Ideas or People

Ideas or People

Harry Beckwith who wrote Selling The Invisible said, “Don’t plan your strategy, plan your people.”

Ideas are not stand alone entities. They don't have their own lifeblood or ability to navigate themselves into a Cirque du Soleil or an Eiffel Tower.

Ed Catmul says this about ideas, "They are formed into thousands of decisions made by dozens of people to eventually make it happen. Every good executed ideas is backed by thousands and thousands of well delivered actions that beautifully collided with one another through time chance and faith. The vital nucleus of all of this is—good people."

  • If you give a good idea to a mediocre team they’ll screw it up.
  • If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team they’ll either fix it or throw it away.

Information is like a tidal wave and so getting the best people.

  • 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century.
  • By the end of world war II knowledge was doubling every 25 years.
  • Today human knowledge is doubling every 12 months.
  • According to IBM the internet will catalyze knowledge to double every 12 hours [source].

In your team members, if you see things that are failing dismally around that person, it's easy to hope and believe that one day they will become this high achiever and instigator. That they'll take initiative and carry responsibility without being asked. As we've heard it said many times before, once someone is set in their ways it's hard to change them.

People over strategy.  Grab onto the good people because if you don’t others will.

Here’s how to do this: Ask a question. How do you rate yourself from between 1-10. Once they give it to you ask them this. What would it take to get you to a 10?

If their answer is outside of themselves, then most likely it will remain that way when you hire them. If their answer is about them being better, then they'll probably always assume responsibility and those are the people you want on your team. [more on this here]

Not everyone can handle a world where info doubles ever 12 hours. Certainly no white paper strategy can.

(photo via abdul rahman)