The “Lean” Team: Doing More With Less

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Ayinla Daniel Avatar

(Chief Editor)

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“You don’t need a ‘big’ team to accomplish big things, you need a team that is effective and deeply passionate about the dream and vision to bring big dreams to life.”

Ayinla Daniel

We can accomplish great things with small teams. 

When I started handling teams, I felt we needed plenty of people to push our vision forward. 

We got a lot of people, but when work began, they were not contributing enough to building the vision.

They didn’t commit wholly to the vision. Even though most of the work they were expected to do was majorly a form of volunteer work.

Maybe I needed to make them understand the vision, or perhaps I also had some personal faults; whatever it was, I was learning one valuable lesson — you don’t have to bring the crowd into your dream-building venture. 

You see, [productive] work rewards us in many ways. It isn’t just about the money. There are other wonderful benefits, even more valuable than money, that we can gain from work, and the most valuable benefit is relationship [community], followed by experience [exposure], then money [may] come in next.

It takes two flints to make a fire.

Louisa May Alcott

When most of us think about work, the first thing that always comes to our mind is money. It’s okay to think about money. Money is good. We need it to drive our dreams; it’s a good motivation [not the ultimate], but just thinking only about money when we work will not only rob us of the true essence of work but leave us at the shore. We will not experience work at a deeper level.

So, this year, I will focus on building lean teams. I will go after genuinely passionate people, not just those with all the experience and qualifications but who have a real passion for adding value to humanity.

There’s this newsletter I read some weeks back. I found out that it was handled by three people. And this newsletter’s effect on countries will make you think they have an army of writers, editors, marketers, software developers, product managers, etc., working tirelessly behind the scenes.

Just three folks consumed by their passion for telling real stories. Isn’t that amazing!?

 The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.

Phil Jackson

I am on the journey to re-engineering my mentality to believe that small teams can accomplish much more. 

You don’t need a sophisticated team. You need a small team that can make doing sophisticated things look easy. 

The world of work is changing drastically with each passing decade. Companies and organisations are focusing more on productivity and efficiency. It’s better to have a team of four or five who are getting the job done than having a team of twenty struggling to meet deadlines and execute simple tasks and projects. 

Mark Zuckerberg Says It All

“The Year of Efficiency”

What makes you a better company over time is being able to execute and do more because you operating more efficiently.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook’s parent company Meta, may have ushered in a new era when he declared 2023 to be the “year of efficiency” at Meta. 

Online media has taunted Zuckerberg to be 2023’s “Chief Chopper Officer” following the massive historical layoffs at Facebook last year and spilling into this year. 

One publication even reported In a headline that Mark Zuckerberg may have caught the cost-cutting bug. 

Meta has employed effective cost-cutting strategies like closing down and merging offices, cancelling projects and dissolving processes, and removing layers of middle management and projects that do not add anything to the company’s overall growth and development.

The recent happenings at Facebook and other big tech companies tell us a lot about the evolving work culture, and smaller companies and startups must learn from it. 

Meta, Paypal, Amazon, Salesforce, Twitter, Tesla, Shopify, Microsoft, Netflix and a host of others are ushering in a new zeitgeist in work with their calculated, intentional massive layoffs, which started last year and is already spilling into 2023. And with the birth of A.I., we will go even deeper into the tunnel of productivity and efficiency, as A.I. is trained to get smarter and smarter, snatching work from the feeble hands of humans, directly translating to more layoffs at different levels. 

Pursuing Productivity and Efficiency, And Preserving Innovation

While we strive to pursue and establish a culture of productivity and efficiency, we must ensure we are not sacrificing innovation on the altar of productivity and efficiency. 

Besides, the essence of chasing after productivity and efficiency is to further enhance innovation and creativity. If, after we have built lean teams, cut down on cost, and established a culture of productivity and efficiency, and yet we cannot preserve our innovative spirit, then we have failed. The whole purpose has been defeated. 

Innovation should be the top most priority of any team, startup or company. 

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

Ryunosuke Satoro

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Ayinla Daniel Avatar

(Chief Editor)

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