Business is about improvising; it’s about trying new things and seeing how they turn out. At its core, business is about experimenting with your market and researching how you fit into it. There’s more to business than just creating a product and hoping people buy it.
Companies are now responsible for most contemporary research and for progressing science to new heights. There’s no telling where a good R&D team can take your company, your customers, and the rest of the world. Just by doing business, you may accidentally make the discovery of a lifetime.
Yet, just like any kind of team in your company, your research team needs to crafted with care. You need to make sure the right people fill it, and that means learning how to identify when someone would be a good fit for the team. It also means you need to manage the team and lead it to success.
Managing a research team isn’t like managing any other kind of team in your company, though. The people who fill it are tenaciously curious and creative, and traditional management techniques can stifle those qualities. To build a research team, you need to do research and learn what makes a good one.
And to learn what makes a good research team, just keep reading below!
Communication Is Key for a Successful R&D Team
The most important part of managing an R&D team is also the most important part of managing your company as a whole. You must strive to communicate effectively with them, and that means more than just improving your email etiquette. It means adopting policies and practices that help people understand their role in the company.
Communication isn’t just about the words you use to convey messages to people. It’s also about the messages your company sends to its employees and to customers. And it sends these messages through the policies that run it and the kinds of things its brand is associated with.
Be careful not to send the wrong messages to your research team. If they think that your company values something anti-intellectual, for example, they may be less enthusiastic about their work. And enthusiasm is the core of curiosity; without it, your team may never achieve its full potential.
Clarify Roles Within the Team, and Its Hierarchy
Even if there may be different expectations when communicating with your R&D team, it’s still a team in your company. There needs to be a leadership hierarchy; someone should report to you about its progress, and people should report to them. Roles need to be designated and understood for the team to function well.
When you make a new hire, make sure part of their orientation covers the kind of research they’ll be doing. You should also ensure they understood the formal expectations placed on them. They should have no excuse for failing to file a report or do a certain experiment because it should all be covered when they start working on the team.
Connect Research to Overall Business Goals
As a company, you exist to make money. Profit is the call of any kind of company, regardless of whether they have a research team or not. And if you have a research team, you should make sure they understand how their work connects to your overall business goals.
The people who work for you should always understand their role in making the company profit. Whether it’s by helping your company get R&D tax credits or pioneering new products, your R&D team deserves to know how it plays into your goals. And there are several ways to do that.
You could send out newsletters that chart the company’s progress to its goals. Specific individuals within the team may also deserve recognition for their work. Yoru internal communications can highlight the work they do and help instill a sense of pride throughout the R&D team.
Transparency Is More Valuable Than Results
Research is science, whether it’s used to help your company profit or to write an article for a science journal. Science is about validating knowledge; it’s about relentlessly experimenting to verify that some theory is true. Most importantly, it’s about making knowledge trustworthy for the general population.
It’s impossible to make anything trustworthy without transparency. And if people can’t trust the research behind your products, how can they trust your products themselves? It doesn’t matter how much money you pour into research if you try to cover up its methods or results.
Without making your research transparent, your products won’t sell since people won’t be certain if they’re safe or not. They won’t know if you’re trustworthy, and that can hurt more than your sales. It can also hurt your brand, and impact your long-term revenue.
Hire Curious and Ambitious Team Members
The most important part of building any team is hiring the right people for it. You need to find people who have the skills your company needs to succeed. Most of the time, you can find these people online or through research conducted at universities across the world.
Yet, searching for people through those channels only tells you about their skills. Research is as much about the relationships between team members as their skills. To make an effective research team, you need to make sure you hire people with the right character as well as the right skills.
And to learn about a person’s character, you need to talk to them. Interviews are more than a way to tell if a person actually has the skills their résumé claims. They’re also a way to glean into the character of a person, and so be sure to talk to a potential hire before bringing them onto the team.
Businesses Are Always Learning, Like People
People are designed to constantly learn; they’re always learning from their experiences and drawing new conclusions from them. Businesses are the same way, and the better their R&D team, the more they’ll learn. The more that your company learns, the better it’ll perform in your market and the more it’ll grow.
Of course, there’s more to making a successful business than just investing in your R&D team. And to learn more about how to make your company successful just keep reading here!