Key activities are not to be found in books. They emerge from analysis of the specific enterprise.
Whenever the objective economic indicators of a new venture indicate that the business may double within three or five years, then it is the duty of the founder or founders to build the management team the new venture will soon require. First of all the founders, together with other key people in the firm, will have to think through the key activities of their business. What are the specific areas upon which the survival and success of this particular business depend? Every activity that any member of the group thinks belongs there should go down on the list.
The next step is, then, for each member of the group, beginning with the founder, to ask: “What are the activities that I am doing well? And what are the activities that each of my key associates in this business is actually doing well?” Next one asks: “Which of the key activities should each of us, therefore, take on as his or her first and major responsibility because they fit the individual’s strengths? Which individual fits which key activity?” Then the work on building a team can begin. But all key activities need to be covered by someone who has proven ability in performance.
ACTION POINT: Examine a successful new venture either inside or outside of your enterprise. Was the innovator successful in defining key activities and assigning those to people of proven competence?
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker