Should we build or should we buy? This is a classic strategy question answered differently depending on what makes the most sense – at least in theory.
In reality, all kinda emotions, ego’s, and hidden agendas factor heavily into whether a company partners with another or goes it alone. Today, during practice 42, one of the teammates questioned another on this very topic. It was a very legitimate question from a concerned colleague. It led to a productive fight. As practice wound down and most in the room were satisfied with the result, one very ccd teammate made a very sincere observation. She said something like, “Chet, this wouldn’t have happened without you. We would have never led this kinda convo on our own. How are we going to learn to do this without your help?” Totally legit. Here’s what I told her and the rest of the team.
The skill of learning to fight to improve imperformance, is a skill you gotta learn through practicing it. Sounds familiar, huh. For awhile I show each client the way, I model it, embrace the pain and suffering, and understand that many will not like it or me, for that matter. Welcome to leading anything. Your job, if you’re a leader, is to realize you are already “That guy.” Stop hesitating and holding back because you are trying not to be “That guy.” Leaders are that guy who brings up hard topics, welcomes hard hits, and doesn’t shut down when others get heated. Leaders calmly hear the heat and don’t add fuel to the fire by either fanning the flames, or pouring cold water and putting it out. BTL Leaders don’t automatically shut down the hard conversation. Normal humans do. Normal humans have a hard time regulating the heat, so they shut it down. Instead, the BTL leaders welcome the honesty and develop the wisdom to know when to let it go, when to let it go on, and when to step in and shut it down. This takes deliberate practice, leader.
Deliberate practice is also required for teams to learn to push, poke, and prod for performance. Sometimes it will backfire. Sometimes it will fall flat. Sometimes it will go too far. Sometimes it won’t go quite far enough. Over time, you and your team will learn. Few teams master the art of moving the tension to it’s rightful owner. Good teams do. These teams have it out in the locker room, if you will. You don’t see this, in other words, unless you’re on such a team, friend.
So, should we build or should we buy? Sometimes, after a good fight, you’re gonna learn that we should build and buy. Either or thinking is so yesterday, isn’t it. Fight to improve performance, friend. Stop fighting to prove a point.
Fight and unite.