Six pack of organizational success graphicOne of the things I’ve learned from all of my experiences is that for any project or organization to succeed, you first must have the right people on the bus. The essential “six pack” core consists of a visionary leader, an industry/domain expert, a financial ace, a marketing/sales rainmaker, a tech systems/data wizard, and an internal/external communications/HR magician. They each have to be an all-star. The MVP has to be the visionary leader but without the other 5 to support the vision, the odds of success get longer and longer.

A while back, I wrote out a list of all the projects I’ve worked on and companies/organizations I’ve worked with. It came out to around 400 medium-large projects involving just over 100 companies/organizations. Then I checked to see which projects I would consider to be successful and to what degree (moderately, very, or wildly) and which would I describe as “falling short” or just plain “failures.” Long story short, about 10% of the projects had either 5 or 6 all-stars heading up those six core roles. All of those projects as being either very or wildly successful. And all of them had their share of disruptive bumps in the road (personnel, budgetary, technology, internal politics, “ bad luck”, etc.). But the core talent — the right people on the bus — drove the ball across the goal line.