Team at the core of success of any startup
At HighTechXL, we truly believe that anyone who has an idea and wants to improve the lives of others, deserves a chance to become an entrepreneur,” Soetermeer said as she opened her speech.
Openness to diversity is mirrored in the HTXL team itself: 28 people from 13 nationalities, of which 55 percent are non-Dutch and 45 percent Dutch, with a male-female ratio of 60/40.
“The only sustainable differentiator between your company and your competitors is your team. Everything can and will be copied. But a team can’t be copied.”
Besides, everything in a startup revolves around the team, according to Soetermeer.
Who is responsible if a startup runs out of cash? The team.
Who is responsible if a startup develops a product with no market need? The team.
Soetermeer enumerated eight elements necessary to build a successful high-performance startup team:
• sense of purpose
• open communication
• trust and mutual respect
• shared leadership
• continuous learning
• flexibility and adaptability
• effective working procedures
Diversity should be hot for any startup
Soetermeer explained diversity has been a hot topic in the business world for decades: “I want to state six reasons why diversity should be hot.”
Diversity increases profitability:
Research (McKinsey, 2018) shows gender diversity increases innovation revenues by 21% and ethnic diversity by 33%.
Diversity prevents group think:
Group think is a psychological phenomenon which happens to homogenous teams … they tend to bond so tightly together that it’s not possible to have a different opinion anymore.
Diversity is the key to winning the war for talent:
"Baby boomers are leaving their jobs and there is less talent coming in. So we simply can’t afford anymore not to take in more women … but also other, different profiles in our organizations.”