What’s Missing?

This week I was talking with a founder friend who’s building a new organization. The organization has ambitious goals and is trying to do something that hasn’t been done before. We spent time talking about the team he needs to accomplish this. He feels like a few critical pieces are missing. We ultimately landed on these team-related things as being missing:

  • Incentives – The organization has a clear mission and vision and a defined set of milestones, but the team has started to slip on achieving the milestones. I dug in and realized the team isn’t incentivized to achieve them. Said differently, the team isn’t aligned to mission. They get compensated regardless of performance. Recreating the compensation structure to include payouts based on achieving milestones will align and motivate everyone. It may also help attract high-caliber people for open roles on the team.
  • GSD person – Many small but important things have slipped through the cracks. Sometimes they weren’t caught until it was too late, causing the team to miss milestones. My friend realizes he needs a GSD (get stuff done) person. This person is strategic enough to have high-level conversations but able to execute on high-priority strategic projects. They’re a generalist, meaning they can dive into any area and figure it out. They will report to the CEO and be given the authority to ruffle feathers in the name of getting stuff done.

When you’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done before, sometimes you don’t know what pieces you need, and you figure it out as you go along. It’s like building the plane while you’re flying it. My friend is doing exactly that with his team. I’m curious to see what he implements and whom he hires. I think these two changes will have a significant positive impact on his organization.