4 December 2022
"Get the wrong people off the bus, get the right people in the right seats"
(a Jim Collin's special - part 2)
Welcome back to part 2 of Jimmy’s Wonder Wheels Bus Tour.
In our previous exploration we spotted beautiful horses, saluted magpies and were very picky about who we would let on the bus, apparently only the right people.
Jim’s definition of “the right people” meant:
People who are resilient, intrinsically motivated and adaptable in case the bus hits a dead end road and needs to change direction.
So who are “the wrong people”?
Fragile, extrinsically motivated and rigid people?
He doesn’t really clearly define that and as a result (quoted from Good To Great)...
The good-to-great companies probably sound like tough places to work and they are. If you don't have what it takes, you probably won't last long.
But they're not ruthless cultures, they're rigorous cultures. And the distinction is crucial. To be ruthless means hacking and cutting, especially in difficult times, or wantonly firing people without any thoughtful consideration. To be rigorous means consistently applying exacting standards at all times and at all
levels, especially in upper management. To be rigorous, not ruthless, means that the best people need not worry about their positions and can concentrate fully on their work.
It still doesn’t quite answer the question, how do you know if someone is wrong?
One of Jim’s recommendations is asking yourself the question whether you would hire the person again and if the person came to tell you that they are leaving to pursue an exciting new opportunity, would you feel terribly disappointed or secretly relieved?
But before that he equally recommended that you first figure out whether someone might just be in the wrong seat. Perhaps all it takes is moving them into another seat where they can really shine.
Oh Jimmy boy, you really covered all of your angles!
I am curious to hear how other business leaders go about figuring out whether someone is right or not - without further ado please meet this week’s Polynut contributors…
What this week's contributors think of this aphorism?
Founder @ Sagittarius
"We have been using this philosophy to underpin our whole approach to talent"
Domenica Di Lieto
Founder @ Emerging Communications
"You need a team. Not just any team, the right team"
Founder @ 360 OM
"I consider it great advice, especially in a fast paced agency environment"
Co-founder @ Yoyo Design
"It can be an effective guide but you shouldn't be blindly wedded to it"
Co-founder @ The Creative Copywriter
"It’s just a bit simplistic and misses a few steps"
My reflections on "get the wrong people off the bus, get the right people in the right seats"
I am going to admit that I really had to put my ego aside with Jim Collins. My prejudices towards him were riddled with the typical toe curling feelings I initially get when I see self confessed business gurus, who come with their 10 steps to success!
But, and this is the important bit, I don’t care about being right - I care about the truth.
In Jim’s case I have to take my hat off to a person who’s really done his research well. Who’s covered most of the angles that one could try to take a shot at. He and his book Good To Great offer some really solid business advice, when studied with first principle thinking.
As such I agree with his entire aphorism (don’t worry I won’t repeat it again! Not even for SEO purposes).
It’s incredibly hard deciding when someone is no longer right for your agency. If you are on a growth journey with your agency, you just need to get better at hiring people who are going to be adaptable. The type of people you can be put into other positions, should the strategic direction of your agency suddenly change.
That’s far more scalable than constantly letting people go, creating a culture of fear and spending loads of time hiring and onboarding new people. It’s also good practice to start hiring a few people ahead of the time/reason you think you need them by/for. If you’ve been reading Polynut from the beginning, this is a very similar opinion I shared in our first release: Hire slow, fire fast.
And finally, as I said before, if it’s clear someone needs to go - it’s not fair on their career progression to let your decision and action linger, you may hold them back from finding their dream job. Equally, it’s not fair on your team to continue rewarding someone who doesn’t behave in line with your values - by keeping them in the company.
Appreciate you taking the time today to read our Polynut newsletter. Any comments, ideas or questions - feel free to reach out.
And a HUGE THANK YOU to our contributors for giving up their time to share their wisdom with us! 🙏
See ya next week!
The Rabbit Hole: FakeYou
My girlfriend was giggling uncontrollably and I thought Snoop Dog was in our house - it sounded so real! And all I can remember is being flung into this week’s rabbit hole of all too familiar voices. Wonder which one is going to be your favourite - shall we have a listen?
Blindspot: Worldwide Cost Of Living Survey
So Singapore and New York still top the most expensive cities in the world - according to the WCOL survey. Not surprised, given the dollar in both of these countries has been really strong in 2022.
Random fact, German is my mother tongue and I only just found out that the word “dollar” originally comes from the German word “Taler” (Joachimstaler to be precise). Which brings me loads of childhood memories of chocolate coins - because the word Taler is kinda like a coin and we only really ever use the word Taler in that context now (especially during this time of the year). Anyway, if you fancy understanding why the word ‘dollar’ is now used in 20 different currencies - check out this read.
So the highest inflation rate in 2022 is still in Caracas, at a whopping 132% - it was so high WCOL decided to omit it from the results, because it skews the averages. It makes you wonder how many of these cases are being omitted from the stats we see flashing up on news stories each day - to make the news more sellable!?
The good news - according to the WCOL survey - is that inflation will significantly ease off in 2023.
See the report here