any good photographer will tell you the key to photography is behind the lens and not the lens itself. in the same way, what makes a beautiful symphony is not a collection of the worlds best instruments but the people playing those instruments. a great meal not the product of its cookware but in the chef who stands over the range.

and yet our organizations consistently blame their tools when something goes wrong. it’s not easy enough to use. it doesn’t provide this feature. it doesn’t work for this other use case. hardly is the blame ever placed on the people and culture of the organization which ultimately is behind the failure. in the hands of amateurs, a world-class stainless steel cookware set may never create a world-class meal; but a world-class chef can create a world-class meal from even the worst pots and pans.

if your organization isn’t having the kind of success you expect it should, perhaps you need new people—not new tools.