I have been part of a number of start-up teams. Some of them were with close friends, others with individuals that I had been introduced to. Over time, I have noticed that as relationships become deeper and stronger, each team member begins to tolerate the short comings of other team mates a lot more. Subconsciously we do not want to undermine our relationships, this is when productivity and results begin to slide. Being open and speaking up about your concerns with other team members is confrontational and not always pleasant. Most individuals, including myself, shy away from it because it is just so much easier to look the other way rather than being candid.
It is hence essential, from the onset, to establish ground rules, in which everyone is made to feel comfortable enough to talk about these issue’s without fear of damaging relationships. This is something the head of the team has to take responsibility for. In some cases, I have used a one on one feedback with all team mates, to be able to ultimately address key issues with the compiled results. This helps to have open and moderated discussions that can help clear the air on matters that may be impacting the entire team severely and negatively. Other tools, like 360 degree evaluations, are also very helpful in large group settings, where one on one feedback sessions become harder to manage.
If you are a new start-up, or thinking of creating one, have a strategy to keep the lines of communication always open between team members, this will pay significant dividends in the future.