The Family Unit

As part of my continuing series of posts about entrepreneurship I’m going to talk about family.

There’s clear parallels between what I consider to be an effective team, and a family. Firstly, I think that effective teams should be small and personable. Secondly, there should be a ‘mother figure’ who people can go and talk to. In the design office of my last employer there was a clear mother figure who had gained his status largely from the length of time that he’d worked there (and yes, mother figures can be male!). Even the managers went to him with problems. He had a soothing influence, and an easy familiarity with the work, and life in general, which made him the ultimate problem solver. Everyone felt dejected when he retired. But remarkably, another person assumed the role as ‘mother’ and all was well again. It may sound strange to someone who’s never observed such a relationship, and maybe its more likely to occur in a creative environment, but all I can say is the team was much stronger because of these individuals.