Teams built from diverse backgrounds deliver better solutions
Innovation requires multiple different views aligned towards a strategic goal. The wider the spectrum of experiences available, the more possibilities will emerge. It’s easy to build a homogeneous team. One problem with that is it won’t innovate as well because individuals who have similar backgrounds and experiences are much more likely to propose similar solutions and see challenges in the same way. Another is that they will get paralyzed by unforeseen challenges because their experiences are too uniform to adjust and adapt to overcome them. Having a range of experiences across the team delivers the flexibility and creativity needed to navigate these challenges as they evolve, regardless of what project they’re working on.
I never hire people for a project, I hire them for a team. I start by looking at each individual’s goals and what motivates them, because people work best when their personal goals are aligned with my strategic objectives. If they believe in the overall strategy, they’ll identify challenges, propose solutions, and innovate on their own regardless of the project they’re working on. This gives me liberated and diverse teams who will be more flexible and efficient because they will largely manage themselves.
Self-motivated people will seek out others and form their own teams so they can collaborate together on better solutions. These self-organized teams will resolve their own internal conflicts through candid debates where they feel safe enough to share opinions with each other, precisely because they are each individually motivated and aligned to the same strategic goal.