From the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.
“Executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, the first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
Three simple truths:
1. If you begin with “who” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world.
2. If you have the right people on the bus, the question of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away.
3. If you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still wont have a great company.
Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
Something to ponder…… Can the governement attract and maintain enough of the “right people” to be GREAT? Are our leaders keeping their eyes open for the right people to be on that bus?
What do you think?
While we have to look for a certain skill set in hiring, the mind set is equally important. Hire the right people with the right motiviation and trust them to do their job -recipe for success.
Another quote by Jim Collins — “People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”
Thanks, I loved reading Good to Great.
The perpetual challenge is to know what it is that the organization, and your little corner of it, needs. In some cases, the manager is lucky and it’s a no-brainer; particularly if the organization, and the role within it, are reasonably static. If the organization is one regularly undergoing flux, the challenge becomes that much more difficult. If the flux entails new incoming managers who are unfamiliar or less familiar with how the various components of the organization interface, the level of difficulty is upped even more.
It’s not impossible, but ask yourself when was the last time that a) a thorough job analysis was done prior to a hire, and b) when was the last time that job analysis incorporated what stakeholders in other sectors of the organization need from someone in that role?
The “vision thing” is VERY important, but great hires consider not only the vision but the concrete aspects too.
Oh, and having the right people is a wonderful thing…assuming they stick around long enough to get the job done. Re-filling those positions every 18 months is often a recipe for getting your wheels stuck in the mud. Top-notch mud, perhaps, but mud all the same.
Mmmm…big fan of Good to Great and talk about it all the time…but I’d suggest that you need BOTH the right people and a clear direction…or even the best people will start getting frustrated and bumping into each other.
Presuming the bus is actually working, and the right people have been given some sort of guidance on what is expected or what problem they are supposed to resolve – then you can possibly get to someplace great.
As for attracting the “right people” to government today – not likely when Congress and the White House are talking about balancing the deficit on the backs of Federal employees and the constant vilifying and denigrating Executive Branch employees. No COLA adjustments, no raises, hiring freeze in 2013, establishing budgets back to 2009 levels. There are even talks about RIFs possible in the near future with some agencies and early outs in others. How do we bring in the best and brightest with that kind of future?
Agreed, Andrew! You need to also eventually have a direction you want to take the bus, especially if the bus is a government bus! I think Jim Collins, in Good to Great was talking more about it from a company stand point. If you have the right people, for instance Steve Jobs of Apple, those people will lead a company in the right direction. From a company concept I see the direction as more of an idea. From the government side, the ideas are decided for us by congress, and our administators. Therefore, you are absolutely right the government needs the right people AND clear direction.
I believe Good to Great says right peple, in right seats with right skills and then steering the bus.
This Training Officer believes that technical skills are easy to develop. Integrity, collaboration and results production much harder to acquire.
Great people will follow great leaders. Poor leaders will drive out great people. Great people will attract top notch folks. It’s all part of one big puzzle.