By: Ann Latham
When a client finally accepted that the root cause of their many struggles was that they keep hiring the wrong people, it was a major breakthrough. What will likely take even longer is for them to realize that they aren’t even qualified to hire the kind of people they really need!
“How can we be hiring the wrong people when we hire such great people?” they demanded to know. Every one a top notch subject matter expert just like themselves. People with great experience and knowledge in the field. People who care as much as they do. And people who fit in really well. How could this be a problem?
The problem they finally recognized is that by hiring people like themselves, they don’t really have people managers or project managers or product managers or branding experts or…
Not only are they missing these critical skills, but the current staff members have zero interest in acquiring these missing skills. They are specialists, pure and simple. Excellent, smart, dedicated, good people – with neither the interest nor the skills needed to manage people, projects, or products. And this, by the way, is super common in young organizations, especially technology start-ups.
And that’s not all that’s missing. They also have no diversity to speak of. What they have is a lot of great white guys who think a lot alike.
Recognizing that they actually need additional skills and inclinations, such as people and project managers, was a giant step in the right direction.
Believing that these skills and inclinations don’t require subject matter expertise and that not having that subject matter expertise might actually be beneficial may be a bridge too far!