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Was Steve Jobs wrong? Is your need for A-players degrading your company culture?

Updated: Mar 31


TL;DR Key Takeaways:

  • There's no doubt A-players help drive productivity forward but what are you trading for this?

  • Diverse teams outperform—embracing various skills over just top performers enriches culture.

  • A singular focus on 'A-players' can inadvertently undermine team morale and innovation.

  • Redefining success—valuing continuous learning and adaptability fosters a thriving culture.



Dewdropz asks if your need for A-players is degrading your company culture instead of allowing a more diverse and inclusive culture to be shaped.
Echo chambers form faster than you think.

Steve Jobs once famously said, ‘A-players attract A-players. B-players attract C-players.’ This perspective has shaped hiring practices for years, prioritizing top talent above all else. But this black-and-white view misses the colorful reality of what makes companies truly successful: a rich, diverse culture.


What Defines an 'A-Player' in Today’s Diverse Work Environment? In a world where collaboration and innovation are key, an 'A-player' isn't just someone who meets their targets. It's someone adaptable, a team player, and someone who contributes positively to the company culture. This broader definition recognizes the value of diversity in thought, background, and approach, particularly in a landscape where remote work and tools like Microsoft Teams have transformed how we connect and collaborate.

In pursuing only those deemed 'A-players,' companies risk creating an echo chamber, stifling creativity and potentially ignoring the very drivers of innovation and resilience. The real question isn’t about attracting 'A-players' but about what kind of culture your organization cultivates to nurture diverse talents. Is your culture one that 'A-players' of all definitions are drawn to?


Cultivating an Inclusive Culture Although tools such as Microsoft Teams can help employees connect with each other more easily, we cannot rely on these tools alone and we certainly cannot rely on it to happen automatically. Cultivating the environment for all employees to thrive and grow requires a very intentional effort.


Expanding the Culture Beyond 'A-Players' The emphasis on hiring only 'A-players' under a narrow definition risks sending a message that diversity of thought and background is undervalued. By broadening the criteria and leveraging collaborative platforms like Microsoft Teams, companies can foster a more inclusive environment. This diversity is not just beneficial; it's essential for building a resilient and innovative culture capable of navigating the complexities of today’s business world.


Reflecting on Your Hiring Strategy: Embracing a Culture-First Approach If your hiring strategy is solely focused on attracting 'A-players' under a traditional lens, it might be time for introspection. Consider how your company culture, facilitated by tools like Microsoft Teams, supports a diverse and inclusive environment. Does your strategy enhance or narrow your organizational culture?


The True Measure of Success: A Culture That Values Diversity The definition of an 'A-player' should be as diverse as the workforce itself. A successful company culture is one that recognizes and celebrates this diversity, encouraging every team member to bring their unique perspectives and skills to the table. Microsoft Teams can play a significant role in supporting this culture, offering a platform for diverse voices to be heard and collaboration to flourish.


By rethinking the 'A-player' strategy and prioritizing a culture of diversity and inclusion, companies can become true 'A-companies.' These are organizations where everyone—regardless of their title or role—feels valued, motivated, and integral to the company's success. This approach not only attracts a wide array of talents but also fosters an environment where innovation, resilience, and collaboration thrive.

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