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Finding the right ingredients for your perfect team


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My talk from The Lead Developer New York 2017.

A great team is a like a great dish, balanced flavors, tastes, textures and smells combine to create something unique and delicious. I’ve made the mistakes of trying to build unbalanced teams either with poor distributions of experience, bad combinations of temperament, clashing skill sets or lack of diversity. I’ll share those mistakes. I’ll also share some of the things I did right (either intentionally or unintentionally) to create the teams that have worked very well. I’ll provide some things to look out and consider for as you build a team or just expand the one you have.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Finding the right ingredients for your perfect team

  1. 1. Finding the right ingredients for the your perfect team Kevin Goldsmith, Chief Technology Officer @kevingoldsmith
  2. 2. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients I’ve learned a lot of lessons.
  3. 3. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients The hard way.
  4. 4. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients The most important thing you will hear from me today
  5. 5. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Be thoughtful. Be deliberate.
  6. 6. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Be strategic.
  7. 7. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Learn. Adapt.
  8. 8. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Be agile.
  9. 9. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Be agile. To a point.
  10. 10. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients People are not software.
  11. 11. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Choosing the right recipe
  12. 12. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Why does this team exist?
  13. 13. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients • Which Skills? • What Roles? • What levels of seniority for each skill? To achieve your mission, what is needed?
  14. 14. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients • Budget? • Time? • Existing people? What are your constraints?
  15. 15. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Every person you hire creates a new team.
  16. 16. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Diverse teams
  17. 17. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients • Diverse teams produce better results • Diversity is along many axes • Personality • Experience level • Human (ie: in your DNA) Diversity
  18. 18. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients • Great ways to understand team • DiSC • SDI (Strength Development Inventory) • Myers-Briggs • 5 Dynamics • Looking to build a set of balanced approaches to problem solving • Create healthy tension Personality Diversity
  19. 19. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients • Balance of experiences and approaches • Create a mentoring culture • Build the next set of technical leaders Experience Diversity
  20. 20. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Spider Maps are great tools for this. Understanding current team strengths
  21. 21. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients
  22. 22. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients
  23. 23. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients
  24. 24. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Create a spider map of the diversity of your current team. Choose any axes that make sense for you. Have you learned anything about the strengths and weaknesses of your current team from this exercise? If you were going to hire someone new, would this help inform for the kind of person that you should look for? Map your current team
  25. 25. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients a parting thought
  26. 26. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Be mindful of the humans!
  27. 27. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients Thank you!
  28. 28. @kevingoldsmith #teamingredients I would love your feedback!