Predict Performance Using Team Composition
Putting ten musical virtuosos in a room together does not guarantee that you’ll end up with a beautiful song. We know that there are other factors at play such as what instruments they’re given, musical styles, and even compatibility with their conductor. Building high-performing teams for business mirrors this scenario, as bringing together a group of people who are exceptionally bright or promising may not yield the expected results. The best teams are built by ensuring the right person is in the right role at the right time – for the right purpose. We also know that identifying and predicting the best combinations of skills and behaviors doesn’t have to be an expensive guessing game. By leveraging analytics and subject matter expertise, Wethos AI empowers companies to build teams that are highly aligned across individual employee interests and strengths as well as organizational mission, stage, size, and culture. Highly aligned and purpose-built teams are cohesive, efficient, and high-performing. In essence, optimized alignment is akin to striking gold in team dynamics—it's an uncommon achievement that yields exceptional results.
CASE STUDY: WETHOS AI
The team at Wethos AI provides an illustrative example of using team composition analysis to align with organizational factors. Starting with our four behavioral scales (Ideas, Relational, Action, and Order) along with our Strengths Based Approach, we established a set of key elements for predicting ideal team composition. These elements include organizational maturity, funding stage, and size, as well as both short-term and long-term objectives.
Perhaps most importantly, we also include factors that represent company culture so our team continues to reflect our values as we grow. The culture at Wethos AI is defined by agility and self-direction, where we empower individuals to take ownership of their work and lead innovative initiatives. We may be small in numbers but are focused on rapid growth. Emphasizing innovation and continuous learning, we cultivate a growth mindset among our employees, urging them to view challenges as opportunities and failures as valuable lessons learned.
In the short term, Wethos AI is laser-focused on securing Series A funding, a critical milestone for our growth trajectory. To achieve this, we're concentrating on projects and tasks that require team members to think big picture and maintain momentum. This involves strategic planning, clear communication, and an unwavering commitment to our immediate objectives. Our team is dedicated to showcasing our potential to investors, demonstrating the viability and scalability of our AI-driven solutions.
Looking towards the long term, Wethos AI's vision is to revolutionize the way people work through innovation and ingenuity in AI. We aim to be at the forefront of transforming workplace dynamics and efficiencies by predicting human behavior through AI. Our goal is to set new standards for using AI to enhance productivity, creativity, and collaboration in various sectors.
To succeed, we focused on building a team that reflects a combination of creative and abstract thinking with swift and pragmatic execution. Looking at our team, you’ll see that we cluster high on both the Idea and Action scales but that our team is more evenly distributed across the Relational and Order scales. What this means is that as a team, we are big picture thinkers who like to take action. Our decisions are made by assessing a wide range of factors, including interpersonal considerations as well as hard facts. We also balance speed of execution with a drive towards perfection.
Let’s take a deeper look.
Ideas: Innovation & Abstract Thinking
Ideas are the lifeblood of startups, driving innovation and enabling differentiation in the market. Research and surveys conducted by Boston Consulting Group consistently reveal that companies fostering an innovation culture—characterized by embracing risk, encouraging teamwork, and providing autonomy to employees—are 60% more likely to become leaders in innovation. By incorporating team members with a high level of ideation, such as big picture thinkers and those that explore any and all possibilities, startups can foster an environment that encourages out-of-the-box thinking.
As Wethos AI progresses and evolves, individuals leaning more towards the Concrete aspect on the Ideas scale will be critical. Balancing abstract big picture thinking with ideas that highlight systems, resources, and practical constraints is critical as operations and processes mature. These team members are skilled in evaluating and coordinating what is necessary to actualize an idea, determining its feasibility and practicality. This balance ensures that while big ideas are encouraged, it's also anchored in reality and actionable plans.
Relational: Nurturing Connections & Staying On Task
In the context of startups like Wethos AI, where the immediate goal is securing Series A funding, the importance of stakeholder engagement can't be overstated. Effective communication, regular updates, and treating investors as partners are essential strategies in this process. These practices not only help in keeping stakeholders informed and involved but also play a crucial role in building the trust and rapport necessary for a successful fundraising campaign.
Moreover, understanding the different types of stakeholders is crucial for effective engagement. A balanced approach that considers the unique needs of each stakeholder group can facilitate more targeted and fruitful interactions, contributing to the overall success of the startup's fundraising efforts. Recognizing this, at our current stage and need, having members across the relational spectrum is key.
