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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dealing with the People problems

"A happy workforce is a productive work force" JJ Lee UMO

Dealing with people problems

The composition of any early stage / VC funded company will have a mix of ability, attitude and ego, hopefully you have aligned some off these characteristics in the team through you initial recruitment, but everyone won’t be the same and you should make sure you don’t have the same type off folks on board the team.

The very nature that the company is Venture Capital funded makes the dynamics very different from your traditional organization, you have to do more with less, and you are continually in invention mode, not only for the product / service but also the day to day things that keep your company running.

I am never scared to hire someone better then myself, because I understand that I am not the worlds greatest at everything, every founder / company executive needs to understand this very early on during the open doors phase and plan for the future. It is common knowledge that the management team that starts a company will not be the one that takes the company to maturity, there are different skills involved in both teams, one is visionary and entrepreneurial the other bottom line focused.

The one thing that I find most difficult to understand in the founding teams is there inabilities to handle people and people situations. These will always come back and bite your bum if you do not deal with them upfront; there is a tendency to have the ostrich syndrome or they have a ”hit person” who takes care off the problems. I have seen this in to many organizations and seen the impact of the poor management result in a lot of closed doors. The founders need to be able to deal with people, all groups off people from the receptionist (fount of all knowledge), to the cleaner (fount of all gossip) , to the board and investors, and be able to tell someone they are wrong or to tell someone the are correct.

The company you have started is only as good as the weakest link, the weakest link will not stand up and tell you who they are, you need to find out and fix it, but it does not stop there, once one is fixed another will surface. The best thing a founder can do for his stake holders and share holders is communicate informally and show by example for the rest off the team , a strong and active man management policy that looks after and takes care off the employees, and that may mean letting someone go.

Keep the questions coming and I will see you class on Friday



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