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Forbes: We Can Work It Out - How To Build Entrepreneurial Teams For Enhanced Success

30 Sep 2021
Founding team formation affects new venture success.

Originally found at Forbes, by Rajshree Agarwal.

John Lennon was reluctant to team up with Paul McCartney when they first met. For all of McCartney’s obvious talent, Lennon worried about personality clashes, until he discovered how closely aligned they were on their musical ideas. George Harrison was McCartney’s friend from school, but he had to prove both his guitar skills and maturity before being invited to be part of the band. Ringo Starr was the last to join. And he quickly realized that permanent inclusion depended not only on his superior drumming skills, but also getting on the band’s “wavelength.” Ringo notes:  "I had to be, or I wouldn't have lasted. I had to join them as people as well as a drummer."

The Beatles’ origin story and their iconic success during the 1960s is more than just pop-music trivia. It’s a revealing case study in entrepreneurial team-building, and why paying attention to team formation strategies pays off.

The most important challenge facing new ventures is assembling a founding team to execute on an idea. This is also a question established organizations face, whether they are hiring, investing, or partnering. Who adds more value to the team? Someone who fills gaps or someone who fits in? It turns out, the only good answer is both. 

This may sound obvious. Of course team leaders should recruit people who have aligned values and complementary skills. 

But in the real world of small networks and short deadlines where individuals with a perfect combination are hard to find, dream teams are hard to build.  Entrepreneurs and project leaders usually compromise, choosing one or the other.

Continue reading the original article at Forbes.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Also read this AOM Insights summary citing this research.

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Photo credit: Flickr user Frédérique Voisin-Demery under a Creative Commons 2.0 license allowing commercial reuse and modification.