Gimme five – the team growth engine

Almost everybody knows that the team is important, no doubt about it. Kevin O’Leary, founder of shark tank, describes it as one of the three main levers, because nobody encounters all the skills that are needed to start and run a successful company. Hence, a successful team incorporates different roles. The Team Management System is a great tool to find out which roles are currently in the team – and set the foundation of a better understanding why people behave the way they do.

But today I want to explore on a special team set-up. The fundamental for successful growing businesses. Almost every business needs at the beginning three main roles: the inventor, the investor and the innovator. Well the inventor is pretty much the legend of every foundation. The lonely engineer spending hours in his garage with absolute passion to change the world, or at least fly to the moon. He is so passionate, an aficionado for his idea and nearly nothing can stop him. A lot of today’s mid-sized German companies started that way after the world war II. But the inventor alone never made it. Resources are needed and a broad perspective in the future of the invention. Here the investor kicks in. During the late 90ies the start-ups and there investors became quite popular. And today we are back in the gold rush. Everybody is fascinated about the new unicorns. Stars like DiCaprio enters the investor scene and gives the trend even more fuel.

To get the ball rolling the innovator is needed. The one that converts a good idea, the invention, into a working business model. It’s all about execution and the innovator makes it happen. He will bring the right people and resources together and enable the company to make the first step into the market. When Carl Benz invented the first automobile his wife Berta took over the role of the innovator. She drove the automobile out of the garage and demonstrated his capabilities with a 120 km journey. Without this impressive demonstration the invention might never would have taken of.

After a successful pilot-phase two more roles are needed. The first is the lead user. In today’s world often influencer take over that role. They endorse something by usage and/or demonstration. Luis from unbox therapy explains and endorses to over 7 million subscribers of his you tube channel. They spread the word and enable the path to grow the business. Finally the fifth role comes in. The role of scale the business. It’s often driven to a large extend by a clever sales person. Max Hoffman took over such a role when he founded the Porsche America Corporation in 1956, taking over national representation of the brand. Inaugural Porsche Parade in greater Washington D.C or the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race (“win on Sunday, sell on Monday”) where growth ingredients and helped Porsche to conquer a new market.

Take aways: A successful (start-up) company needs five roles: the inventor, investor, innovator, lead-user and the one who scale it. Make sure that they are treated equal with respect and have the freedom to unleash their potential. Plus an impressive demonstration of the capabilities of the invention is always a strong basement for growth. Today’s digital influencer plays an important part.

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