Building an organization is like sculpting a piece of marble: you are putting together a group of people that will come together to achieve a set of objectives and create something that has not existed before. Sculpting your organization takes time, effort, and careful thought. It is not something you will be able to accomplish by just hiring and haphazardly putting people together. It is not as easy as that.
You must carefully design what talent the organization requires and then strategically put it together. I view this as more art than science – every person is different, and every organization has varying and unique needs. For example, you might hire someone that you think is great, but it turns out that that person’s skills lie in a different place. Therefore, if you have the room, you find a way where their skills will truly shine.
Likewise, it is also possible that you will find yourself frustrated if you are not achieving your objectives in a certain area. As you research and delve into the problem, you might find that you do not have the right type of talent in the area, and you must hire someone else.
As you keep trying to figure out your special puzzle, with enough persistence, your organization can improve every day.
Determine the Needs Ongoingly
Sculpting is about identifying your needs and finding solutions for them. When you find something that is not working, then you try to address it through a change, which can include altering a process or the responsibilities someone has or by hiring someone new.
Because things do not stay the same over time, we need to constantly be on the lookout for changing demands. As the company evolves and grows, you might uncover a necessity that you never previously had, which is something that is happening to us at our company now. We are currently searching for financial analysts because we need to be able to better manage our financial models. We previously made do with our accounting team, but now we need something more. So, we are searching and filling in requirements that we had not had before this discovery.
When you do not have the internal resources to keep growing, you then must look outside and hire. Luckily, there are always very qualified candidates looking for new positions (although sometimes labor markets are tighter), and your company can benefit from their knowledge. Just hiring is not the answer though. First, you must make sure that the new person will fit into the company’s culture. Often, a person might be a great professional, but they do not match your values and principles.
Also, when putting together a team, it is like building a puzzle. You want to make sure you have the right individual competencies to create a whole that will work together, as you won’t find everything in any one person.
Of course, I advise not going overboard. If your company is growing quickly, you might be tempted to hire too many people to try to solve the problem, but I recommend doing it as slowly as possible to give the organization and the rest of your teams time to adapt.
See If It Worked
Once you have tried something, like a new hire or a new assignment of responsibilities, then stand back and see how it worked. Sculpting requires constant monitoring: ask others what they think and watch for yourself. If something works, then try to figure out what you did well. And if something didn’t work, learn from that, too. The quicker the feedback and the more you learn from it, the better you will get at sculpting the organization you always dreamed of.