leadership

Are you building with the right blocks?

Are you building with the right blocks?  This question stems from engineering.  Through the ages we have seen the evolution of building materials.  Our ancient ancestors started by using wood then we evolved into using stone, concrete, and steel.  The use of these stronger products allowed us to build higher.  In the age of many business products, it is important that you have a vision for the future to anticipate choosing the right “blocks” for building your team and function.  Just as I discussed in the post “Do you have a sound foundation in your function?”, I would recommend understanding the blocks as it applies to people and business.

People – Culture & Capabilities

Culture – Are you using the right “Why” to engage with your employees and customers?  When building the Culture, starting with the “Why” is required to get your team engaged.  In Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why, he explains that people connect with the “why.”  Per Simon, “Companies that inspire, companies that command trust and loyalty over the long term, are the ones that make us feel we’re accomplishing something bigger than just saving a buck. That feeling of alliance with something bigger is the reason we keep wearing the jersey of our hometown sports team even though they’ve missed the playoffs for ten years and counting.”  Ask questions such as “why does your company exist” and “why do people care?”

Capabilities – What are the future capabilities needed in your team?  Assess where you are going and what you will need for the changes in technology, product, and process?  Example: In manufacturing, process automation and additive manufacturing are here.  Do you have strong external partners or internal resources that understand how to build the equipment and processes around new technologies?

Business – Customer, Data, & Process

If you remember in the Foundations post, we looked at these items in pairs.  In this post we will look at a list of questions that could actually apply to customer, data and process.  Your knowledge of the business is needed to answer these questions in each area.

Can you handle the volume in the future?  It is ok to build a process or data around a small business.  Be aware that as you grow scaling will be needed to maintain the efficiency of deliver to the customers and still retain a reasonably sized staff.

Do you have the right software tools and processes on which to build your business?

Have you built a business process roadmap and communicated the roadmap to your employees?  Remember you have analyzed the foundation.  Will these findings require you to fill the cracks or rebuild the foundation?  In the post After the Strategy Creation…, I suggested communicating your strategy to multiple levels and in multiple forms.

My advice on building ends here because building is business specific and there are many books on this topic.  As a new manager, the thoughts to consider are listed above.

Please give feedback and comments.  An interactive audience enables learning for us all.


This writing is part of a series that I encourage you to read.  In January, I blogged about a framework that a new leader can use to approach a new team.  Last month I concentrated on the Adapt phase.  This month I will concentrate on the Build phase.

ADAPT to & Assess your environment

Adapt! Why not?

What happens when you find yourself without a job?

BUILD on the Base of relationships & habits

Do you have a sound foundation in your function?

CARE for the Culture

DISRUPT with the intentional Advancement

1 thought on “Are you building with the right blocks?”

  1. One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is to build blocks (“capabilities”) which should instead be acquired or purchased from the outside. Building capabilities is a substantial investment, and organizations should only build those capabilities internally which are critical to their future success. No company can and should do it all. For other capabilities, partnering is the way to go.

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