People, Processes, and Tools

December 5, 2015
Oliver Stahl


It’s a common misconception that tools solve problems. That’s a lie. People solve problems. Tools are just things that are used to help solve problems. It’s hard to push a nail into wood, but easy with a hammer. The hammer doesn’t just pound in nails on its own and houses are built. Somebody needs to be behind that hammer, swinging it, with a process of consistently aiming it at the nail heads and slamming them deep into the wood.

The way we see things at Tribe, things get done only when the following things are in place; People, Processes, and Tools. Ranked in that order, in terms of importance.


Things only get done when you have the right people around you. If you surround yourself with “Yes-men” who will only tell you what you want to hear, then you’re in trouble. You need people, similar to you, but not too similar, to be able to work together to get things done. People brought together with a singular purpose. That might be a group of people working together on a project. This might be a crew of sailors manning a ship. It might even be 10 football players, blocking and running in different ways at the same time to make something possible for one man on the team. If you don’t have the people to work on something together, then you don’t have anything and you should stop right there.

People that work together are great, but when everyone is doing their own thing, then nothing would be accomplished. People need direction in all facets of life believe it or not. We have rules in our societies. We follow cultural norms in public. Processes lead our lives, which is why most of our lives are generally pretty nice. In work, we generally have processes such as listening to a boss, or everyone using one communication tool. These can be powerful, team-bonding functions; but only if they are shared as a group belief. What good is a process if nobody follows it?

Ahh, finally, we have tools. Tools are great handy things when we need them. The tricky part comes when you have to figure out what to use, when to use it, and how to best use it. This is why people usually all use different tools; because people all have different needs, naturally. But what happens when people use different tools to do similar things. Take for example communication. Technically, if everyone in the world had Apple’s Facetime, we wouldn’t need another form of communication tool. You see and hear someone and that’s that. But that’s not reality, and will NEVER be the case. People will talk, text, listen, snap, kik, IM, DM, gchat and use every other tool out there, and this will never change. It’s because different people like to different things. And that’s not a problem; unless of course you’re trying to find something and don’t know where it went. Even worse, not remembering something and not knowing where to find it if called upon.

That’s why we created Tribe as a tool to support People, which followed a simple process, and let people use whatever tool they wanted. Sending an email and want to make sure that its tracked somewhere? CC and Tribe will create a task for you and them to track and follow until somebody marks it done. Want to work with somebody else? Everyone can use Tribe, right now and never have to download or sign up for anything. Want to use a tool with somebody and let them use their own tool? Send and receive tasks and never ask other people to download or even use Tribe with you.

When thinking of People, Processes, and Tools, stop thinking of them in reverse order when thinking of importance. Remember that its all about People working together, the processes in place, and the tools used to get the job done. You shouldn’t be bound by any of those, ever when trying to get simple work done. So, next time you think of something you need to do, dump it in Tribe, It lets you work with any people, using any process, and any tool.


There are many Thought Leadership posts on Tribe’s Blog, here are links to other posts:

1 Comment. Leave new

Simple enough but makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the post, helps with perspective!


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