Ideally an entrepreneur would love to inject company's employees with the love of learning and with the thrill of thinking strategically. But, as with any other process, this comes gradually and with the help from the initial team. And that means he or she will need to select individuals to be members of the initial strategy team, which can motivate rest of the employees. So how many individuals do we select? Very Few (less than 5) and you will have a hard time maintaining a high energy level in your strategy sessions. Too many (beyond 12) and your sessions will easily degenerate into tactical, rather than strategic, discussions.
Important criteria for selection of the team should be the fact that selected person is a strategic thinker. And that criteria will drive home a most important point. That your organization values strategic thinking…and thus, strategic thinkers. Also, make sure they’re smart and Visionaries too. Not everyone has a flair for thinking about the future. Be sure that at least a few of the people on your strategy team have such flair. That they both enjoy the challenge and are somewhat skilled at future thinking… at least they’re interested enough that they’re eager to learn.
With these things in mind, you should make a checklist of talents a team member must possess or better still, write up a resume of an ideal team member and while interviewing your candidates, try to match and size them up with your ideal resume. Make sure you give them questions about the real life business issues and situations and ask them, how they will resolve those issues. Test their team participation skills and give them an excercise to envision the company five or ten years from now.
Business Startups generally do not have the liberty of forming an initial team. However an initial team is so important that it can either make or break the company. Be ready to give away a big piece of your company to your management team. This keeps them motivated to perform better to give you the expected results.
Few other steps to follow are:
* Clearly define your expectations to the team
* Explain what is valued in your company's culture
* Foster a culture for learning
* Offer your feedback regularly to your team.
Tomorrow we will discuss the Exit plan for the business.