Are you an executant or an initiator?

Talent management for people, entrepreneurs and companies.

Making a generalization, we could divide the world into two big categories of people: those who are capable of starting things off and those who are able to carry out them.

There are particularly organized people who are very efficient when it comes to carrying things out and there are also other people who are well-endowed with the ability to generate concepts but lack the ability to put them into practice instead. In turn, many people who are well-endowed for carrying something out lack the capacity of coming up with new ideas and many people who are well-endowed for the generation of ideas ‘perish’ in the attempt to implement them.

This is a very fundamental preliminary –if somewhat controversial- observation I make to start my lectures. I often ask the audience: « What category do you belong to? The one in which people are capable of generating concepts or, on the contrary, the one in which people are capable of implementing them? » People from the audience usually answer: « I belong to both». It is not impossible of course, but as there are people who use their right hand more adequately than their left hand or vice versa, so it is also normal that people can be more skilful at carrying things out or at generating them.

The importance of this concept lies in the fact that we should know who we must work with; we should be aware of the fact that people who have a superior ability to start things off need people with a superior performing ability. And, conversely, people who are well-endowed for carrying things out in order to display their value must work with people with the ability to initiate them. Becoming aware of this can also help us to improve our abilities in an attempt to find the opposite side to complement the side we belong to.

This is an observation that covers both the personal and the group or company dimension; what kind of person or company am I? An executant or an initiator? It seems a trivial issue but it is transcendental. In fact, some of the worst business inefficiencies I have been able to observe derive from the fact that they involve «crossed» instead of complementary abilities.

On some occasions we reward entrepreneurs who have a great ability to generate ideas with the responsibility of managing the team and they must develop them within a long span of time, thus ostracizing them. On the contrary, there are occasions on which we reward someone who has introduced a project successfully with creative responsibilities. When people’s abilities are crossed with the position they occupy, we are taking people who are competent -when their positions are well-assigned- to the highest level of incompetence.

Another consequence of this mutual need for initiators and executants is closely connected with the management of human resources within a company. What mixture of people do I need in my company? If I aim at forming an innovation ecosystem, I will need less initiators than executans; the faculty of generating concepts is much faster than the faculty of implementing them.

What happens with people usually happens with groups or companies; for example, Apple is a company which can be clearly considered an initiator and this is why it mixes with companies (developers) which subsequently carry out its projects and broadens its ecosystem. Both types of companies need each other; providing authentic feedback among ecosystems of products and services. Another company with a great ability to command concepts is Imaginarium; from Loop we have exploited this characteristic by defining various collaboration projects, Movistar, Barceló, Aramon Panticosa have been some of the developing members, among others.

This concept is important with young entrepreneurs; when a person starts something off at an early age, he/she runs the risk of crossing his/her abilities; the future entrepreneur finds him/herself at the highest level of energy and at the lowest level of experience.

If I am a young entrepreneur, I will need to work with more mature people with other elements of thought; as well as people with a solid capacity of implementation.

When people or companies are focused on generating concepts, they run the risk of collapsing, of failing to reach the end; on the contrary, when people or companies are excessively focused on the exploitation of concepts they run the risk of ‘drying up’ and ending up trivialized. It is important to take proactively the lead in management between the start of our new projects and the exploitation of existing ones.

On some occasions great success or failures result from becoming aware of certain aspects that seem naïve because of their simplicity but they are loaded with transcendence; reflecting upon our abilities to start off or carry out a task can be the beginning of lining up our environment and effort in the search for success and excellence.




Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

Welcome! from Loop want to share our projects, our vision, our way of doing things, the success of our customers, our news and those who might be of your interest. In this blog you will find notes on methodology, step by step procedures, tools, techniques, news, case studies, lessons learned, thoughts on creating new business models and above all our enthusiasm for contributing to the success of our customers, which is our success.

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