Building Teams
May 30, 2019

How Small Teams Are Powering Big Organizations

Is your organization powered by small teams?

Research from Deloitte shows that a small team-based model is the most effective way for people to get things done. Small teams communicate more effectively and more transparently, and have fewer barriers to finishing tasks.

But how can you build the best small team in a big organization? How can you find the experience, skills, and education you need for specific projects among your thousands of people? Too many organizations these days still silo their employees and require them to navigate a layer of approvals just to speak with someone in another department — if they can even figure out who it is they want to speak to.

At Sift we think it’s time for a new kind of technology that helps build the small teams that are already powering many of the world’s biggest organizations.

Why is picking teams so difficult?

Think about the NFL Draft. Over three days, pro football teams select college players to join their organizations from a pool of thousands.

Let’s say your favorite team desperately needs a quarterback. More specifically, your team needs a quarterback who is at least 6’5” to see over the very large men who will be protecting him, and has proven himself to have amazing accuracy and a rocket arm that results in huge gains per throw because your team has speedy wide receivers.

Great! Your scouting team is now able to quickly narrow down the choices that fit the very specific criteria you have for your next quarterback.

But how would your team pick this very specific type of quarterback if all they knew about candidates was their name and position?

Now imagine trying to build the ultimate team for a new project at the 10,0000-person organization where you work. How do you know who has the very specific skills, experience, and education you need on the project?

Or, let’s say you’re out in the field and you need to contact an expert in another department. Would you be able to quickly do that on your phone? The answer, I’m going to bet, is no.

There’s a lot of amazing enterprise software out there, but it’s simply not optimized for rapidly evolving organizations and new competitive realities. It’s no longer an option to know nothing more than a person’s name, job title, and maybe contact information. Each of your people is so much more, and can be driving innovation and growth at previously unimagined levels. The larger an organization, the more powerful it should be, but that’s rarely the case today.

This is a problem we think a lot about and are addressing here at Sift.

The social enterprise

If you were to click on my LinkedIn page, you’d see a job title you’ve probably never seen before: social enterprise consultant.

It’s a title we created at Sift, but to me it’s the perfect encapsulation of the type of culture many of the world’s most successful organizations are building. They’re working to fully leverage their people. And in this era of mergers, acquisitions and families of companies, figuring out how to optimize and connect every person on the team is a key differentiator to success.

With Sift, we offer a social enterprise, giving you the ability to find the people you need — the ones with the right size, the arm strength or the coding expertise you need.

And that kind of quick person-to-person connection doesn’t just help when you’re picking teams. It also helps promote the flow of knowledge throughout your organization. Let’s say you’re a sales team member out in the field, and you’re having a hard time explaining a technical aspect of one of your products. You can quickly contact a member of your software team with the expertise you need, helping you close that sale. Now that’s leverage.

Social enterprise’s true superpower

There are a lot of benefits to working at a big organization: the budgets, the brainpower, the snacks in the break room. But for many, there’s also an anonymity that can make you feel like you’re a cog in a giant machine.

With Sift you’re able to close that gap. Sift facilitates communication among far-flung departments and offices, and it’s even a boon for onboarding, providing new employees with a means of getting to know everyone they’ll be working with.

Ultimately, it’s the chance to free your people from traditional organizational siloing. That quickly creates more engagement — and in turn a better bottom line. That’s the power of the social enterprise.

Get Our Newsletter

The Forge

A monthly collection of the latest Sift content, thought pieces, and resources, we keep you updated on what's going on in the world of work and Sift.