Monday, October 31, 2022

6 Work Activities Are Required For Business Success

Office workers checking papers with pen in officeAfter many years in business, I’m convinced that none of us has the strengths and interest in all the areas needed for success, including solution changes, finance, marketing, and operations. Trying to do everything is a sure way to maximize stress, lower job satisfaction, and minimize productivity. We all need to play to our strengths, and team with others for complementary needs.

If you are a genius at invention, for example, then that is the role you should seek to keep you motivated and productive. If you are not sure of your best fit, like many people I know, I just found help in a new book, “The 6 Types of Working Genius,” by Patrick Lencioni. He brings real-life insights from his organizational health work with thousands of business leaders around the globe.

I like his model and examples from the field to help you identify the type of work that is your forte, and will likely bring you joy and energy, rather than frustration and burnout. I will outline here his six required activities of every successful business to get you started down the right path for you:

  1. Wonder: identify the value and need for change. This early stage is often called the idea stage, best populated by people who see the need for change early, or always have a vision for unmet opportunities, or a better way to do things. Idea people often don’t get funded as entrepreneurs, because a new business is all about results, not just ideas.

    It’s important to remember that your passion for a new idea needs to be supported by market research and customer feedback, before you will get the credibility and support you expect to work at this stage. I recommend that you start online to find data sources.

  2. Invention: create a solution that satisfies the need. If your relish the challenges of creating an innovative solution or business model, then this is the type of work you must seek. I find many technologists fit well into this category, but most of them are frustrated by required interfacing to real customers, managing business finances, and marketing.

    In my experience, competition is the biggest challenge here. If you are satisfying a real need, there are others who see the same need, and may also be working on a similar solution. Timing is important, and communication with your customer set is critical.

  3. Discernment: evaluate and refine the solution. Activities here include building that first minimum viable product (MVP) without breaking the bank, and getting feedback from customers on required changes and usability. In my experience, pivots are usually required in even the best situations, and it takes a special skill to make the right tradeoffs.

    If this type of work is your strength, I’m sure you understand the need to focus on a niche first, rather than trying to satisfy the broadest possible market. This work requires market feedback, managing trials, and working with the sales team as well as developers.

  4. Galvanizing: rally a team and customers for action. Even the best solutions require marketing and motivating advocates these days, with the rise of instant global competition, and flood of alternatives available via the Internet. Great people leadership and communication skills are critical here, as well as managing an organization.

    Rallying the team also requires that they be rewarded for progress and success. Some people are very good as defining metrics, roll-out programs, and reward systems for marketing and sales programs. Assess your satisfaction and ability for this type of work.

  5. Enablement: provide support and human capital. These activities require a focus on building relationships with and hiring the right partners for your business, providing funding and facilities, and managing cash flow. Satisfaction comes from the gains you get from highly engaged teams, and the revenue and brand scaling to new marketplaces.

  6. Tenacity: make sure desired results are achieved. If you are a problem solver at heart, who never gives up, and enjoys setting and beating deadlines and metrics to show success, then this category of activities is for you. For some people, having and following a repeatable process is satisfaction, while for others, it is winning in a changing world.

Overall, I can easily extrapolate work mismatches in people’s interests and fit to the appallingly low engagement levels I see in the workplace today, as well the high failure rate for new startups. You can help change all this, as well as improve your own well-being, by realistically assessing your own skills and interests, and actively seeking the right roles at work in every opportunity.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on on 10/17/2022 ***



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