Mixed Skill Sets: The Key To A Dynamic Team

Jon Cowling 11-Feb-2016 10:08:12

Mixed Skill Sets: The Key To A Dynamic Team

The success of any business, whatever the industry, rests to a great extent on the people employed within it. While every business needs talented, hard working individuals to drive it forward, that doesn’t tell the whole story. The right team must have the right balance. As well as the requisite skills to fulfil every role a business or project requires, the importance of personality and diversity must not be overlooked.

Team spirit and a positive working atmosphere are essential to ensuring all of the different skill sets possessed by team members gel together seamlessly.

A workforce populated by a mixture of complementary but diverse personalities is the holy grail, but depending on the size of the team, can be almost impossible to achieve. Compromise will likely come into play, but it’s important that compromises are made in the right places for the good of the bottom line. In certain areas, it may be important for employees to integrate and collaborate well even if they aren’t necessarily the most skilled in their disciplines. In other areas where independent work is key, those workers who may not be as easy to get along with but are very well suited technically could represent the best choice.

New Ventures:

Putting the right mix of people in place is especially important for those starting new business ventures. Recruitment in this instance can be an entirely different challenge from introducing people into an existing team. With a blank canvas, and no existing personalities to base decisions on, recruiting a whole new team can be a minefield. Hitting the ground running is key to startup success, so finding motivated and creative individuals who will instantly form close working relationships is vital.

Even hands-on owners of small businesses must take care when forming a team, ensuring not to take on too much of the workload themselves. In his LinkedIn blog post, serial entrepreneur James Caan warns that it’s “foolish to think that just one individual is capable of running a large organisation on their own.” Delegating management tasks to the right people, those who are implicitly trusted, allows an owner to step away from the business and direct matters from a clearer perspective. Maintaining a contented, productive workforce is perhaps itself the most important task.


Trusting employees enough to delegate effectively can be made a lot easier with efficient recruitment. It’s important to recruit from the top down, ensuring those with the greatest levels of responsibility are right for their roles before working down the ranks. The ideal candidate for each role might be someone who is an expert in their field and gets on perfectly with everyone, but in reality most candidates will be lacking slightly in either aspect. It’s important to consider which team members will be required to work closely with each other and aim to match up their personalities. In some instances this ability to work with one another could be more of a priority than their actual skill level.

Another key consideration in forming the right team is age. For some recruiters, especially when working with startups in more modern industries such as technology, it’s tempting to build a team of young creative individuals. Such employees are vital in any fledgling business but it’s also important to balance talent with experience. Creating a team with a mixture of experience, which usually comes with age, and raw potential can benefit all involved. Promising young talent can especially benefit from wiser, more experienced heads in the team who can aid in its development and ultimately lead to a stronger business.

Underpinning any successful team there needs to be the right infrastructure and software. A positive work environment is dependent on more than just those inhabiting a space; the space itself, and the services it provides are also key to getting the most out of any team.

Finding a space, office or otherwise, that is both friendly yet professional is key to maintaining a productive atmosphere. The more comfortable a workforce feels in its surrounding environment, the more likely they are to put the hours in, and more will get done in that timeframe. Just as important are the necessary tools to best carry out the work and investing early in the right technology is key to the chances of any startup.

A diverse team can also help to achieve this if they have a good mixture of experience with certain software and devices, and are able to share that knowledge with their colleagues.

For more information about our team, read about Who We Are. If you are interested in how dsp have worked with other great teams, check out our Case Studies.