Running in Circles (pt.1): How forgetting WHO will do it, will make you fail in WHAT you want to do

Thomas Verhoef

In today's fast-paced business landscape, organizations constantly strive for efficiency, innovation, and optimal resource utilization. However, amid ambitious goals and complex workflows, challenges often arise in delays, frustration, and inefficiencies. Addressing these issues head-on is paramount to achieving sustainable growth.

…Annnddd CUT!

We know that it has always been, and certainly now is, challenging to figure out what to work on first. This also has to do with the fact that we've been addressing more perspectives than ever and are now left with a new and difficult challenge where we must figure out what to tackle first. And in doing so, remembering who it is that is being set up to tackle your organization's ambitious goals. I know - some explanation is due. In this blog, I'll make it as blunt as possible to convey the message clearly.

The well-known diagram: Looking for that sweet spot

When you are a product or service company, always remember that you need to build something your end users want, that your team believes it is a viable solution/feature/approach, and that your team can actually build it. You are looking for a sweet spot to innovate in, believing that it entails a long-term advantage and a clear value increase towards your end users.

This slightly alters when you take on the business perspective. Here, we're not talking about one product or service but your business strategy and the underlying variables. It boils down to the same idea, but you are now looking for a product-market fit.

The less-known diagram: What about the people?

To make the point a bit more complex, do the same exercise but focus on your team. Determine if your company culture will make it even remotely possible to build what you set out to.

What do I mean? Find out if you've got the right people on board to launch your business and product/service objectives, even if you've done all the analysis involved. This part is easily overlooked but will determine your win or loss.

Here are some meta-questions that can help you figure out if your culture is set up in a way your people have a fighting chance of winning:

  • Have you hired the right people who desire what your business thinks your end user wants?
  • Do you think your business goals are viable in the face of your culture? Will working towards those goals enforce your cultural spirit, or will it deteriorate it?
  • Do your business goals carry the same cultural values you internally have? Will your cultural spirit even be able to attain your business goals in the long term?

You probably know the quote by management consultant Peter Drucker: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast". This is easily forgotten. Committing to the proverbial 'pot' is not always putting your money where your mouth is. It also aligns all your employees towards the goals you have discovered worth working for - fighting for. Your team is your bread and butter; don't let them make a sandwich they're not ready to eat.

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