How To Build a Dream Team at Work

If you pulled up any sports-related website or watched any sports news show on TV in the past few days you know that NBA player Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City Thunder and accepted a free agent offer to go and play for the Golden State Warriors.

It’s a big deal because Golden State was already pretty good, now, with Kevin, they look to be unstoppable! Basically, Golden State has built a team with arguably 4 of the top 20 players in the NBA on one team (Durant, Curry, Thompson, and Green). Most ‘great’ teams might have three top players, no one in history has had four when all playing at their peak!

Building a dream team seems to only happen in sports, but you hear talent acquisition leaders and executives talk about it a lot. How do we build a sales dream team, a marketing dream team, a design dream team, etc.? We all want to be a part of a dream team, or be a part of building a dream team for our organization!

So, how do you build a dream team?

1. You have to know how you want to ‘play’. You have to define what it is you want to do. An outcome. A style. “We want the best designed UX of any platform that supports patient safety in a hospital environment.” As an example.

2. You have to know who is the top talent in your industry that can accomplish the outcome you desire.  This is actually the hardest part of building a dream team in a non-sports environment because we usually don’t have comparing statistics or analytics to even start to understand who the best is.

3. You have to be able to recruit those individuals to your team. This is actually easier than in professional sports. In pro sports it usually takes one or two superstars to make a decision to get together, then they help recruit the others. In the real world, it helps to have a well-known professional, but it’s not necessary if you can sell the right story, compensation, and location!

4. Just having the ‘best players’ doesn’t guarantee success, they have to buy into the goal of the entire organization. This means having leadership with a clear vision that goes beyond the outcome. Yes, we want to win a championship, but we want to win that championship together, utilizing all of our strengths. This is another really tough thing in a real-world setting because it takes great visionary leadership.

5. Having a ‘Dream Team’ is about “Team”. You’ll have great talent and that great talent needs to understand that they go nowhere without those who support them to do great work. So, your dream team members have to be servant leaders. If they have great talent and treat people like crap, they won’t end up being a great talent!

I love it when great talent makes the conscious decision to get together and try and do something great. Some people don’t. They would prefer to see one great talent try and do it on their own. I love watching highly talented people get together and see how far they can push the levels of greatness! That’s what dream teams are all about, the dream.

One thought on “How To Build a Dream Team at Work

  1. Tim,
    This is great advice for building a dream team. Number two on the list is so important. You have to be able to identify talent in an organization, this gets passed by too often! Thank you for the great post.

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