How to Keep High-Performing Cyber Teams Running

How to Keep High-Performing Cyber Teams Running

Written by Phil Armstrong, President & CEO, Macanthium Ventures

How to keep high-performing cyber teams running

My advice from decades of experience on how to keep your high-performing cyber team running as the Great Attrition looms.

Try to remember the best team that you were ever privileged to be a part of – can you still recall how it felt? Do you remember how everything seemed to work out so smoothly? Results were achieved and it just felt right! As the Great Attrition looms, we need to support high-performing teams and help them navigate through the loss of a key player.

Lessons from football (ahem, “soccer”)

One of the best teams I observed was when I was living in England. Most boys of my age were crazy for football (that’s soccer, for those based in North America). At that time in the ‘70s and ‘80s, there was a totally dominant team that hailed from Liverpool. The players wore brilliant red shirts adorned with a gold liver bird embroidered upon their chests. They played such fantastic football! Their team work ethic – combined with brilliantly skillful individuals – contributed to them winning everything in sight. One of their star players was a fiery Scotsman named Steve Nicol. He joined the team in the ‘80s. But in sports, as in “real life”, sometimes your star player joins another team.

Reflections from a fiery Scotsman

I was watching Steve Nicol recently, he’s now a football commentator on ESPN, when he said something that resonated with me and caused me to reflect upon my own experiences. He said (and I am paraphrasing): “When you are part of a high-performing team, it’s easy to think that your competition is simply not good enough. But as team members leave and the chemistry breaks down, performance levels can often drop, causing frustration. Only then do you realize just how lucky you were to be part of a building process, experiencing the harmonization of a myriad of attributes and, ultimately, the actualization of a highly-functioning team.”

The team dynamic can be disrupted by one of the team members leaving or changing roles. Liverpool was lucky to find a successor, but cybersecurity teams frequently suffer through a very different result from key team members leaving. Often, it’s a person that wasn’t necessarily a superstar, but acted as a pivot point or glue factor within the group – an unglamorous, but essential part of the team. Unchecked, this can cause a domino effect of deteriorating team spirit and performance, prompting more people to transfer out or leave.

The Great Attrition

A recent global study conducted by McKinsey concluded that 40% of workers today are actively considering job changes within the next 3 to 6 months. 40%! Clearly the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to what is being termed as the “Great Attrition”.

For teams that comprise hard-to-find, in-demand, and hard-to-retain talent, this could be highly problematic. In today’s fiercely competitive job market, it may take a long time to find the right resource – and you may have to pay a premium to get it. It’s always a challenge to find the right fit of skills and experience.

Imagine losing 40% of your cybersecurity team or key tenured leadership resources. Think how long would it take you to recruit, train, and assimilate replacements.

How do you keep the team functioning after the loss of a key player?

Consider supplementing your cybersecurity team with ISA Cybersecurity consultants and solution specialists. By adding external contracting resources, you can mitigate the risk of rampant competitor poaching, provide stability and continuity, and introduce a calming constant into your team.

Get ahead of the Great Attrition and neutralize its impact

ISA Cybersecurity’s On Demand Consulting Services (ODCS) focus on a simple premise: to provide you skilled resources that are expertly vetted and selected to meet your specific requirements and timeframe. ODCS can help you manage business change, address resource gaps, enable tech transitions, or simply help you keep the lights on during these fast-moving, uncertain times. This is an effective risk management strategy and an affordable talent management strategy. 

Don’t let the Great Attrition and resource churn disrupt that magical formula you have now within your highly performing cybersecurity team. That dynamic is too critical to lose. Contact ISA Cybersecurity today and help keep your team’s performance at an all-time high. ISA Cybersecurity’s innovative On Demand Consulting Services (ODCS) can provide the skilled resources you need to bridge the gap, quickly and reliably.

Phil Armstrong is a Strategic Advisor for ISA Cybersecurity.


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