by Scott Pansky, Allison + Partners

I’m writing this from a plane, thinking about how to optimize teams. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but sitting down watching the movie Chappie, a quote came up that summarized it perfectly:

“Craft life, don’t let life craft you!”

Our workforce tomorrow, way out in the future, could be robots that have artificial intelligence. But, today and in our immediate future, we will see millennials become 50 percent of our workforce by 2020. And entering into our workforces for the first time is Generation Z.

This isn’t another blog post on how to work with millennials. There are plenty of those written by numerous experts. This is about optimizing your workforce. Not by some fancy method, but by something much simpler, and something that is truly applicable in any business. EMPOWERMENT.

Over the past 14 years, Allison+Partners has grown from a 20 person start-up public relations firm to a global public relations firm with 20 offices and 300 team members. We have won numerous accolades for our efforts to do great work and are consistently recognized for our unique workplace culture that allows talented people to grow.

Our philosophy was simple and developed at a retreat with all of our employees. The culture and the directions were not going to be about the company’s founders, it was going to be about its people. Together, it was decided that it wasn’t going to be about profit, it was going be about great work. Great work would lead to happy clients, great results and enthusiastic and passionate employees.

To make this work, our secret recipe was even simpler: hire great people and empower them to do what they do best. Our one profit and loss model allows our team members to work on accounts they are passionate about no matter where they are and to work collaboratively to provide numerous skill sets that benefit our clients.

Craft life, don’t let it craft you – does it really have to be complicated? You hire people to represent your brand and to bring your visions to life. Your shared vision is designed for growth. By hiring great people, you must trust them, listen to them and EMPOWER them to succeed. Will they be successful all the time? No, but by giving them room to learn from mistakes, they are empowered to grow.

Innovation is driven by freedom to be creative and craft thoughts that have led to some of the biggest breakthroughs, from Gates and Bezos to Zuckerberg and others. Notice something else? All of them built success before they were 30. Entrepreneurs take off the shackles and thrive on the empowerment to be creative.

So how can others organizations optimize their team members?

  • Create a culture that is shared by your team members, not dictated by your leadership.
  • Give your young people the room to craft, and what they build may surprise you.
  • Empower team members to have a voice.
  • Inspire an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Reward collaboration; be careful of the “hero” complex. As they say, there is no “I” in team.

Share with us, how does your company craft life? Share with us your best practices!

Scott Pansky, Co-Founder, Allison+Partners, @spansky

Topics: PR Best Practices Clients Interviews Team Management Young PR Pros