When we think of entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to think of well-known visionaries like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. Interestingly, while each of these men went on to run very large organizations, we also have a tendency to think of entrepreneurs as being part of very small or one-person organizations.
In fact, though, even very large organizations need the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that can fuel innovation. Building an entrepreneurial team can be a great way to spur that kind of creativity and innovation even in very large organizations.
Here’s how you can help hiring managers think differently about building an entrepreneurial team.
Focus on Complementing Employee Skills as Opposed to Doubling Down on Them
The most important part of getting the right people on a team is realizing where there may be a personal skills gap. “Have an honest conversation about what skills [you] lack,” suggests Patrick Hull, a contributor to Forbes. “The answer to that question is going to help you identify the roles you must fill.”
Managers don’t need to find more people like themselves—they’re already part of the team!
Always Be Looking for Talent
Recruiting a team isn’t a onetime activity that can be checked off a list. It’s not a “one and done” activity. It should be an ongoing focus. Managers should always be keeping an eye out for outstanding people who can bring innovation to the company.
“At times, 100% of your day should be dedicated to recruiting,” writes Highland Capital Partners. “Make it a competitive challenge and give yourself measurable objectives (i.e., three exceptional candidates this week).”
The Team Should be Collaborative but Not Necessarily Close Friends
In an entrepreneurial environment, teams will be spending a lot of time together. It’s essential, therefore, that they can work together, communicate, and collaborate effectively. This doesn’t mean that they need to be “buddies.”
“In general, having close personal friends as part of your core team is a bad idea,” writes Hull. “They’ll often avoid real feedback and simply want to pump you up. Building a team with fellow business professionals you respect and admire is different.”
In a rapidly changing environment, it’s critical that businesses of all sizes—from small start-ups to global corporations—build creative and innovative teams.
Managers play a critical role in that process and need the information and skills to be able to identify gaps and fill them with the right staff and then create and sustain a workplace climate that fuels communication and collaboration.