Our Approach to Building a Strong, Complementary Team

Our Approach to Building a Strong, Complementary Team

Jason Stewart
Jason Stewart
5-minute read

Discover how Anthroware founders strategically hired team members with complementary skills to strengthen their business. Learn how embracing planned obsolescence leads to a more efficient and successful company.

Table of Contents:

  1. Embracing the Power of Complementary Skills
  2. Leveraging Synergies and Strengths in Partnerships
  3. Growing Anthroware by Delegating Responsibilities
  4. Cultivating Collaborative Success: Building a Stronger Team

Embracing the Power of Complementary Skills

Hiring mission-critical skills so you can lead your team has helped us tremendously at Anthroware. This topic has been pretty well covered by folks far more qualified than I am (Warren Buffet, for one), but I have a personal take on the topic that I would like to share.

Identifying Weaknesses and Hiring Talent

The basic idea is this: Define where you or your organization is weak. Then, hire people who fill those roles and they will round out your business, its offerings, and yourself. This much seems very obvious, and it is. It’s the most obvious thing in the world to say, “We need a designer, so let’s hire a designer.” But, there are other ways that this applies, and then there are other less-obvious benefits.

"We hired people that render my continuous involvement unnecessary. That trips me out."

The Impact of Addressing Weaknesses

At Anthroware, we've discovered that recognizing and addressing our weaknesses has led to some of our greatest successes. For instance, early on when we realized that our project management needed improvement, we didn't hesitate to bring on a dedicated project manager. This addition not only streamlined our processes but also enhanced communication among our team members and clients. By identifying areas that needed support and hiring the right talent, we've been able to create a more cohesive and efficient team that delivers exceptional results regardless of the project.

Fostering Collaboration and Continuous Learning

Another key aspect of our growth at Anthroware has been fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous learning. We encourage our team members to share their expertise and insights, allowing us to collectively grow and tackle challenges more effectively. This collaborative environment has not only helped us improve our skill sets but also enabled us to adapt quickly to the ever-changing landscape of technology and design. In turn, we've been able to provide our clients with innovative solutions that stand the test of time, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.

Leveraging Synergies and Strengths in Partnerships

I'll give an example: Jon Jones is my partner at Anthroware. He is, by all accounts, the yin to my yang. Where I fixate on details and the behind-the-scenes rhythm, he thinks broadly and isn't afraid to dream. Where I am the proverbial bass player in the band, he's the frontman. You need both. You can't have a frontman in a successful band without a bass player. And a bass player alone doesn't get too far (Victor Wooten excepted, obviously). Without Jon, I wouldn't have had the guts to jump ship and try to create something new. Without me, he wouldn't have had the reality checks along the way that have kept us in business. His strengths are my weaknesses.

The Ripple Effect of Strong Partnerships

There are some less tangible benefits that I've only recently begun to notice. Namely: In a lot of ways, the hires we've made at Anthroware have made my job in a lot of our projects far less important.

This synergy between Jon and me extends beyond our partnership and into the relationships we've built with our clients. We make it a priority to understand the unique needs and objectives of each client, allowing us to create customized solutions that truly resonate with them. We believe that the key to a successful partnership lies in aligning our strengths with those of our clients, ensuring that the end result is a product or service that exceeds expectations and delivers lasting value.

Building Success Through Client and Industry Collaborations

At Anthroware, we actively seek out collaborations with other industry experts and businesses to maintain a competitive edge in our industry. By pooling our resources and expertise, we are able to explore new technologies, methodologies, and ideas that help us stay up to date on the latest innovations in design and development. These partnerships enable us to consistently deliver innovative and effective solutions for our clients, reinforcing the importance of leveraging synergies and strengths in every aspect of our business and ensuring that the voice of the customer is always heard.

Growing Anthroware by Delegating Responsibilities

When we fired this business up, I had to be intimately involved in every project. I had to handle every bit of all of everything related to data. But recently, I've begun to notice that while that work still falls on me in large part, I am not always relied upon to make the stuff work. We've hired developers that have a good understanding of what data is, how the information relates to other information, and the practices and designs that make the data side of a project a success. As I said earlier, we hired people that render my continuous involvement unnecessary, which indeed does trip me out.

Transitioning to Delegation and Growth

The same thing happened with Jon. For the first 1.5 years, he did "project management.” As Anthroware grew, Jon had to work on the business itself more and more; doing any billable work became increasingly difficult for him, and the project management work he was doing began to slip. We identified that as a weakness, found someone far more qualified to do that work, and now our projects run more smoothly than ever before. Our customers always know what's going on, the team knows what they're supposed to be doing, and someone is always following up to make sure it happens.

You need to work on your business while you are getting it off the ground… it’s imperative that you work on your business in order to grow it, and be able to do that with a clear vision. Jon and I both have more time to be primary business designers now and it’s awesome.

The Positive Impact of Delegation on Company Culture

As Anthroware continues to evolve, we've learned that delegation is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy work-life balance for both ourselves and our team members. By assigning tasks to those with the right skills and expertise, we can focus on our core competencies and drive the company forward more effectively. This approach has not only allowed us to manage our growing workload but also to empower our team members to take ownership of their responsibilities and contribute meaningfully to the company's success.

As we delegate more responsibilities, we've seen a positive impact on the overall company culture. Our team members feel valued for their unique skills and contributions, fostering a sense of camaraderie and collaboration. This supportive environment encourages continuous learning and growth, enabling our team to adapt and respond to the landscape of our industry. As a result, Anthroware remains a competitive force in the world of design and development, all while maintaining a strong sense of unity and teamwork.

Cultivating Collaborative Success: Building a Stronger Team

As a business owner, you wear nine-thousand-million hats. It's exhausting. All those hats get heavy. But when you hire your weaknesses, you get to take a hat off and give it to someone else whose head is a better fit for the hat. What a relief it is to render yourself obsolete. And the really sweet side-effect is that you learn to really, deeply trust and appreciate the people you’ve brought into your team.

Embodying Anthroware's Values Through Teamwork

Building a strong, complementary team at Anthroware has been a crucial aspect of our success. Our commitment to "making technology human" extends beyond our client projects and encompasses the way we approach our internal team dynamics. By focusing on the unique strengths and expertise of each individual, we've managed to cultivate an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

One of our guiding principles at Anthroware is "always be improving," which has driven our approach to team building. By constantly evaluating our strengths and weaknesses, we've been able to assemble a team that not only supports each other but also challenges and inspires one another. This continuous improvement mindset ensures that we stay at the cutting edge of our industry, providing exceptional service and products to our clients.

The Future of Anthroware: Strengthening Our Team and Mission

As we continue to grow and evolve, we remain dedicated to nurturing our team dynamics and fostering an environment where everyone can thrive. By valuing the unique contributions of each team member and leveraging their strengths in a complementary manner, we ensure that Anthroware remains a powerful force in the world of strategy, design, research, and software development. Together, we strive to create beautiful products that people actually need, living up to our mission of making technology human. Cheers to planned obsolescence and building a strong, complementary team.

Jason Stewart
Jason Stewart
Co-Founder/ CIO
Santa Rosa, CA

Jason Stewart is Co-Founder/CIO of Anthroware, an on-demand innovation force. Jason leads his team to identify the waste and rework in companies and creates beautiful digital tools that people love to use, while lowering overhead and increasing throughput.