How To Build The A-Team

This is an important matter. If you read this post and like it, please share it with your friends and fellow entrepreneurs.

Two days ago I was having dinner with friends and we were talking about management and more precisely overcoming the killing dysfunctions that can arise in a company, whether we talk about a 3 or 100 persons organisation. Two things appeared to be obvious:

  • Building the best organisation requires before all to hire the right people and where talent comes second, organisation/team fit always comes first. And it requires a lot of attention to details and a high requirement level not to fall into the exception that will screw your team overtime.
  • It’s obviously true for rookie teams but even the most experienced, talented and genuine individuals can only fit within an organisation if its leaders and managers work towards building the right system. And one isn’t born with this ability.

This sounds obvious and you might think that just knowing that will allow you to be a better recruiter, leader, manager and team player. Unfortunately, like every obvious learnings, you’ll still need to first fully learn the principles, methods and examples and then apply them accordingly. The good news is, two amazing books will allow you to do that just fine if you take the time and the attention to make this right. And I highly insist on the latter. Until you can clearly explain and reflect on those methods and principles as well as put them into practice, you can call your learning process a failure. This is not mean, I just really mean it, ok.

Before you even read those books and start working on building a superb organisation, you need to accept the state you’re currently at which is most likely failing by default. And the best way to accept this state is to honestly reflect on past failures. I’ll start, and then you can proceed with yours :)

In May 2016, we’ve launched the application for an experiment called the No MBA program, a track during which individual talents should have turned into a high performing team of great operators & entrepreneurs. I thought at that time that implicit set of constraints and the opportunity itself were enough to motivate the 5 chosen ones out of 500 candidates. I was so wrong. Each of them was highly capable. But first, I had broken the golden rule by building a team of individual talent. Second, I didn’t manage them thinking that a high level of expectations would be just enough for them to reflect on the opportunity and simply over-deliver. I had probably assumed they had many times watched Karate Kid.

This episode allowed me to understand the real complexity behind team dynamics and management. Luckily enough, our team at Kima Ventures has always been incredibly aligned and autonomous from day one, but I know we can go much further by improving our management methods. And let’s be honest, it’s more difficult than I thought. It’s a daily effort until it becomes a natural routine.

Now that your mind is ready and your amazon prime account active I suppose, it’s time for you to dig further.

  1. I talk a lot about Who: The A-Method For Hiring. This is the one book that I push every single entrepreneur to read. The team is the most invariable function of a company and applying the A-Method will allow you to over-perform in that field.
  2. Last week, Firmin Zochetto, the CEO of Payfit, told me to read The 5 dysfunctions of a team. Not only I’ve read in within the next day, but I’ve ordered right away the suite called Overcoming the 5 dysfunctions of a team. It’s the piece that was missing in the perfect set of books that entrepreneurs must read to hire and run an A-Team.

Just like every learning, don’t try to apply the methods too quickly. Read those books now but reflect on them, understand the meanings of the core principles, make them yours as they have to naturally fit within your organisation.

People is a serious matter. So if you liked this post, please share it with your friends and fellow entrepreneurs.