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创业的头等大事是什么?

Christy Johnson 2018年09月03日

创业是一场马拉松,而不是百米冲刺。一家拥有明确且大胆的愿景的公司,不仅可以吸引客户,也可以吸引人才。

女人会永远袖手旁观吗? Photograph by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images 

我的团队每一天都会遇到错失潜在员工的公司。人才是,并且能够成为一家公司的战略性资产,然而在任何一家快速发展的初创公司,招聘、留任、培养和放弃人才都并非易事。组建和维护一支顶级团队,比任何人跟我说过的都要困难。我多么希望当初能够拿出与开发产品和市场定位同样多的时间,有策略地解决公司的人事问题。

作为创业者,你要处理各种任务。安排好优先顺序是关键,而你的首要目标应该是为团队招聘最优秀的成员。创业之初,要找到优秀人才并不容易。多数有才华的潜在员工可能正忙于工作,或者并不擅长自我推销。我从以往的惨痛教训中得知,擅长自我推销的人往往不见得多么优秀。一家拥有明确且大胆的愿景的公司,不仅可以吸引客户,也可以吸引人才。

创业者的第二个目标应该是团队维护。争论对团队维护至关重要,但我们需要的是富有成效的争论。我们需要争论,因为它可以促进更深程度的信息处理,鼓励学习,激发创造力,并且可避免群体思维。高绩效团队可以培养建设性的争论,减少破坏性的争论。当你忙于应对客户并且有一支远程团队的时候,很难保持定期的一对一交谈和接待访问。我会预先做好这类安排,并保证一旦确定绝不更改——就像客户和业务开发会议一样。在缺少反馈的情况下,我们往往会设想最糟糕的情况。我不想成为公司的瓶颈,所以定期拿出时间保持团队的良好运转,会大有帮助。

创业者需要牢记有的人并非合适人选,这一点非常重要。我曾在大公司领导过团队,但在我的初创公司,我遇到过更多的类似情况。一名经验丰富的创业者曾经解释说,在创业初期,高人员流动率非常普遍,因为初创公司经常要做出迅速的变化,而有些人并不能接受这种变化速度。通过一些微不足道的事情,你可以观察到求职者在你的公司里会如何工作,比如在面试过程中明确表明公司变化的程度,或者给求职者留一份家庭作业等。我和我的团队正在编制一份关于“你是不是合适人选”的文件,使求职者可以提前进行自我评估。

在人事决策方面,我的行动一直太过迟缓。例如,曾经有一位非常出色的职位候选人,我很想将她招入麾下,但她的薪酬很高,而且当时还有一份不错的工作,结果我花了五个月时间才聘用了她。但她加入公司之后,我的生活马上变得异常轻松,因为我可以将一些很难搞定的事务交给她来处理,而她却能应付自如。另一方面,需要解雇给团队造成破坏性影响的员工时,我也浪费了太多时间。我还在为这个问题而犹豫不决时,公司在客户身上犯了更多错误,核心团队成员也遭到诽谤。六个月过去了,我依旧在解决这些问题。但每次我直接询问新员工的表现,或者直接告诉某位求职者他并不适合这份工作时,公司和其他团队成员都能成功迈上新的台阶。

公司的文化会自然而然地形成,不论你是否关注它。对于公司文化和你看中的员工来说,设立一个远大且大胆的愿景,与产品同样重要。你在最初构建的流程越多越好。我们很快制定出了进行人才筛选、面试、新员工培训和人才培养的清单,每当犯错的时候,我们都会重新审视这些清单。

创业是一场马拉松,而不是百米冲刺。只要我们将衡量指标落实到位,并定期表明意向,便可以驾驭员工的感受。最后,我希望为人们打造一个网站,用来跟踪可持续性等指标——如同我为客户所做的那样。但一位高管曾告诉我,花时间与人进行诚实的沟通,是数据永远无法取代的。要创造进行对话的恰当环境很难,但只要坚持这样做,便可以为你奠定基础,对这个世界产生更广泛的影响。有许多人想要帮助你的公司实现这一目标。不妨寻求他们的帮助。(财富中文网)

本文作者克里斯蒂·约翰逊为Artemis Connection公司创始人。她有7年担任高管的经验,曾在麦肯锡公司担任过近4年高管。克里斯蒂拥有斯坦福大学商学院MBA学位。

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

审校:任文科

 

Every day, my team comes across companies that miss opportunities with potential employees. Talent is and can be a strategic asset, but when you’re a fast-growing startup, it can be really hard to recruit, onboard, develop, and let go of people. Building and maintaining a world-class team is much harder than anyone told me, and I wish I knew to spend as much time getting tactical with the people side of things as I did with developing my offerings and positioning.

As an entrepreneur, you’re always juggling multiple tasks. Prioritizing is key, and your first goal should be to hire world-class team members. In the early days, it takes a lot of work to find them. The most talented potential employees may be too busy working or not great at self-promotion. I’ve learned the hard way that those who are good at self-promotion are often inversely correlated with being talented hires. Having a clear and bold vision makes it easier to attract talent, just like it does customers.

Your second goal should be to retain your team. Conflict is critical, but it needs to be productive. We need conflict, as it can promote deeper information processing, learning, and creativity, as well as prevent groupthink. High-performing teams cultivate constructive conflicts and mitigate destructive ones. When you’re busy with customers and you have a remote team, regular one-on-ones and check-ins can be hard to maintain. I schedule these and hold them sacred—just like customer and business development meetings. In the absence of feedback, we tend to assume the worst. I don’t want to be the bottleneck, so keeping my team moving with some regular time and strategizing goes a long way.

It’s important to keep in mind that some people aren’t the right fit. This has actually happened more at my startup than when I’ve had teams at large corporations. A seasoned entrepreneur once explained that high turnover is quite common in the early days, as there are so many rapid changes, and many aren’t comfortable with the amount of ambiguity or the pace of change. Subtle things like being explicit about the amount of change or giving people homework as part of the interview will let you observe how candidates would work in your company. My team and I are working on a are-you-a-good-fit document so people can self-assess in advance.

Many times I’ve been too slow to move on the people side of things. For example, there was an amazing candidate I wanted to bring on board, but she was expensive and leaving a good job, so it took me five months to hire her. But once she joined, my life became so much easier, as I could give her something I was juggling and she would own it. Other times, I’ve taken too long to ask someone destructive to leave. While I debated how to handle it, more customer mistakes were made and a few damaging comments said to core team members. I’m still fixing these problems six months after the fact. But every time I’ve directly asked a new hire how he or she was doing, or even directly stated to certain candidates that the job wasn’t the right fit, the company and remaining team has successfully moved to the next level.

Culture happens whether you focus on it or not. Having a big and bold vision for the culture and employees you want is as important as the product. And the more process you can build from the beginning, the better. We quickly moved to checklists for screening, interviewing, on-boarding, and developing, and we revisit them every time we make a mistake.

Building a company is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve put metrics in place and send out regular pulses so we can stay on top of how our talent is feeling. Ultimately, I’d love to have a website for people— just like I do for customers—to track things like sustainability. However, as one executive said to me, the data will never substitute spending time with people and having honest conversations. Creating the right environment for doing so is hard, but it will give you the foundation to have a broader impact on the world. And there are a lot of people who want to help your company do it. So let them.

Christy Johnson is the founder of Artemis connection. She has seven years of experience working with C-level executives, including almost four years at McKinsey & Company. Christy holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

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