Homogenous Teams are a No, No!!!

More than anyone else, the CEO is accountable for being the “visionary” of the team, meticulously collecting the most fitting individuals who can additionally bring the most desirable skillsets to the table. CEO’s must value diversity and the tremendous effect it plays in the overall success of the venture. Hiring individuals from various backgrounds (i.e. culture, employment experience, education, socio-economic status) promotes several underlying positive factors. As a result, the company is now marketable to this new employee’s social network; and, chances are if he or she enjoys the company enough to work for it, this individual will also promote services/products amongst family and friends alike. After accumulating the necessary social capital for the enterprise, CEO’s must continually plan and confer with these team leaders to maintain relationships, oversee departmental projects and determine how the organization will fit in with the ever-changing economic climate and the unmet needs of customers.

Since the overall successes (and therefore failures) are primarily attributable to the employees that are screened and successively hired, it is vital to hire and keep A-Players. As Eric Herrenkohl notes in How to Hire A-Players, “nothing has a bigger impact on the results of your business and the quality of your life than hiring and keeping A-players.” It is noted that these individuals will play an exponential and not incremental role in the business as they will facilitate the overall growth of the company while also sharpening their skills and developing the talent assigned to their department. Herrenkohl also asserts, “a good A-player can take responsibility for important pieces of the business, oversee other people and bring in new business.” Furthermore, it is imperative to note that once these individuals are accustomed to the culture of the organization, they will be able to “move the ball” well in the absence of direction.

Hopefully, after reading this blog you, the entrepreneur, will better understand the importance of having diverse teams over those with a more homogenous makeup; and, the benefits that come as a result. While it may initially be challenging for diverse teams to coalesce, with small efforts on the part of management (i.e. team retreats or team building exercises) individuals can and will grow their sense of involvement and commitment to the enterprise. This in turn can only be more promising as the venture gains stability and eventually elects to expand to various promising markets.

 

References

  Herrenkohl, Eric. How to Hire A-Players Finding the Top People for Your Team – Even If You Dont Have a Recruiting Department. Wiley, 2010.

 

  Lahm, Robert. “Starting Your Business: Avoiding the ‘Me’ Incorporated Syndrome.” EZinearticles, 18 Oct. 2005, https://ezinearticles.com/?Starting-Your-Business:-Avoiding-the-Me-Incorporated-Syndrome&id=84345.

 

  Wasserman, Noam. The Founders Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton Univ Pr, 2013.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Beauty of Diversity: How Building a Team of A-Players will Result in Teamwork and Dreamwork

  1. Always a pleasure to read your posts. You raise a very valuable point about how diversity serves to enhance the quality of social capital. Cultivating ties across diverse demographics is known as “bridging” social capital, and it is absolutely essential not only to individual businesses, but the overall economy at large. In fact, as I mentioned a few weeks ago on my blog, developing bridging social capital is utilized as a core strategy by organizations that work to help underprivileged nations blossom. Of course, as you point out, it also renders companies more adaptable and better equipped to pivot into different markets (something that will prove invaluable as the company scales up and looks for ways to make its shareholders happy)

    • I am so fortunate to have the outlook that our differences can only make us stronger. I am a firm believer that friendships/relationships should be reciprocal. Where I am lacking in skills, perspective, or passion; my counterpart should at the very least excel in one or more of those categories to provide the necessary balance for us both. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to maintain balance and equilibrium and this practice should be utilized in creating teams of employees who will take the business to the next level.

  2. Hi Tiffany,

    This is my first chance to read one of your posts and it was a good read. I would like to challenge you on saying that “homogeneous teams are a no no!!!”. I would counter that homogeneous teams in the long run are a definite no no. Founding teams can be homogeneous as long as they realize that it is a long term weakness. In The Founder’s Dilemmas Noam Wasserman points out that “When founders share a background, they share a common language that facilitates communication”. However this short term benefit will mean that there are more gaps in skills than a diverse team like you point out. These homogeneous teams need to quickly pivot to diverse teams and keep cohesion through the methods you mention like team retreats.

    • Hi Jacob, thank you for posting and for making a valuable point. I do better understand this concept and actually agree that in the beginning this could be a benefit. I just know first-hand that when the original team members aren’t prepared for the changes that the organization may need in the future, this can create tension amongst new hires (who are capable of doing the job) and bring down work morale between the groups of employees 🙁

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