Individuals high on the relational scale bring empathy, essential for nurturing a tight-knit founding team. Those in the middle balance empathy with a practical outlook, preventing insularity. Meanwhile, members on the insulated end keep us focused and on task. This blend ensures effective communication with stakeholders and a well-rounded approach to maintaining momentum and achieving our goals.
Action: Momentum, Confidence, & Trust
In the fast-paced world of startups, taking action is vital for transforming ideas into tangible outcomes. Research in entrepreneurial orientation (EO), which includes aspects like proactiveness and initiative, suggests a positive relationship with organizational performance. EO, characterized by a firm's strategic posture towards innovation, risk-taking, and proactive behavior, can be considered an antecedent of innovativeness and is associated with improved business performance.
At Wethos AI, we foster a culture that values movement, even if we don’t know what the end result will be, propelling us forward with unwavering speed. This requires momentum, confidence in our mission and direction, and an extremely high degree of trust. Our team is composed of action-oriented and goal driven individuals, who thrive when making continuous progress towards goals. The presence of team members with a moderate level of action helps reduce conflict and provides clarity to the group, as those who are highly action-oriented may sometimes overlook details in an effort to move as quickly as possible.
Recognizing the importance of team members who are lower on the action scale who thrive less on immediate action and more on clarity and understanding is crucial. Their approach is vital for maintaining smooth operations as companies mature. Yet, in the early stages for Wethos AI, it's essential to have team members who are comfortable navigating ambiguity and unclear direction, a frequent trait of early development stages. For individuals who prefer complete clarity, the constant uncertainty can be a significant challenge. However, as the company evolves, the inclusion of those who are more deliberate becomes increasingly important. They bring a thoughtful, strategic perspective to moving forward on tasks, ensuring that actions are in line with the long-term objectives of the company.
Order: Balancing Structure & Agility
While startups require a certain level of order to maintain structure, flexibility and adaptability are equally important. The debate around productivity versus perfection in the workplace is multifaceted, with each approach having its own set of challenges. On the one hand, a focus on productivity can sometimes lead to tasks being left unfinished as individuals move quickly to the next task. On the other hand, perfectionism can result in paralysis, delays, and setting impossibly high standards that are difficult to meet.
By distributing team members across the Order scale, Wethos achieves a dynamic balance. This approach ensures that while some members focus on detail and consistency, others bring adaptability and quick response to new opportunities. This combination fosters innovation, maintains product quality, and enhances collaborative problem-solving. Such a diverse team structure is crucial for navigating a rapidly evolving industry and maximizing the team's collective potential.
ADAPTING TEAM COMPOSITION AS ORGANIZATIONS MATURE
As organizations mature and goals shift, teams must also evolve to align with the company's mission, vision, and intended culture. There is no one-size-fits-all ideal team composition, even for a different startup that shares similar characteristics with Wethos AI. We recognize the importance of continuously assessing our team's needs and adjusting tasks accordingly in alignment with our Strengths Based approach. As we mature, we emphasize specialization and depth, bringing in experts to scale operations and expand into new markets. We also prioritize leadership and mentorship, ensuring that emerging talent is nurtured and guided by experienced leaders. By staying true to our strengths-based philosophy and fostering an innovative culture, we can continue to drive growth, attract funding, and achieve long-term success.
Building the perfect team composition for Series A fundraising success requires a combination of high ideation, a spread across relational skills, middle to high action, and a spread across order. At Wethos AI, we understand the significance of having the right people in the right place at the right time. By embracing our strengths-based philosophy and fostering an innovative culture with a full-speed-ahead mentality, we optimize productivity, attract venture capital investment, and achieve exceptional results. As our organization matures, we remain committed to adapting our team composition to align with our mission, vision, and intended company culture. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but by continually evaluating and evolving our team, organizations can embark on a successful journey through all stages of their development.
Boston Consulting Group. (2023). An Innovation Culture that Gets Results. Retrieved from Boston Consulting Group
"Entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance: an updated meta-analysis." Emerald Insight. Available at: Emerald Insight.
Visible.vc. "Stakeholder Management Strategy." Visible.vc Blog. Visible Blog.