how to assemble a real team The experience of the creator of SKOLKOVO University / Habr

how to assemble a real team The experience of the creator of SKOLKOVO University / Habr

At one time, this photo was on the covers of many magazines around the world. This is what climbing Everest looks like now. Today you can hire porters and Sherpas who will carry some of the equipment for you and make conquering the highest mountain more comfortable. Many actions are repeated by them, and if you are going to conquer Everest with friends or complete strangers, you will definitely have to work a lot, but you can delegate some of the tasks – it is convenient, but can we talk about conquest? Let’s leave this question in the air, and return to the discussion of business tasks.

Climbing all eight-thousanders and jumping with a parachute into the abyss gave Andriy Volkov very valuable insights for business. As shown by one of his successful startups, the Skolkovo School of Management, these insights are very useful.

Greeting! Contact Vitaly Chesnokov, co-founder TEAMLY. We create a platform for collaboration and knowledge management for teams in companies of all sizes. In the autumn, a major service update with AI and smart tables was released. We also develop a culture of imparting valuable knowledge and communicate with experts who share their experience. To learn about the extreme experience of Andriy Volkov and the knowledge gained, you do not need to go to Everest. Just read this article.

Andriy Volkov is one of the creators of the SKOLKOVO School of Management. Today, young entrepreneurs and mothers of big business come to study there in order to gain knowledge and experience of an international level.

Andriy Volkov, one of the creators of the SKOLKOVO School of Management

Andrii Volkov has been professionally engaged in mountaineering for 44 years and received the title of master of sports at the international level. He conquered Everest in the literal and figurative sense: he previously represented the USSR sports mountaineering team. And he considers his passion for extreme sports to be the most important source of knowledge, which later helped him to create one of the largest universities in the country together with his team. How is it related? Andriy Volkov will tell.

I have been engaged in education for the last 30 years. Twice participated in the creation of higher educational institutions from scratch. Half of this term is spent working on the SKOLKOVO School of Management project. Which, by the way, was a real startup in the beginning. I am passionate about mountaineering even now, we go to the Himalayas with students, where we discuss, in particular, topics related to working with knowledge.

A team is a very rare phenomenon

This is such a phenomenon. We hear this word everywhere, it has become somewhat easy, but a team is more than a group of people.

A team is not a group, team, pack, gang, family. The team is a tool for obtaining real knowledge. And knowledge is not information, but a method. It is born in practice and endless reflection.

Although everyone has heard of Everest, it is actually not the most difficult peak in the world, compared, for example, to K2. This peak is much more difficult and has been climbed by an order of magnitude fewer people.

In 1992, the preparation for our first ascent of Everest took 3 months, 18 team members and 10 climbers worked on it. Then we went up the mountain without the help of porters. We did all the work ourselves. We needed a team that performs quite complex work by roles: from conception to implementation.

Knowledge at your fingertips

Looking at my mountaineering experience and experience in creating the SKOLKOVO School of Management, I discovered a non-obvious knowledge, in fact, a scheme for creating a real team.

1 The most important thing is that you need a “beautiful” idea, under which you need to gather people. For routine, ordinary activities, no command is needed. You just need a team of performers, where everyone will do their job. And a team is needed when you don’t know exactly what you’re going to do, when you can’t define roles. You only have an image, model or vision of the task you are going to solve. This requires a special configuration of ideas.

2. Assembling a team is a very difficult task, as a lot of energy goes into conversations. In communication, you must constantly check whether you have been understood correctly. Usually, the traditional approach does not withstand this. We say, enough talking — it’s time to do! It is the cost of this speech that is considered a critical moment for the team to take place.

3 All the time you have to look critically at yourself and return to the starting point. In other words, perform an act of organizational reflection. All the time it is necessary to analyze what has been done, not to congratulate each other, but to answer the question: what were we thinking? How did you work? What should be changed in the way of their activity?

4 The necessary and human component for the team is will and stubbornness. And also approximately similar values ​​and outlook.

If all 4 conditions are met, there is a chance to assemble a team.

This knowledge was obtained for me in a very difficult way. For now it allows me to work and build other projects.

I am sure that knowledge always exists in real practice, and not only in books or transmission of information. And it is necessarily related to the activity or practice that you start.

Knowledge is not a summation, but a method

In parallel with mountaineering, I also do base jumping, which is a crazy activity from a household point of view. This sport requires continuous, salutary (related to life), critical analysis of one’s way of acting.

We are all usually focused on the subject of our activity and rarely think about how we work. We do not pay enough attention to this: in what way, technology or form we do this work. And why the hell can’t we do it? We try to repeat everything again and again, refer to circumstances, lack of resources, bad behavior of people. But sometimes it is useful to pay attention to the way I act: how I work. It seems to me that this knowledge of the way we operate is a powerful tool for launching new projects.

Let’s summarize

  • The team is one of the main components of a successful business. Not a team, not a team and not a family, but a team.

  • Knowledge is not random facts, but what is at our fingertips. You only know what you have done. And they do not always reach us in a formulated form. Sometimes valuable knowledge is the result of long-term reflection of experience.

  • Knowledge is an endless process. There is always room for improvement, and even more so in business.

Are you ready to climb Everest with your team?


Commercial break

We recently held our own conference on collaboration and knowledge management. Experts from NLMK, Sbera, Sheremetyevo, CM Alliance and TEAMLY shared their cases. View recordings of their talks here.

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