How Do You Improve Company Competency to Support Growth? Eight Thoughts

Interview with Scott Dodson, CEO, AirXpanders, Inc.

Situation: Both in the case of a start-up, and when an existing company adds a new business unit, one of the biggest challenges is supporting rapid expansion during market launch. Talent necessary during the product completion phase may not be sufficient to support this growth. What can you do to improve company competency?

Advice:

  • Bring in “been there, done that” expertise to support the current team. In particular, you want to add individuals who have experienced both success and failure in similar markets, and in both larger and similar sized companies.  You want people who can be transformational to a company and not someone who can simply occupy a box.  Give them a chance to do more, add to their toolbox and they will in turn help the company achieve its goals.
  • A wide range of past experience with multiple employers is now seen as a benefit, whereas in the past it may have been a liability. It brings more knowledge to bear.
  • Among people with highly diverse resumes, how do you tell performers from non-performers?
    • Focus on what they did to transform their past company. Did they build alliances, make change happen or improve the organization during their incumbency? Look at ‘how’ they did it.  Chances are, this is a very leverageable skill.
    • Look for doers.  People who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves will make the biggest impact in the organization.
  • Look for people who possess “strategic humility.” Don’t be afraid of mistakes and foster an environment where the boundaries are continuously pushed.  The enemy of ‘good’ is ‘perfect’, and the best companies consistently make ‘good’ decisions.  If you make a mistake, own up to it, learn from it and move on.
  • Look for the ability to assess, develop, plan and mobilize resources to execute the plan.
  • Use LinkedIn to identify people with whom an applicant worked in previous jobs to conduct independent reference checks.
  • You can also use LinkedIn to identify candidates for open positions.
  • By adding resources with these traits to your team, you markedly improve your likelihood of success.

You can contact Scott Dodson at scottadodson@yahoo.com

Key Words: Ramp-up, Growth, Talent, Competency, Interviewing, LinkedIn, Reference Checks 

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