During our research putting together the content for our upcoming Business Forum Program, we discovered one of the most powerful “laws” of management which was eloquently described by David Packard, Co-Founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company.
Packard explained: “No company can grow revenues consistently faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth.”
People are a powerful factor in business – to be clear – the “right” people are powerful.
The right people can help you soar. The right people require less management, put the company first, think and act responsibly (as if they own a share in the business whether they do or don’t), and they are the people who can work with you to grow the next generation of growth.
The wrong people will simply stagnate your growth until they eventually cost you money and begin sending you backwards. But sometimes, decisions makers can confuse the “the right people who are in the wrong slot” as simply the “wrong people”.
But what do you do when you have it wrong?
Rule # 1 – Move them before you lose them.
Finding good people is hard. If you have people who are loyal but under performing, you are far better moving them sideways aiming to find a more suitable position than moving them out the door. Training is costly. It takes enormous time and effort.
When Gillette appointed new CEO Colman Mockler, he devoted fully 55% of his time during his first 2 years at Gillette, changing and moving around people. He changed or moved 38 of the top 50 management people and was quoted in a Forbes article in February 1981 as saying “Every minute devoted to putting the proper person in the proper slot is worth weeks of time later”.
If you have exhausted your options and you clearly have the wrong person – ACT quickly! Do not steal any more of that persons life if they no longer have a future with you. Set them free and help them move on gracefully and quickly. Time is a precious resource and people will always thank you for not wasting their time. Treat people fairly. Pay them what they deserve and are entitled to but act fast. They have a right to flourish somewhere better suited to their strengths and passions. And you need the right person to fill that slot.
Finding the right person takes time. They first and foremost need to be a good cultural fit (more on this later). They need to be able to do the job but skills are easier to teach than attitude. “Hire slow, fire fast” has always been a good practice.
Metric Recruiting Rules
1. Your company can only grow consistent with the number of right people you have driving that growth.
2. When you are stagnating, look at getting the right people in the right slots and things will begin moving again.
3. Hire slow, fire fast.
4. Move first.
This is a big topic and at Metric we go deeper into each subtle area of recruiting along with the BIG section on Leadership.
Feel free to leave a comment or fire a question and I’ll do my best to answer you shortly.