People, Organization, Work – Pick 2?

One of the first anecdotes my mentor told me when I started my career was, “Time, Money, Quality – pick 2.” For those of you in the business, I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before. And probably made jokes about it. Because, while the point is – you can’t have it all, more often than not, the push for delivery is to bring it all. It’s a never-ending challenge in the business of making and delivering stuff. But in the end, really, there is always a sacrifice.

I’m leading a huge transition at work right now and I’m finding the same sort of challenge. But it’s a different set of 3. I’m finding that the pillars of any group/organization/team are:

“People, Organization, Work”

People being the actual talent that makes up the team. There is an inherent dynamic that you must be aware of because it directly affects – positively or negatively – the culture of your team/organization.

Organization is actually the workflow, the process, the how things get done.

And the work is the work. It’s the stuff that you make.

In huge periods of transition, I feel like the struggle is the same as it is in delivery. Maybe even moreso. You know you have to reasonably focus on all of the 3, but at the end of the day, at any given time, something is sacrificed. Might just be for a day, might be for a week, might even be for a month. But which is it?

I’ll tell you which one I always try for it NOT to be.

Always, always – people. People are the key. If we get that right, everything else will be right. Just takes longer to do it, which is really where the challenge comes in. And, of course, you don’t want to overburden your existing people, because presumably, they are the right people.

So, the pick 2 thing – I’m still figuring it out. It’s a dance that changes on a daily basis. But the 1 I’m grounded in and try to always pick and not sacrifice is the people.

Do you find the same challenge out there? Would love to hear your stories, if so.

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