At one point in time, as a child, I thought that I wanted to be an archeologist. I was fascinated with old civilizations, communities, structures and the way things had been done in the past. Everything from the mechanics of building the great pyramids to cities built one over the other in different times. All things that were predecessors to the world we know today.
Each of these civilizations had an infrastructure and a purpose. Each created hierarchies to achieve order and rule and all found ways to communicate, whether in stories passed from one generation to the next, hieroglyphics, stone etchings or early print. Perhaps that same fascination is now transferred to the architecture and engineering of businesses.
The business archeologist of the future will explore our companies, looking for the elements of infrastructure.
- Purpose - What was the reason or the need behind establishing the business? Who was served by the business? Was the product or service essential for life, culture, fulfillment or a component of other businesses?
- Communications - How did the business communicate internally? Did the communications help the business’ viability and the mechanics needed to run the business? Was the company successful in external communications – marketing, driving need, capturing business and generating good will?
- Hierarchies – How effective were the leaders? Were there business rules in place to bring order and efficiency? Were there processes that would survive the people to keep the business viable?
- Environment – Were there environmental factors that impacted the business? These might include: economics, geo-political forces, population, physical limitations, technology requirements, nature and or social acceptance.
- Culture – Was the culture of the business cultivated and nurtured for growth or did it feed on itself to the point of destruction. Was their respect, teamwork, mutual reward and something worthy of commitment and work?
- Mechanics – Did the structure and machinery of the business make logical sense, employ efficiencies, and utilize resources well. Did it have the ability to produce the product with the necessary return on investment required for financial viability? Did it employ state of the art methods for sales growth and customer retention? Were the components maintained and retooled as needed?
- Future State Objectives – Was the company viable for a point in time or business requirement or was it built to morph as needed to continue long into the future. Were there business continuance plans to survive challenges and succession issues?
We hope that you enjoyed and found value in the series. Our December series is a fun one for the end of the year focusing on Strategic Initiatives.