4 november 2019

You have a new idea. You enter the market. Your company grows. And suddenly: you experience a loss in revenue. What has changed? And how can human resources make strategic decisions to prevent this? Our advice: always change a winning team. 

>  Change your mindset 

The first step: change the way your management thinks. Convince them to use a condition-effect logic, rather than an action-response logic. It provides better results, although it’s less common. Here’s why. 

If you think according to the action-response logic, you think: ‘If I invest [amount of money], I get [result] back.’ The downside: you focus on numbers and put pressure on the people who have, for example, a million euros to innovate. But if you think according to the condition-effect logic, you say: ‘I create conditions and I‘m open to unexpected results.’ The advantage: you focus on people. For example, invite your employees to brainstorm and see what effect it has. 

Question: are you in control (action-response) or are you in charge (condition-effect)?  

> Change your timing 

Your organisation changes. You make a profit, go through different phases. And to support business growth, human resources should focus on a challenge in each phase: ​

  • Phase 1: grow by pioneering 
  • Phase 2: grow by leading 
  • Phase 3: grow by delegation
  • Phase 4: grow by coordination 
  • Phase 5: grow by excellence 

The most important signal to change? Sebastian Hamers, Human Insight: ‘At the moment you earn the most, you have to innovate.’ Netflix is a great example. In 1997, Netflix was a DVD-by-mail rental business. But would Netflix have had the same success if it still were a DVD-by-mail service in 2019? Instead of an online streaming platform? 

(And can you, in 2019, imagine going through the ‘effort’ of going outside, opening your mailbox, placing your DVD in the DVD player instead of just clicking once?) 

Question: what growth phase is your company in? 

> Change your team 

As an HR professional, you have to set yourself two goals. One: to match people’s talent with one specific phase of the growth curve. Because if you link talent with the growth curve, your employees will do what they do best. And they will do their job longer because they love doing it. For example, an employee who likes to innovate fits better in the first phase: the pioneering phase.

  • Phase 1: ‘I like to innovate.’
  • Phase 2: ‘I like to test new ideas.’ 
  • Phase 3: 'I like to do something.’
  • Phase 4: ‘I like  to focus on results.’
  • Phase 5: ‘I like to follow up on quality.’ 

Two: create diverse teams in each phase. Paul Van Geyt: 'A winning team as a start-up needs a different diversity to grow strategically. Diversity is absolutely important'. A team achieves better results if it's cognitively diverse, if its members have 'different perspectives and information processing styles', according to the Harvard Business Review. And HR can stimulate diversity.

Question: does the diversity match your company’s growth phase?

Change: you either like its impact or not. But you can have an impact on change as well. And it starts by saying: ‘always change a winning team’ when someone says ‘never change a winning team’.

Written by

Maxim Schelstraete

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

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