Are people the secret to success?

business people imagesWhen I ask people what a business needs to be successful, many of them say ‘hire the best people.’ I definitely agree that you need to hire good people, but I would argue that before people comes product and organization. Without a great product and a solid organization, you won’t have a thriving business. So in my teaching and consulting, I’ve come up with POP – product, organization and people – in that order.

Products are the most important ingredient if you want to have a successful enterprise. If you have a good product, you can have a good business. If you don’t have a good product you won’t be sustainable. It doesn’t matter how you are organized or who works for you. In the long run, customers have to want to buy what you are selling.

Organization comes next because it describes the way things get done. The ‘how’ has to come before the ‘who’.  Until you know what you are trying to accomplish and how it will get done, you won’t know who the right person is to do it.

Imagine a galley on a Roman ship in the Mediterranean with 100 oarsmen. Do you want them all to be strong, or do you want them all to put their oars in the water at the same time? If you get the organization piece right, you will find that it is much easier to hire the right people.

Barney Cohen

President, Business 360 Northwest


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