Christian Busch, Co-Founder of Sandbox – Creating a winning team
Sandbox is one of the fastest-growing global networks of young achievers. Targeting young people between 20 and 30 years old, it has grown its membership to 500 people across 44 countries – and this since its launch in May 2009! NACUE was delighted to welcome its co-founder, Christian Busch, to NSEC 2011 Reshaping Britain.
Often the success of a company is attributed to one leader, like at Apple. Many people will be able to name the company’s CEO, Steve Jobs, whilst most will not be able to recall prominent team members. Whilst the wider team driving the enterprise may not receive similar media attention, all successful organisations are built upon successful and winning teams. Christian drew from his experience at Sandbox to share certain best practice in this session of how to build a winning team.
The future success of your company is determined by the people you include in the enterprise. In fact this also goes for your personal life – most people are driven and influenced by their peers and I don’t doubt that most of you reading this probably have at least 2 or 3 friends who show a similar ambitious flair and strong visionary ideas like you do.
In an organisation, these friends translate into employees. So to maximise the value of employees, leaders need to create a corporate culture that demonstrates to new employees the strategy and vision of an organisation, thus imparting ownership and in essence, co-creating a job, instead of merely creating a job.
So let’s start with finding these people. Attracting good talent is a skill and most organisations are moving away from the traditional channels to ones based on trust, peer-advice and networks: personal introductions, participation at external events, advisory networks and social media present themselves all as useful tools for sourcing the right talent. These bypass heavy application procedures and candidates are often referred on grounds of trust.
The above is especially useful for enterprise leaders looking to recruit new committee members this term. Think about what tools and strategy you will implement in order to reach the people who think could help steer the society forwards. Sometimes these people may not be so obvious to reach.
Whilst the aforementioned highlights how to reach out, Christian emphasised that finding the right people correlates to the offering you are making. The best organisations allow their employees to co-create, by offering opportunities for personal self-development, working flexible hours from flexible locations and most importantly, allowing employees to pursue personal projects. Motivating a team is thus dependent on how you respond to your team members’ needs, as well as responding to the organisation’s needs.
To see true impact and success, all members of the team must buy into and believe in the organisation’s mission. The benefits of a team where the members work towards an aligned mission is invaluable; and the corporate culture must reflect this in order to create a united team. If everybody is given the chance to have input and thus impact, the loyalty to the organisation can only be strengthened.
There are certain roles to be played within teams and Christian pointed out that like in every group of friends, family or cast of actors, people have roles to play. In support of this point he referred to a piece of interesting academic work – a study that shed light on the roles needed to build a balanced team. The model assesses how individuals behave in a team environment and which roles are crucial for ensuring the success and balance of a team.
Christian shed some interesting light on tips and best practice about team balance, motivation and success. The theme I observed throughout his entire presentation was the breaking-down of traditional HR policies and structures. Successful and fast-growing organisations like Groupon and Sandbox no longer rely on strong hierarchies or rigid work structures within their working environment. With a world in full globalisation not only are we breaking down barriers of space and time, but also cultural and traditional barriers at work. Other organisations like Google have long since adopted policies that reflect employees’ needs, by allowing them to develop personal projects for instance. If anything, Christian’s presentation shared insight on how corporate and enterprise cultures are evolving towards co-creation of organisations and thus a more inclusive environment. This can only be promising news for a next generation of leaders who are looking to elevate and leverage not only their own impact, but also of that of their employees.