Getting the Right People on the Bus
“Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Jim Collins’ quote from Good to Great is now famous, and powerful in its simplicity and logic. Yet it is not easy to accomplish.
Dakota Resources (formerly South Dakota Rural Enterprise) operated out of my home office for many years with contract administrative support and a contracted credit officer. We started out with the Capital Investment Fund as our only product. We were purely a financial institution making capital available to development organizations in South Dakota. We have become so much more by being responsive to the needs of our market and being willing to take calculated risks to meet those needs. None of it would have been possible without the caliber of the members of our board of directors over the years and their commitment to rural South Dakota.
One of the things we learned early on is that capital is not the only resource needed for successful economic and community development. This is also true of a successful organization. We have been able to accomplish what we have through our strategic partnerships with marketing, legal, financial, and IT professionals. We have leveraged the gifts and talents of associates by contracting those with expertise in community and economic development. Our staff has taken on responsibilities and performed efficiently and effectively, sometime to almost the breaking point, before we’ve added additional employees. This is not a management strategy I would recommend. And I am deeply indebted to those that have been with us for years for their dedication, loyalty and patience.
Today we are so much more than a financial intermediary. With five and a half fulltime employees working in the Renner office, contracts with community coaches and program developers on both sides of the state and a credit officer that serves the entire state, Dakota Resources is serving the economic and community needs of South Dakota’s rural communities through the Capital Investment Fund, Dakota Rising, Home Address and Community Engagements and our affiliate, Dakotas America. We have the right people in the right seats on our bus. As we look to the future and continue to expand our capacity to serve rural communities we may need to get a bigger bus and you can rest assured that those that join us well serve with the same level of excellence to which you have grown accustomed.
-Beth Davis, President of Dakota Resources