Mike Hammer's 3 Elements of Business Success
1. Capable (not brilliant) people
2. Innovative processes
3. A culture of passion
The idea of Talent is easily misused by giving it too narrow an application.
The most talented engineer will be outclassed by a less technically talented peer if the engineering job they are working on requires a talent for interacting with customers which the latter has and the former doesn't.
IBM proved this in the 1960s and 1970s. Other computer companies had more brilliant people, but IBM had superior processes and people with the right talents and styles to execute them. The result was decades of market dominance.
In football you have plays. In business you have process, the plan of action.
If you do everything in the same way as your competitors, how can you beat them?
You need to be as creative in your process as you are in your products and marketing.
Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. zoomed from nowhere to being the 4th-largest auto insurer in the US by constantly inventing new ways of underwriting, handling claims, and quoting rates.
But, new ways of working are not invented on the fly by people in the trenches. You need to put real effort and resources into creating great processes and making sure that your people know and follow them.
Culture Counts A Lot
Even the best people working with best processes will not deliver results unless they really want to. And, they won't want to unless they are imbued with passion. And it is leadership’s role to create that passion.
You create passion by rewarding people who exhibit what you are looking for (and punishing those who don't), by embodying these values yourself, and by endless, repetitive, relentless communication with everyone in the organization.
People, Process, Passion.
The last one brings to mind crowds waving little red books and must be the toughest to achieve beyond fairly circumscribed limits. More about that later.