Captain Praxis

Praxis – Capitalizer – Captain

Most Comfortable, Productive Phase

Business: Profit making, resource optimizing, customer acquisition, Maturity, Stability, Professionalization, and Delegation

Project: Operationalization, Metrics, Scorecard Reporting

Position Types

  • Working together with capitalizers in this middle stage are Captains who fill the role of people management, strategic leadership, and continual improvement of the process and structured work environment.
  • continual stewardship of the successful work output from the business unit’s capitalizer population
  • management and leadership tasks [planning, organizing, delegating, controlling]
  • also associate: tools [quality circles, continuing education]
  • Success is rewarded with visible perks [corner office, company car] and formal promotions
  • defines, evolves, and maintains the work structure balancing the adaptability limits of the capitalizer employee with the changing external environment

Works Best

  • During a business’s profit making or resource optimizing years
  • Need to maximize output. Business unit reaches its full potential, generates the most substantial profits or best resource utilization, repeatedly wins customers and delivers maximum value.
  • Success is dependent upon the captain’s motivational skills, management and leadership savvy, and achieving targeted profits
  • happy when things are trending up and to the right

Trouble Spots

  • less effective at authoring or building because neither stage is predictable, because there are no processes, and because of less developed imagination and problem solving skill.
  • reluctant to deal with the unknown.
  • many captains want to be builders
  • frequently known to challenge the captain: adapting to significant radical external changes
  • On building or authoring assignments frequently underperform against management expectations
  • At the business unit level, traditionalism traits can scuttle important diversification.
  • doesn’t want their comfortable status quo to change
  • frequently resist adjusting to changing market conditions.
  • Sluggish adjustment by capitalizers and captains to a changing landscape
  • prematurely erodes many business units.
  • Captain working in the extend stage will not perform well – Captains are uninspired because the trends will inevitably continue downward.
  • A source of tension exists with capitalizers who become frustrated by the extender’s apparent disinterest in efficient delivery.
  • Mismatch exits with Capitalizers who organizes work according to a predictable schedule and the Extender who extends each engagement thinking that more assistance is better.

Theme & Focus

    • “Show Me the Money!”

Develop production line

    profit generation
    continuous improvement


  • See Capitalizers above, plus:
  • Run groups of Capitalizers
  • strong regard for hierarchy and may go by the titles of foreman, supervisor, manager, director and vice president.
  • focus on efficiency improvement, quality improvement, automation, and cost controls
  • energized by power and are very satisfied to achieve things by getting others to do them
  • As long as they feel in control, they do not need the constant feedback that builders crave
  • sees changes in the external world either on their own or with the assistance of the diversifier [author/builder]
  • will only allow the degree of change up to the tolerance of the capitalizer


  • delegate better than any other praxis
    best executives feel good when their influence works to make their people grow and be effective
  • appreciates how important structure, predictability, achievable quotas, and general motivation are to the capitalizer’s productivity with which the captain is charged
  • savvy captain may engage a diversifier [author/builder] to help drive adaptation to the changing environment.
  • Frequently this diversifier is known as a change agent and can become the subject of dislike by the capitalizing workforce.
  • When change agents are used, the captain is able to maintain positive rapport and continue to motivate the capitalizer workforce.


  • have need for power
  • feel strong when others react appropriately to them
  • adoption rate is not quick enough and the business unit enters the extend phase – happiness is over as the trend is no longer up and to the right

Seen by others as:

  • resisting change
  • unimaginative
  • unable to identify and solve problems
  • too comfortable with ‘average’