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Onboarding with strengths

On-boarding new staff is always disruptive for the entire team unless you have a conative map of their skillset.

Three weeks ago we had a new colleague start at Beyond. I enjoy it when we welcome new members to the team, they always bring some fresh thinking and a new perspective on how we do things in the company. Mani, our new colleague, also brings an important asset to our company that he wasn’t aware of until after our onboarding process – he has the natural strength to initiate work by designing a system or process.

Below you can see the Team synergy map before and after Mani joined. It describes the percentages of people having the same strength and highlights if we have a missing strength in the team or too many people working in the same way.

Strengths Chart

Mani now fills the last gap in our team dynamic – the strength we all had to go out of our way to make sure we had covered before because no one naturally thought about it. As a team, we now have the benefit of being able to tailor each project team, not only based on our experience and personality but also the specific natural strengths needed for the task.

In the right picture you can see the dynamic of our team as it is today. Naturally, having this broad diversity of thoughts and different ways of working comes with challenges. As a team, we have a natural high conflict level. We will disagree on how to approach projects, in which order things should be done, how much information that is needed, the level of risks we are willing to take etc.

In Mani’s case, I can prepare him that some of us will most probably “break” his systems. Not because we don’t like them or see the value of it, but because we naturally will find a shortcut.

By doing this at the beginning of someone’s employment, you set the scene for being open and honest about each other’s strengths and areas where we need the team to fill in the gaps. It also prepares everyone for the storming phase and acknowledges that conflict will occur but doesn’t have to be bad if it is managed with respect and clear communication.

As part of the intro, I am thinking that people who don’t know Kolbe need an intro of the Team Synergy map? Otehrwise it jumps straight in and could be confusing?

Hutton Henry
Hutton Henry
Hutton has worked with Private Equity Portfolio firms and Private Equity funds since 2015. Having previously worked in post-merger integration for large firms such as Ford and HP, Hutton understands the value of finding issues prior to M&A deals. He is currently the founder of Beyond M&A and provides technology due diligence for VC, PE and corporate investors, so they understand their technology risks before entering into a deal.

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