An MSP business is going to have many among its ranks who function better independently than they do as part of a group working toward a solution. However, when you take a step back and examine the entirety of a given operation, it is itself a cohesive unit. Perhaps many parts of that unit operate independently, to an extent, but the result is success for all. So even your most independent workers are themselves part of a team: your organization.
Here is the thing: forcing those who prefer a group setting into an individualized setting, and those who prefer an individualized setting into a collective environment can be bad for operations. Sometimes there must be a crossover, but you need to meter that crossover not with bureaucratic arbitrary decisions, but with strategy.
Consider coding, as a for-instance. Many who work in coding are more apt to be effective on their own. However, you can increase that effectiveness if you facilitate an output competition between other coders. A friendly rivalry can make work more fun, while simultaneously producing better results. It is a win-win scenario. If you want to double-down on this strategy, you may put a team of several coders against another team, and have them awarded an incentive based on the group that performs the best during a given period.
Now, this is only an example of possible individualization and teamwork combined. Your MSP business may not even have coders working in its ranks; though it is hard to imagine any IT agency that does not have employees proficient in this task somewhere among its members. The point is, even the most individualistic employees can be utilized in a team setting if such a thing is strategically approached.
The Hybrid Set
Meanwhile, there are certain groups of individuals who combine aspects of individualization and collectivization together. Salespeople are often of this type. The work itself is individually pursued, but in a collective sense as there are often multiple salespeople on the floor, and they are usually in competition with one another even if they are on the same team.
You want to value the Maverick qualities of individual salespeople who are successful because they are going to solve tough problems. However, you do not want to let them get too “western” with it, as it were. An individual doing well long enough without some monitoring is apt to get delusions of grandeur, which can result in poor decision-making. Sometimes it is good to apply gentle pressure, which prods such individuals toward a team setting.
Finally, you are going to have those who are primarily collectivist in their output. Marketing comes to mind in this regard. Marketing professionals must work as a group toward a concerted end, and always have the bigger picture in clear focus. Because so much depends on the overall outcome, many individuals in this area will have difficulty functioning independently but will be more than happy to function doing a certain task for the greater good of the group.
In order to determine who will be best suited for what task, you need to know your employees well, and ensure that they are in the positions that best suit their needs. Outbound sales will be replete with lone wolves, but you must at the very least confederate them into a team of some variety. Coders are also apt to be individualists, but they should themselves work toward the good of your company. Marketers are going to be more apt to collectivized operations.
Of course, you will have statistically outlying individuals in all three groups who are strangely necessary to those groups regardless of their unique qualities. Some of these should be managers and some of these should handle tasks others do not want to. To see the greatest success, you have to carefully monitor and support your employees so that they are enabled to fully flourish in your MSP business. This may require some practice at first, but the more you consider the overall picture, the better you will be at properly designing individual and teamwork management strategies.