Teamplay: what teammates do you require?

No project will be successful without the help of others. You need partners who bring something to the table professionally and support you personally. How can you find these people? Teams can?t just be put together on the side. This makes the task all the more important. After all, the people with whom you get a project up and running are what you will feel most when implementing your idea.

Example VillageOffice

How do you make the transition from a sparkling project idea to a solidly established organisation? In the case of VillageOffice, this transition took place in several steps.

Step 1:

The initiators of the project, Dave and Jenny, describe themselves as yin and yang.

Jenny is an extrovert, an entrepreneur and, as an operator of a co-working space, an experienced host. Dave, on the other hand, is analytical and has a great interest in social change. The two of them became aware of each other via the LinkedIn platform.

Jenny and Dave met each other in January 2016 for a retreat in the Graubünden village of Ftan. They were each accompanied by three ?doers?, who critically scrutinised all of their considerations.

What they found was that the chemistry between Dave and Jenny was right, with trust being there from the very beginning. The pair became the bedrock of the team.

Step 2:

As seven founders are required for the establishment of a cooperative, the team was quickly increased. All of the new additions had links with one another, were passionate about the issue and were willing to take the risk of founding the cooperative. And they all contributed important additional knowledge to the joint project.

• Jenny: co-working spaces, network, customers

• Dave: legal, business formation, basic financial knowledge

• Susanne: human resources

• Remo: lobbyist

• Yann: network in French-speaking Switzerland

• Andreas: employer (Swisscom)

• Jean: team building


Step 3 Around six months after the founding of the cooperative, it became clear who would continue to accompany the initiative over the long term and who would draw a line under things at the end of the first stage. There was a first switch in the group, with two of the seven members of the core team being replaced at this time.

My 0 to 100 moment:

When you feel that it is simply more fun working together.

How it works

  • Be honest with yourselves:

    What are you able to do and what can't you? And what do you regularly lack time for?

  • Analyse the required skills:

    What expertise is still required?

  • This is also a sales pitch:

    To put a team together, you need to be able to "sell" your idea to potential team members. Don't look for clones of yourselves, but rather people who offer complementary skills.

  • Don't look for clones of yourselves, 

    but rather people who offer complementary skills.

  • Feedback:

    Your team members need to be able to give honest feedback. This is the most valuable resource they can offer and the key currency within the team. This is more important than having the same taste in music.


Ask yourselves: would I be able to live together with this person?

You will need to decide for yourselves whether you actually share your home with your team. What is certain is that working together as part of a pioneering project is an intensive process. And you will experience this for yourself.

Investors and employees of funding institutions know that the team is more important than the idea. You can expect to be watched and for your interaction to be put to the test. If storm clouds appear to be gathering, partners quickly become cautious.

Team play:

this exercise will help you in putting together a team of superheroes and in identifying the core competencies for your project.