This is the first of five blogs that describe individual roles, individual stratum thinking capabilities and the right organizational structure (or as we say, the Requisite Organization) you need to build your business.

Foundation Principles

1. There are things about you that you cannot change

  • Some people are just brighter than others. It’s not a matter of how hard they try or what school they went to. Differences between us are fixed at an early age, perhaps at conception. Trying harder will not increase your ability to exercise judgment to handle complexity. Each of us is born into a maturation path that takes us into higher levels of stratum thinking capability at a predictable, unchangeable pace.
  • We also have differences in our motivational architecture. Of course, we can all do things we would rather not do and refrain from doing things we want to do. But aspects of our personal value systems are so ingrained that it is unnatural and unsustainable to go against them. Some people have the drive needed to build and grow a company; they are naturally motivated to build businesses and will consistently apply their abilities towards building as complex a business as they are capable of building. Some people will never persistently do what is needed to grow a business and will fail each time they set out to do it.

2. Capacity for judgment

  • Increases continuously with age (for most people), allowing an integration of a wider variety of factors. There are distinct levels of capacity and they relate to distinct levels of business building and practice development.

3. Full capability

  • Generally, we are motivated to exercise the highest level of judgment we have capacity for. So we generally will seek work that uses our fullest capability.

4. Four types of factors vary along with complexity of one’s business

  • Mission – With increasing capacity to integrate we are able to provide a more comprehensive service and we are attracted to working at that level. With maturation, the work of the business owner and of the business integrates at a higher level.
  • Structure – With increasing capacity one can gain increasing leverage from the required support system. Building a supportive organization will maximize the entrepreneur’s earning capacity and job fulfilment. But very few entrepreneurs build the organization they need, and the result is that they do too much work that they do not enjoy or that does not require their level of capability. The money they save by not hiring a support staff is gained expensively. An appropriate structure allows the entrepreneur to do the work most appropriate for them to do, and to delegate the rest of the work.

Also, as the organization becomes more complex requiring a wider integration of factors, the length of the longest task the entrepreneur must work on increases, and they will find it difficult to devote sufficient work towards that longest task unless there is sufficient organizational support.

  • Income ceiling – Each level of complexity of organization has a maximum potential for income generation.
  • Distribution of work – At each level of business, the entrepreneurs spends their time engaged in different types of work.

In the blogs that will follow I describe businesses at five distinct levels of complexity. For each level, I’ll describe the nature of the business, the nature of organizational support required, the income ceiling and the distribution of work they do.

Consider the descriptions of work at each level from three perspectives:

  1. Would the work at that level be so simple as to bore you, so complex as to overwhelm you or pose challenges that are just at your level of capability?
  2. Would you find it interesting and engaging to do work at that level of complexity?
  3. Would you find it interesting and engaging to do the kind of work that must be done at that level of complexity?

Many of us are drawn to do what we believe society expects from us. Some people believe they are expected to grow a large business with a large income. Some believe that all people are equally talented and that it is presumptuous to grow a large business. We suggest you focus on what you can do, what will challenge you and what will give you satisfaction. You want to find your unique ability and harness it to build a sustainable business.

In the next blog I’ll cover how the organization will be represented at Stratum I.