Hunting vs. Gathering

February 18th, 2014 by Rich Christiansen

This past week I found myself working with a small company that has great product, great technology, and is really a fun company. However, even with all of that on their side they have stalled the last few years and are stuck at the $3 to $4 million-dollar mark.

 

As I observed the CEO and founder of this company in action I was both mesmerized and dismayed. I watched him engage new customers at the trade show, actively pitch sales, and close each deal. Five minutes later he was working on the company’s operations, logistics, as well as the cleanup. He bounced from task to task, from sales to finances, to warehouse management, to pickups and delivery. Seeing him do everything at once was nothing short of a wonder. The entire ordeal was one of the most complex working events I’ve ever seen in my life.

 

I could see at that moment, even as hard as he worked and as fun as that company was, if things didn’t change then this company would never grow beyond the $3 to $4 million-dollar mark.

 

The key reason for that remark is that it is vital to clearly define and distinguish the roles of each individual in the company. It organizes the members of a company into two groups: Hunters and Gatherers. Every organization needs delineated roles. Those that go out and track down the big beast, shoot it, and slay it should not be the ones who prepare the carcass, package it up, and put it in the freezer. The Hunters should also avoid playing the part of the Farmer who tills and prepares the ground.

 

Each role is very different and distinct. So the question that I ask you is this: Are your talents best used as a Hunter or a Gatherer? Every business needs both.  In my experience I’ve found it best if the CEO and the sales team are the Hunters while the roles of operations such as accounting, your general manager, and customer service plays more of the Gathering or Farming roles.

 

Take a look at your organization. If you see yourself bouncing back and fort between being a Hunter and a Gatherer I guarantee you that you are losing significant efficiency and limiting the growth, potential, profitability, and the viability of your company.

 

Today’s Challenge: Assign the role of Hunter or Gatherer to each individual and department in your company and make sure you play your roles well. Doing that alone, I guarantee that you will see a significant uptake in your business and reduction of stress levels.

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