Monday, November 28, 2011

"No Bozos -- Ever"

By Pascal Dennis

"No Bozos - Ever" Steve Jobs mantra!

An interesting expression of the Jim Collins principle, "Get the right people on this bus."

Hard to argue with the wisdom. Excellence entails prolonged focus by exceptional people on a noble goal.

Bozos distract teams from what's most important & ultimately degrade performance.

So, no bozos indeed.

But there are pitfalls.

What is a bozo? Do we have objective, fair criteria?

Or is our process a popularity contest?

Are we humane? Does everybody get a fair shot at proving themselves?

Do we have clear, simple standards for processes, hiring, performance, and strategy deployment?

If the answer to some of these questions is NO, then all bets are off.

I've found that people labeled as troublemakers (or "bozos") are simply bored or frustrated by the chaos all around them.

Give good people clear objectives, quick feedback, and the ability to improve their processes - and they flourish!

By contrast, "stars" that have risen in chaotic cultures often fall apart, when we clear the fog with standards, visual management and good processes.

I call this "splitting" and it's common in transformations.

So, let's heed the wisdom of Steve Jobs and Jim Collins with the caveats noted above.

Be fair and objective. Provide clear standards, quick feedback and clear direction.

Kaizen your recruitment process. Be clear on what you want in new team members & creative in how to check for those qualities.

Above all, be humane.

Everybody deserves a fair chance.

If you've hired people that don't fit - help them find a place where they do.



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