As you no doubt have surmised by now, I am a big fan of ABC’s show Scandal. Scandal does a pretty solid job of infusing real life scenarios into it’s fantasy situations. The latest episode showcases what it means to be a part of a team & to support your team members as best you can even in time of crisis. I call this having a great ENSEMBLE cast. OPA aka Olivia Pope & Associates, bands together in order to protect & assist the very woman who created them as an entity. It’s something that everyone WILL benefit from at least ONCE in their professional career & possibly even on a personal level as well.
I believe there are 4 keys to assembling a great ensemble cast when you are hiring or adding to your team that one needs to take into consideration. Carefully taken into consideration, this team will grow your organisation & help it to stand in times of change, adversity, or even in times of struggle.
Organisational Needs: Are you starting a new company, maybe in the process of being acquired? What about growing as an organisation? Due diligence needs to be given to exactly what types of individuals you need in order to achieve the goals that have been set forth. What sort of backgrounds do you want your cast to have? Their strengths, weaknesses, their energy levels…
Roles: What sort of impact do you want these people to have? Identify their strengths/specialities & see how it can directly impact your org. Are they someone you can place your trust in to handle any sort of situation that may arise in the event you are unavailable to do so? Would you hire a math major to handle your corporate communications? Maybe you need a new VP with a different sort of energy in order to consistently motivate & re-focus your time? Maybe it’s a person who is performing one role now, but their really great at other things your org may need to grow?
Group dynamics/Group energy levels: Is there a possibility of any sort of personality clash between the people you are talking about bringing on board? Maybe the energy & effort level of one person does not align with the rest of the team. If that’s the case, is it something that can be addressed & adjusted, or is it a deal breaker & you need to sever ties? I suggest having a meeting of the minds with the people you are considering hiring to get a sense of any potential issues that may arise or how they connect & communicate with each other.
Crisis/Situational Management: This is a bit ambiguous because it’s more difficult to adequately predict which situations may arise you may have to defend, defer, or deflect against. How will these people you are considering adding possibly react to a stressful situation? Is your corporate strategy in alignment with your goals & how such crises are to be handled? Identify BEFORE a situation such as this arises so that you are all on the same page as a team. Discuss scenarios that may come up & talk to them about how you would prefer it handled, also taking into account that they may have valid suggestions about how best to handle these types of situations. Talk about dealing with the media & establish & affirm on a consistent basis exactly how you want the person who is assigned to handle such matters is to address/handle them. Also ensure that there is a backup individual who as a clear understanding of what needs to be done as well…This is just like the monthly fire or air raid drills many of us have participated in as children. It’s NO different. The key is to have a CLEARLY defined policy.
It’s essential that these 4 things be addressed when building, re-building, or even breaking apart your ensemble cast. You need to know that the people you have hired or are hiring make up just the sort of team you need to ensure your company’s growth, prosperity, & longevity.