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How a business is like a tribe

The tribal structure has been in existence for centuries, and more importantly it has "proven to be successful?. What exactly does the tribal structure entail? And how does it relate to modern-day business? John Greathouse renowned businessman and entrepreneur, provides some insightful answers.

There?s a lot to be learned by looking at the past says Greathouse. While businesses are under the impression that what they are doing is new, more often than not their "new? practices are in fact ancient principles that have been adapted to a contemporary setting, he says.

Here John provides a breakdown of the four primary roles in new businesses and explains how these functions are founded on the tribal structures of the past.

The "Hunter?

This person actively seeks, produces and generates revenue. In business this role is often assumed by the sales leader or business development person. "It?s someone out there bringing the meat back for the tribe'. These people thrive under pressure; they are driven and work at a fast pace, however they are not detail-oriented.

The "Skinner?

This individual performs an administrative role and "processes items from the hunter.' The administrator makes sense of incoming business and creates value. "It?s one thing to close the deal; it?s something entirely different to make the deal work'.

The "Shaman?

Better known as the "original innovator?, this individual is responsible for finding better practices. They are analytical problem solvers who look beyond the current situation and analyse the business within the broader context of the economy in order to guide the team down more profitable avenues. They are visionaries, thought leaders.

The "Chief?

In business this individual is referred to as the CEO. The role of the CEO is to keep the group focused and working together. "Their main objective is to keep the tribe in harmony'.

In a start-up business team members are not limited to one role, but the key is to find the area that you specialize in and develop those skills.


For more insights on the various roles in small businesses watch How a business is

like a tribe.

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