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Today’s podcast deals with the vast area of building organisational capability, so I’ve split it into two episodes. This week, I’ll give you the context for what organisational capability is, how it fits with strategy, and where leaders most often put their focus. Next week, in part two, I’ll delve into what a leader should be doing, at any level, to build organisational capability through their people.

Now before I get started, you may have seen on our social channels or received an email with the exciting news that our 7-week online leadership program Leadership Beyond the Theory, is now open for enrolment! 

Emma and I have been working on this for the past year, and are really proud of the final product. Leadership Beyond the Theory is a 7-week program, with class starting 4th March in a cohort format, that covers what I think are the seven core areas of leadership success - create value, handle conflict, master ambiguity and so forth culminating with the final module, on making great decisions. Like this podcast and the Leadership Level Up Masterclass, the content is designed to be simple and time effective, with readily implementable and practical steps. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find more details here

Ok onto the episode! So in the first part of our discussion on organisational capability, we'll start by defining organisational capability (complete with a nifty little acronym that covers six key areas or categories that we like to focus upon). Then at the risk of oversimplifying all of this, I'm going to take a quick fly over the top of business strategy because there's years of study and learning in this area to be had. I’ll then go on to cover:

  • An imperative question - where does competitive advantage come from?

  • Some key findings on this subject from one of the world's foremost thought leaders in strategy

  • Where most leaders focus their energies (and what they should really be focusing their energies on)

  • A few really great framing questions from Andrew McDonald to help you with your business strategy 

  • A note on competitive advantage and how long you can maintain it from the perspective of Harvard Business School’s David Yoffie

  • My hypothesis as to why we aren’t necessarily good at building organisational capability

After listening to this episode, you should be excited and waiting with bated breath for next week’s episode ‘Building Organisational Capability Part 2: Making it part of your culture’, where we look at building organisational capability through our people and leadership. 

Let me know by sending me an email at if you had a lightbulb moment (or moments) while listening to this episode, I’d love to hear your feedback! 

Links to Other Useful Resources Referenced in the Episode

Just a reminder; Marty and Your CEO Mentor have no affiliation with any third-party resources recommended in this podcast. Any recommendations are for the benefit of the No Bullsh!t Leadership audience, as a way to better emphasise or expand on the concepts mentioned in the relevant episode. Here are a few that we mentioned in Episode 23.

Podcast: HBR Ideacast // Episode 554 // Released 8th December 2016

The “Jobs to be Done” Theory of Innovation

Content by: Clay Christensen, Kim B Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Book: Good to Great by Jim Collins

Amazon Link here