A perfect marriage. Synergy. The best of the best.
That’s what three serial entrepreneurs thought. Each had a vital piece of the pie. Each had a puzzle piece the others needed.
Ahmad, Hayward and Dai all had started and sold or shutdown several small construction related companies. Because the housing industry is a bit weak, they thought putting their companies together would give them the opportunity to build high end spec houses in the three cities that seem to be doing better. Ahmad was the framing and finishing expert, Hayward had plumbing and electrical and Dai was an architect specializing in expensive custom houses. Together, they had the financial resources to start and work on five houses at a time. Each small company had a few core people.
All together, they had 28 full time employees. They consolidated in the largest facility of the three; Ahmad’s framing and finishing building. Each had one senior person they wanted to add to the management of the new enterprise. Ahmad had a marketing/sales person (Ramadi). Hayward had Clarisse, a design engineer (Hayward was also an engineer). Dai had an office manager/hr person, Susan. The group decided to accept the marketing and sales person and the engineer but collectively decided that the office manager/hr person was not senior enough to be a partner.
So they had an ownership/management team of five plus Susan as a senior associate.
The five started the planning meetings to select cities, sites, designs and price levels. The first few meetings were exciting. Lots of ideas. Robust discussions. Talk of being the innovation leaders in their geographic areas. Thoughts of financial success in a tough industry.
After a few high energy meetings, the group began to realize that they were going to have trouble making decisions collectively as a group. They decided the management committee needed some structure and process. Ahmad was the oldest and have the largest of the three companies so he took the role of the COB (Chairman of the Board – really management committee). Ahmad would be in charge of the agenda and getting the group to finalize plans. Ahmad tried to facilitate the group but he failed miserably. The rest of the group did not accept his attempt to lead. He also was not a good listener and took up too much air time as COB. Clarisse tried to be of help. She tried to suggest some additional structure and add processes to the meetings but was rejected by Ahmad.
Susan was not originally included in the formative meetings but was invited in to see if she could be of help. She observed the group for awhile and suggested some team building activities which all but Clarisse rejected.
The group soured on the venture. Forty five days in, they began to wonder if this was a bad idea. They couldn’t agree on anything. They had wonderful ideas but couldn’t close on anything. Before forming the company, they liked each other a lot and had several social events together. They also worked as subcontractors on housing projects and worked well together. Something had happened. Before they descended any deeper into the valley of death, Dai suggested they invite a team consultant he knew and had used in a previous company. There wasn’t much enthusiasm for the consultant but they reluctantly agreed to listen for an hour.
The consultant listened to the explanation of what they thought the issues might be. She asked some questions and detected that the group had a short attention span. She needed to do something dramatic to catch their attention.
She suggested a quick diagnosis using TEAMOSITY™. Two of the five were familiar with Type and thought that would be fun. Their quick enthusiasm led the rest to agree. They all entered their types.
Ahmad – ENTP
Ramadi – ENTP
Dai – ENTP
Hayward – ENTJ
Clarisse – INTJ
Susan – ESFP
The Type Circle told the story. All five were N’s. 4 of the 5 were Ps. 4 of the 5 were Es. All talk and no action! Good entrepreneur one man shows. Poor team players.
The collective type the group would likely be like was ENTP. Innovative. Lots of ideas. Grabbing for air time. Not listening. Lots of energy. Independent minded. Unlimited discussion. Going off on interesting tangents. No interest in the details.
The team was stunned. The consultant opined that the group could not design and execute a one car funeral much less decide on cities, sites, designs and price levels.
The team all looked at the ENTP/ENTP Type to Type and basically read what their meetings had been like. The Dysfunction/Accommodation Analysis showed the three most difficult relationships all involved Susan, who was the only team member (semi) that argued for harmony and getting along together.
The consultant pointed out the obvious. Getting this group to work smoothly together would be like herding cats. She said the group needed to decide collectively whether each would do what needed to be done to adjust and make the partnership work. She pointed out the good news. An unlimited flow of great ideas. She admitted she was not a high end house expert but all of the ideas they rapidly flew through would have caught her attention as a buyer. They had all of the elements for success.
The group discussed what they wanted to do and they agreed!! to give it a try.
Using TEAMOSITY™, the consultant suggested that Hayward (ENTJ) and Clarisse (INTJ) be put in the role of creating the agenda and managing the meetings and facilitating the decision making. Time would be set aside on every issue for the ENTPs to wax and wane with their many ideas. Rules included one idea burst at a time rotating among the three ENTPs. At a time certain, the decision would be called and majority rules. Susan would be in the meeting but would not be a voting member. She would be called upon from time to time to comment on relationships.
Hayward would also serve as the general contractor managing the resources of the new ventures. Dai, Ahmad and Hayward would manage their own teams on the projects.
The consultant also suggested hiring a general manager so Hayward could concentrate on his own team. Using TEAMOSITY™, the recommended type would be an ESTJ to enhance collaboration, communication, conflict management, planning and more output. Susan has started a search.
The group selected two cities, five sites, three designs and two price points and got to work.