Human capital is so important for a startup company. The people in your business are everything, it does not matter what field you are in. The role of founder is how to pick great people (A-players), motivate them, get them excited to come to work every day and lead them to make the best job possible in the most productive way.
Nothing has a bigger impact on your business result and the quality of your life than to build a startup team and find key people for each role. To make up a team, the founder faces the challenge of the mix of cultures and personalities. This decision on who to choose can make or break its effective output and viability.
A homogeneous team includes people who are as similar as possible, with similar points of view, learning abilities and life experiences:
Benefits: take less time to find people. Team members have an easier time of comprehending each other’s verbal and nonverbal communications, have more shared experiences in common.
Risks: the lack of diversification in a homogeneous group stifles creativity and information processing, following “Cognitive Effects of Racial Diversity” published in “Journal of Experimental Social Psychology”.
Heterogeneous teams includes a mixture of races, genders, cultures and ages that provides a wider range of life experiences and opinions. Studies in education, psychology, sociology, and business reach conflicting conclusions about whether homogeneous or heterogeneous team composition provides stronger results, which is unsurprising given the vast number of studies and variables to discuss:
Benefits: create a stronger dynamic within a group. Individuals can be “experts” in roles such as leader, innovator, communicator and peacekeeper.
Risks: difficult to communicate or understand others’ ideas and information. Having a minority of any sort, whether it is a particular gender, race or age group, can lead to feelings of isolation and so loss of confidence or status within the group.
The suitability of homogenizing groups depends very much on the purpose of the team. A team intended to promote cutting edge developments will benefit from grouping high intelligence individuals, but it would also benefit from a mix of cultures and life experiences. Having methodologies for communication and working processes in place early on in the team’s formation can mitigate many problems in both homogeneous or heterogeneous teams.
Hire above your grade, never below. Who will be in business and share the work with you? Who will give the absolute best of them and link to your strategy/goal? However, there are also the challenges such as defining the job properly, putting enough time into the recruiting process and taking enough time to end the hiring process (Ex: 90-day probation period.)
Chapter 4, The Founder’s Dilemmas – By Noam Wassweman
Chapter 1, How to Hire A-Players; Starting Your Business: Avoiding the “Me Incorporated” Syndrome – By Eric Herrenkohl
The Academy of Management Journal.
Cognitive Effects of Racial Diversity” published in “Journal of Experimental Social Psychology”
YouTube Videos: Harvard I-lab Startup Secrets: Hiring and Team – https://youtu.be/vts7vU0rOvQ