What traits to look out for people in your organization

In your organization, you need people that can contribute to the best of their abilities.

It is important to know which kinds of people you need, and which kinds of members your organization has.

The different abilities people have

Each team member has a different variation of the following abilities.


The first trait is the ability to give a solution to a problem and to execute it.

For instance, if we know that procurement costs need to be reduced and that one way to do it is to negotiate with Supplier A, the person executing will be able to carry out the negotiation according to the standards you set.

Another example is that if you have a sales process in place, you know the client, you have a list of prospects, a salesperson executing will be able to carry out the process according to your definition, and sell your product to your defined audience.

Solving Problems

The second type of trait is the ability to find a solution to a new problem.
You may get experienced from previous projects or a similar situation, but you’re able to analyze the problem and find an interesting solution.

For instance, you know that your sales pipeline is leaking on your website. Only 0,5% of your visitor buys a product from you.
With your existing competence or your abilities to look for solutions, you realize that the website can be improved in a way X and Y that you have defined.

Finding problems to be solved

The third trait is the ability to analyze the environment, an existing market, an existing process, and to find areas of improvement.

For instance, you discover that the lead time to manufacture your product P is 8 weeks, and you can potentially reduce it after you find the right solution to less than 6 weeks.

Organizing priorities in the different problems/solutions to be implemented based on their impact

The last trait is the ability, once you know that many problems need to be solved, to put the ones with most impact first, and prioritize the effort to deliver the maximum results.

You can’t have all people have all the 4 traits at the same time

Most probably in a typical organization, you’ll have most people able to execute, some of them will be able to solve problems that you give them, a fewer amount will be able to participate to the discussion by bringing up problems to be solved, and a handful minority will be able to stack projects and give them the right priority.

To optimize the people and the positions, there are a few actions that we need to pay attention to and consider.

Put the people in the right position

The first and most obvious one is to put the people in the right positions.

You can’t give a person only able to execute a given solution to a key executive role. The person will have missing abilities.

You should not either put your most key employee at the execution-only, as you will waste precious resources.

Develop the skills through training

One thing that can be done to develop your organization’s versatility and empowerment of employees is to train people to become problem solvers, finders of problems, and project managers.

That can be done through:

  • Skill training: to find problems and solve them, you need to know the core part of the skills of the job, benchmarks and best practices
  • Leadership and project management training: to carry out solutions and find problems, you need to have the skills to look for them, analyze them, organize projects and lead people to help you solve them.

Recruit the right people

If the right people are missing, you then need to recruit them.

If you lack problem solvers, you’ll be constantly overwhelmed by the need to provide solutions, you won’t be able to find the next problems to be solved.

The opposite is also true, you need as many people able to look for new problems as you have the right amount of people to execute the solutions.

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