Building a Great TeamBy Dave Sobel | Print
Managing people and assembling effective teams remains one of the biggest challenges faced by IT solution providers.
While I was in London recently to attend the third quarter HTG meetings, I had the opportunity to also speak to the Association of Midlands IT Professionals in Birmingham with my good friend Susanne Dansey of Purple Cow Ideas Management. Susanne and I had a lot of chance to talk about both events, and one of the common themes that are critical to address is that of how to build a strong team that can work together effectively.
Susanne is an advocate of a technique called Wealth Dynamics, which analyzes an individual’s strengths, with the idea that if all your money and possessions were taken away, what is it you would have to build wealth with? With this knowledge, you can leverage those abilities better to be successful, and build a team that surrounds you that compliments those strengths.
My own team has been using DISC profiling successfully. By profiling the members of the team, we understand what personality traits they have, how they are best managed, and how to communicate best with one another. Again, the idea is to build a team.
Using these techniques on individuals is interesting, but on teams is powerful. Knowing what one person can do can make that individual more self-aware, and allows you to give them tools to be more engaged in their role. By adding this to the entire team, and sharing the information, we can improve communication among the team and ensure we effectively put "the right people on the right seats on the bus", to loosely quote Good to Great.
If these techniques are extended to the hiring process as well, team building becomes even stronger. If there is a strong person on a team and you want more of their strengths, you can search for individuals who share the same personality traits, motivations, and strengths, and test to see that you have assembled that team.
Most of the concerns that I hear from fellow solution providers are ultimately related to people. Efforts spent on operating procedures, sales process, or workflow management all stem from the need to help people be more effective, and empower individuals to take the company in the direction set forth by leadership. Many of the critical business issues we face as owners can be simplified down to "people problems".
If people are the core asset and primary source of friction, doesn’t it make the most sense to put the energy into assembling the best team possible and giving them the best chance of being informed? With as critical as this process is, finding a technique that works for your organization is a way to increase the chances of success.
Dave Sobel is the founder and CEO of Evolve Technologies, a consulting firm that provides information technology (IT) and computer networking services to the small business, faith-based and nonprofit communities in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.