Monday, November 14th, 2016
“Team” is everything. Yes, product is paramount and market’s a must. But, the essence of what makes early startups successful is the team. Great people make great products and provide great services. Unfortunately, although building an early team is critical, it’s also extremely difficult.
Building DNA: that is the essence of hiring great talent. You’re actually building DNA. Team member skill sets, professional alignments, and personalities are like the genetic material that wires the way we tick. A good team creates a strong environment of like-minded, albeit multifaceted individuals that help the body as a whole achieve success.
But it doesn’t end with just hiring great talent. Finding talent is one thing. Finding talent that fits your brand and mission are another.
First, start with brand and mission. Discover your brand. Define your mission, values and ethos; and align. Team members must understand their brand—how their customers perceive the company, it’s products, and/or services. Team members must also understand the company’s mission—the strategies and goals in their marketplace. These two must align to ultimately assure a good fit.
Second, overlay cultural nuance. New team members need to not only understand the brand and mission, they must understand the cultural nuances of new or emerging market. This ensures that attributes and benefits are not lost in translation or omitted. It also ensures that the right messages and tactics are being applied to a culture whose understanding of your brand and mission may be different from your own.
Third, provide coaching. Just because you find a good fit doesn’t mean you’re all set. You need to coach your team continuously. Reinforcing the company’s values is critical. They need to internalize who the company is, what the objectives are, and how you keep tactical decisions grounded and fresh.
Summing-up: When the story of a company is told, it almost always involves the creation of the team. Building a great team takes time. Start by finding the best candidates within the ecosystem, not just the industry. Make sure that each hire contributes to your DNA. Then help them grow and translate your company’s values as you continue to triumph internationally.