having to focus on specific areas and roles.
Division of Labor Strengths:
- Clear titles and roles and responsibilities.
- Provides better accountability
- Heterogeneous teams fit role assignments to founder’s strengths.
Division of Labor Weaknesses:
- May be hard to get individual functions to collaborate on crossing tasks.
- In homogeneous teams may cause suboptimal role assignments.
- Failure to evolve can disconnect organizational structure and task demands.