Ambidextrous leadership in OSS

Ambidextrous leadership (investor + operator thinking): Sue believes there is enormous value in pairing venture capital investor-type thinking with operator-type thinking. Being able to step back and analyze opportunities from an investor’s perspective can be a valuable tool in helping entrepreneurs and managers alike make better decisions. And for investors, thinking like an operator is so important to understand the businesses they are investing in and, more than that, to best leverage your resources to help the companies.”
Peter Diamandis

Peter / Sue make a strong case for the pairing of perspectives, to see the world through different eyes – as an investor, through operator’s eyes; as an operator, through investor’s eyes.

In business and investing, it’s in the ability to be ambidextrous. For OSS, we need to grow an extra limb.

There are three perspectives that the greatest exponents of OSS hold, at least the ones that I’ve met:

  • Business-savvy (ie the investor perspective) – understanding the business environments in which our OSS operate and how they contribute to the success of an organisation
  • Operations-savvy (ie the operator perspective) – understanding the roles and activities of operations so that they can be supplemented and streamlined using our OSS
  • Tech-savvy – understanding the IT, networks, cloud, software, etc and the associated delivery of this technology stack to support the business and operations needs

A majority of people in OSS (and the businesses they’re built for) bring only the perspective of one, maybe two of these arms. Those who are able to understand these three entwined perspectives and how to bring them together are a rare and invaluable breed. I’ve certainly met some very, very talented people who bring just one perspective (eg technical), but the best I’ve worked with are all adept across all three.

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