The Startup Studio Model: The Team

Challenges and Opportunities: The Startup Studio Model

In our previous post we discussed what a start-up studio model is and how venture builders are able to use them to create opportunities, share resources and combine talent. They’re knowledgeable and strategic, they are focused on human capital instead and they hire experienced teams specific to startups in order to create a sense of community between the venture builder and the start-up.

Venture builders have a number of advantages and opportunities available for single startups (not under the umbrella of a venture builder) and venture capitals.

Smells Like Team Spirit: Shared Teams

Being part of highly functional, enthusiastic team can lead to the combined curation of creative ideas and solutions to complex problems. It can be exciting, fun and exceptionally productive. In most cases the founders of venture builders know each other well enough that they are able to communicate without any issues.

Team members are always hired on the basis of not only their skills but also their personality, how they approach certain situations and their ability to adapt. They are faced with challenges and are required to come up with a solution. Similarly to company founders, venture builders usually contain team members with some knowledge of one another in order to effectively gain momentum on shared projects.

The products themselves are not owned by the teams and as they work on several at a time, this can cause issues such as feeling disconnected from one product and more connected to another. Therefore, the work put into one may differ from another.

Teams don’t work for shares, unless they are employed directly for the child company so for some, the motivation might be limited. At a certain point you need to either transfer people from the studio to the child company or hire people specifically for the child company itself.

Multitasking only works when the multiple tasks are relevant to one bigger project, a final outcome.

When we work as a team, we often take one task and chop it up into more manageable pieces and are able to focus on it without distraction.

We multitask as one team rather than as one individual. The brain has two systems of memory according to neuroscientists and “dual task conditions do not reduce accuracy but reduce the amount of declarative learning about a task, which reduces the brain’s ability to retrieve information.” (Ellis, et al., Date Unknown)

When we try to take on the project ourselves, in it’s entirety, as well as several other potentially less important tasks, our priorities are skewed. Attempting to achieve more, in less time, is counterproductive.

Go Team, Go: Dynamism and Diversity

Team dynamism is the key to a constructive work environment and it can sometimes go wrong when teams are put together in a particular situation without suitable or appropriate means of communication.

Another important part of the venture building environment is building this team dynamic in a way that avoids friction, through a combination of inclusive attractive events and situations.

Through diversifying the ways in which teams come together, creating more natural and fun environments for engagement, teams are more likely to motivate one another and discuss projects without unproductive conflict.

It’s important for teams to meet regularly, outside of the work environment but as part of the work day. Something as basic as organizing a meeting in a restaurant rather than a conference room can make all the difference, changing the setting can enable us to think outside the box, to strengthen bonds between colleagues and to encourage creative thinking.

Simply holding a cliché ‘team building’ day or ‘office barbeque’ every year (where an external ‘team building expert’ may come and show you how to fall backwards and catch your colleague) isn’t good enough.

Such strict work events can feel like a chore, they can cause a self consciousness that inhibits conversation. Consequence free environments are much more viable, they encourage the sharing of views and ideas more naturally.

On the other hand, if the dynamics of a team are structurally distorted in some way, if there is an extreme clash in personalities, then this can inevitably lead to challenges.

After all, we’re all human.

Becoming Part of a Team: Communication

Over communication is better than not communicating at all, or communicating in a limited manner but there are some exceptions.

Social expectation and pressure to always be available might be more difficult than it sounds. Teams don’t work without interactions, without them, they can feel isolating and even daunting.

Knowing someone early on can help aid communication at a later date. Apps such as Slack are useful in initiating dialogues between team members and familiarising yourself with different personalities.

Only if apps are used correctly are they able to enhance your interpersonal relationships, if not, they can make things much worse, as illustrated in the article Slack, I’m Breaking Up with You where the author explains that sometimes too many distractions and trying to split your attention in too many directions can cause a major drop in productivity.

We’d Love to Hear from You: Get in Touch

How do you keep team dynamics positive where you work? What kind of challenges have you faced? Please feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below or via social media (send us some photos or videos too), you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, let’s connect!

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