Startups hear it all the time. Some investors even call the team the most important piece to their investment. Yes, even over the idea! This idea of building a strong team should be a focus for all types of organizations.
I challenge you to really put some thoughts into how often you have thought about how you’re making your team stronger. Now take it a step further, when was the last time that you acted upon those thoughts? Lately I hope. But if not, I have given you some ideas to get you started!
Find an activity that forces your team to work together. Simply having a team of all-stars isn’t enough (the Yankees show us this all the time). Those all-stars have to get along. They have to know each other. They have to become a family. They have to become invested in each other.
The activity could be a quick two-hour event, a full week, or anything in between. Regardless of what you choose, the more effort you give this, the greater the benefits are. Strong teams…
- Increase efficiency
- Improve performance
- Build competency
- Build trust
- Reduce stress
- Lead to innovation
- Improve service
Examples of Activities:
Kids Against Hunger – Million-Meal Marathon
Kids Against Hunger holds an event every year where men, women and youth will pack one million life-saving meals. The meals packed at the Million Meal Marathon are distributed locally and globally through non-governmental organizations to feed the hungry at home and the starving abroad.
Since my company BizProps merged with our two sister companies Tri-Auto Enterprises and Trace Communications to consolidate as PERQ, I hardly know anything about most of my new teammates. After packing meals for two hours with some of them with Kids Against Hunger, I got to laugh with them. I got to learn who likes to sing while they work. I feel invested in them. Honestly, it was a great two-hour exercise to see how well the team could work together as a unit. It forced us to connect.
smallbox – Factory Week
Intrepreneurship isn’t just good for innovating inside of established companies–it’s a great way to build your team’s strength. My friend Jeb Banner holds Factory Week with his team for an entire week biannually. They work on internal projects at an off-site facility. The intention is to focus on ideas that need outlets, ideas that become projects, projects that need planning, planning as an entire group, and house cleaning. The impact that this week has on their business is huge.
Jeb says that it…
- Gets stuff done
- Impacts culture
- Improves communication and accountability
- Increases their brand awareness
- Gives the team more energy
- And more
You can read more about Factory Week in Matt Hunckler’s great post on Intrapreneurship, and check out the video below for a first-hand look.
A couple of years ago an entrepreneur in the community, Lorraine Ball, told me that she has all of her employees attend a Startup Weekend event once hired at RoundPeg. I think you should follow suit. The weekend is jam packed with serious pressure and competition that forces you to get uncomfortable and trust your teammates or fail.
Startup Weekend events follow a basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.
The next Indianapolis Startup Weekend is November 15th at the Speak Easy.
What other ways do you build your team? Let us know in the comments!