Every day this week, we’ve been discovering who Treacy is and what her daily work and personal life looks like. I’m glad she trusts this process — it’s probably difficult to step back and let us dig around when she’s chomping at the bit to get some ideas on paper. It would be for me, at least. But until you understand the people building something and their motivations behind it, it’s difficult to build a thing that’s going to last.
People who are in a strategic field often feel a lot of pressure to deliver value right away. I got to meet one of my design heroes, Liz Danzico, over the summer, and just eating dinner with her changed the way I think about design and problem-solving. I would jump in with this huge problem I was trying to solve (effective distance collaboration, say) and I would spout out all of my ideas on how to make it better. She would listen. She would ask questions. She would ask more questions. Finally, she would say the most brilliant thing that took me back about a million notches to the core of the problem. Instead of skipping to the end and applying solutions that have worked in the past, she started with the beginning. The very beginning.
That’s what we’re doing with Treacy this week. Julianne and Cali are more of a natural at this than I am. But today, I finally got to eek in a bit of strategy. A tiny bit, but it made me happy.
Today, we took inventory of Treacy’s natural resources. This does two things: first, it helps us see all the parts that we could put together in various ways to create a new business model. Second, it helps us get outside of the usual solutions that we automatically turn to by showing us possibilities that we might not have known existed.
For example, if we see that Treacy has access to a camera person, that greatly expands the possibilities for her content strategy. If we see that she has connections in a particular community that we haven’t considered, we can do some reconnaissance work in that community to see what problems are there to be solved and what marketing opportunities exist.
We’ve come up with eight categories that these natural resources fall into:
- Time & Man-Hours
- Motivation & Enjoyment
- Talent & Skills
- Knowledge & Experience
- Beliefs & Ideals
- Relationships & Connections
- Tangible Assets & Physical Goods
I’ve created a worksheet that gives more detailed explanations on each of these categories and some possibilities to get you started. Download it here.
Happy weekend, everyone! And happy nation-building!