Steve Jobs made the following statement in 2007: “All we are is our ideas, or people. That’s what keeps us going to work in the morning, to hang around these great bright people. I’ve always thought that recruiting is the heart and soul of what we do”.
As someone that came from the Apple B2B ecosystem, I could not agree more. The most important questions that I ask myself daily is: Am I involved in meaning work daily that is in alignment with my values and principles? Do I get to spend time with individuals that I like?
Below are my observations and related challenges from having worked with software teams throughout the globe for several years — as well as a practical questions for solving these challenges:
The root-causes of most challenges are in three areas: people, culture, and systems.
People means not having hired the right person for the role — whether local or remote. Essentially, the wrong person which means wrong values, behaviors, experience, and skills.
Culture means not having the right culture for effective problem-solving. Again — wrong or disparate values and behaviors among your team.
Systems means not having the right systems in place for effective problem-solving and continuous improvement. This can be achieved only with the right people and with the right culture — and it is critical in attaining profitable growth around the globe.
Practical questions for solving the above challenges:
People: It all starts with the values and behaviors of the founder or founders. As a founder, can you be trusted? Are you transparent? Are you open-minded? Do you hire smart and experienced professionals that have proved to have similar values and behaviors? What steps do you take to validate your hiring decisions? Do you promote an idea meritocracy so that the best solutions to problems are adopted — regardless of who originates them?
Culture: Again, it all starts with the values and behaviors of the founder or founders. As a founder, have you and your team outlined your values and principles in writing? Do you live them daily? How do you go about problem-solving? How do you determine who should be involved? How do you ensure that you attract the right type of professionals to your B2B SaaS? How do you maintain the values and principles of your culture as you scale?
Systems: Once your get the people and culture aspects in order — then you are ready to set-up the right systems for growing profitably. Do you and your team understand the value of Systems Thinking, Lean, and Agile in “delighting customers”? Do you and your team understand the value of continuous improvement of your product and your systems so to eliminate “waste”? If so — how do you go about these processes in an effective and efficient manner?
Below are a couple practices that have been implemented by @Ray Dalio and his team @Bridgewater Associates: idea meritocracy and quality decision-making via continuous improvement.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.