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Maximize Your Team By Making Them…Founders Of Their Own Startup?

Leading People Not ”Resources”

Sometimes one of the best ways to get the most out of your team, and shake yourself out of old management patterns, is to think way outside of the box and re-imagine everything, even if you can’t change it all.

That is the name of today’s game. Chances are, there is a lot of human potential sitting in the hearts and minds of your team, and chances are some of it is unused. This article is about imagining you put those sharp people into one of the environments that tends to demand the most out of someone, and tends to maximize those talents, skills and passions: a startup! Follow the series of questions and at the end take any insights that might help you run your team better. Lets get started!

Imagine you were going to create a whole new startup, with the same people you have today.
  1. Who do you have, and what are they good at?
  2. What else are they good at? Go deeper. What unused/underused talents and skills are beneath the surface?
  3. What skills or personalities do you have too much of and not enough of?
  4. What type of challenge or work makes each of your people really come alive?
Now, imagine you had to use the same people to start a completely new business.
Start-up Startup Creative Notebooks Computer
Before you pick a particular business type or industry, ask:

  1. What are your people passionate about? What types of passions would the ideal business require?
  2. What types of skills? And in what proportion; would you start a business that requires lots of creativity? Lots of bean counting? Lots of customer interaction?
  3. What extra sweet bonuses would you have, given talents people aren’t using today?
  4. Who could manage people? Who could manage systems? Who could build things?
  5. What type of business? Aggressive or conservative? Creative or exacting?
Finally, the fun part: what kind of business would you start?

Now mine the gold

Obviously the point of this exercise isn’t to convince you to ride off into the sunset! Its to think differently about your people.
  1. Who is really good at something you really need? How can you help them do more, within their skillset?
  2. Who has unused skills and passions? Can you use them?
  3. Who is in danger; they aren’t doing their passions, or their skills, or they aren’t contributing much or feeling needed?
  4. Where is your team overweight in one skill, and underweight in another given your business’s needs?
  5. How is your ratio of aggressive vs. conservative people? Creative to detailed?

Now pick the most interesting insight these questions provided and go run a better team! If you need help creating a more effective team, or learning to measure performance with real, human-centered metrics, contact us!

Featured Image: Nick Youngson | CC BY-SA 3.0

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