Don’t build a team of hammers

A widely used quote attributed to Abraham Maslow:

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.

Often this quote is attributed to tactics and techniques.  Used to profess the virtues of broadening skills, knowledge and approaches.

But this quote can equally be applicable to teams and team structure. If everyone you bring into a team matches a prescribed criteria then that team will become the hammer, and every challenge will begin to look like a nail.

Understanding and assessing individuals skills, capabilities, personalities and approaches is critical is you want a varied toolbox within your team. Ensuring there is variety whilst maintaining a core of values and goals is where excellence exists.

In the agency world this can be as simple as having a balance of thinkers and doers, or a balance of personalities to match against clients.  Taking it a step further you have profiling tools such as Myers Briggs which will give even more detailed view on individuals and how they can be moulded to compliment one another.

However you achieve it, just make sure you don’t build a team of hammers.