Teamwork: Lessons from Apple, Yahoo and LinkedIn

Learn valuable lessons on teamwork from leading companies such as Apple, Yahoo and LinkedIn!

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Effective teamwork: The key to success and growth

Effective teamwork is the secret behind the growth and success of the most successful companies in the world. Teamwork is an incredibly important ingredient of the ‘successful business’ recipe.

Take companies such as Apple, Yahoo and LinkedIn for example. All of these companies are well aware of the importance of teamwork. They work hard to promote teamwork and encourage collaboration among their employees.

What can we learn from these crazy successful companies and how they view and foster teamwork?

Lessons on teamwork from Apple, Yahoo and LinkedIn

Here are some valuable lessons on teamwork from Apple, Yahoo and LinkedIn:

Lesson #1: Highlight the importance of teamwork

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”

– Steve Jobs, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

– Reid Hoffman, Co-founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn

Key takeaway: Make teamwork one of your key companies values and continually work on promoting it.

Lesson #2: Teamwork starts at the top

“There is tremendous teamwork at the top of the company which filters down the teamwork through out of the company.”

– Steve Jobs, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple

Key takeaway: Teamwork starts at the top and filters down through every layer of your company. If you want your employees to foster team collaboration, model it form top.

Lesson #3: Trust is the key

“Teamwork is dependent on trusting the other folks to come through with their part without watching them all the time.”

– Steve Jobs, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple

Key takeaway: Hire the best people and trust them to do their job. Team members will hold each other accountable.

Lesson #4: Teamwork leads to innovation

“When you need to innovate, you need collaboration.”

– Marissa Mayer, Former president and chief executive officer of Yahoo!

Key takeaway: If you want to find a new, creative solution for a certain problem, bring (different) people together. Diversity leads to innovation.

Lesson #5: Teamwork is a process

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

– Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

Key takeaway: Teamwork is a continuous process. Team members must learn how to successfully communicate and work together.  

➡️ If you’re looking for more great tips on managing employees, check out our Short Leaderships Tips for Managers!

 

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How to Expand Your Business: 5 Tips for Success?

The way companies grow often confuses first-time entrepreneurs who assume that their business expansion will only concern the workload and manpower. In other words, they assume that the greatest difference between a small and a medium business is the fact that the first one has 10 people in the sales department while the second one has 100 salespeople. In truth, the change that occurs during this transition is infrastructural in nature. As your company grows, you will have to start adding services you never before even considered using. With this in mind and without further ado, here are five things you need to learn about expansion.

Start by networking

By mingling with people from the business world, you will get in touch with agencies to outsource to, potential investors and future business partners. Moreover, you will meet HR experts, IT security moguls and professional recruiters you can come to cooperate with later on. Nevertheless, networking has its own set of rules you would do well to obey. For instance, when the meeting is scheduled, you need to avoid arriving late. Then, you need to avoid talking about what you need as soon as you sit at the table. Finally, give your full focus to the person you’re conversing with. As Robert Breault once said, ”Charisma is not just saying hello. It’s dropping what you’re doing to say hello.”

Tend to your cash flow

The fact that your company is on a tight budget is natural for a young enterprise, yet, it might pose a certain problem in the long run. You see, a tight budget often means that there are not enough funds for innovation. In fact, even if some of your standard equipment breaks down, you can barely afford to fix or replace it. Then, while you’re never late on salaries, bonuses are out of question, which directly impacts the motivation of your staff. In other words, in order for your business to grow, you need to burn some cash but, in order for this to be possible in the first place, you need to tend to your cash flow.

Taking a business loan would be the most logical first step, however, this is often quite difficult for a sole proprietorship (which is a category that most of the small businesses belong to). Therefore, it might be simpler and more effort-efficient to look for personal loans instead. Apart from this, as your company grows, you might feel the need to share this burden with someone, therefore, you might want to look for someone willing to buy equity in your company. In this way, you get both financial and administrative relief at the same time.

Groom your company’s future leaders

As a one-person startup, you don’t have to worry about hierarchy. The same goes when you’re running a small group of employees; however, what happens when you get several teams within your organization or when the number of people in your employ exceeds 20? You can’t expect to still be able to micromanage everything, neither should you. This is where you need someone else to step in.

Here, you have two options to choose from. You can either hire a manager or groom someone from your company to assume this responsibility. The latter is a clearly superior choice, seeing as how it is more frugal and more efficient (no need to get accustomed to a new situation). Nonetheless, this requires a no small amount of foresight.

Talent retention is key

In the previous sections, we mentioned the issue of bonuses and other employee benefits; well, things are even more serious than you might have assumed. If certain requirements or expectations aren’t met, you can expect your employees to start leaving in droves. The greatest problem here is the fact that your best, most capable and most productive employees will be the first ones to leave, seeing as how they have the most options available. Due to the fact that in most companies a small fraction of competent employees does all the work, this could spell a disaster for your company. To avoid this, focus on talent retention as much as you can.

Focus on return customers

At the end of the day, if you really, really want to grow, you need to keep in mind that persuading people to buy from you isn’t enough. You need to make them come back over and over again. For most companies, 8 percent of customers are able to generate 40 percent of the profit, however, with the right strategy, you might even be able to increase this percentage even higher. Furthermore, if the previous customer experience was a positive one, you have a much easier job of persuading them to return. Don’t be too shy to go with a post-sale follow-up. This can range from sending a thank-you email to starting a loyalty program.

Conclusion

As you can see, growing your business is much more than simply expanding its capacities, it’s mostly being able to add new dimensions to your infrastructure when you deem such a thing necessary. In time, merging and outsourcing might also become viable options, nevertheless, this is a story for another time.