Some recent self-reflection and mentoring of soon-to-be alumni of my alma mater, St. Olaf, have caused me to think hard about those traits that make a person successful, regardless of the road they pursue.  

Reading Amar Bhide’s “The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses” has prompted me to think about what assets might allow a business to be successful, no matter what road it pursues, both initially and over time. Here is a try at three:

Human Capital – Intelligent and open-minded people are more capable of adapting to the major external changes that determine the life or death of a company, both initially and when it is well-established. Execution and process-oriented people ensure that an organization (profitably) realizes whatever vision it sets out to achieve.  Hire and retain people like this, and you’ll be well on your way.

Social Capital – This all about reputation and relationships. Build a strong brand, and do good by your customers, vendors, and employees. If you do, your ability to introduce new products and transform your business will be greatly facilitated.

Financial Capital – Money, like people and relationships, is fungible. If you can build a strong cash base and/or develop the reputation and relationships required to readily raise money, you can be much more strategic and planful in your execution.

Posted via email from Human Ventures

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