October 20, 2011

Anyone can be great

Jeroen's answer to my serve last week was quite bold. "Dare to fire people that do not fit your company culture."

Permit me to contradict myself as I answer his challenge.

People do not engage in fixed behaviours and have an unlimited potential waiting to be tapped

Given the right future, one that is congruent to their own personal values, talents and interests, they will rise to a new level of performance and become a valuable asset to their company.

If they are able.

The brain has to be able to perceive something for you to see it. So, if you give an African bushman who has never seen a photograph before a picture of your family, chances are he won't be able to see the people. He may crumple it up, taste the paper and wonder what it is.

But his brain will not have been primed to "see" the people as people in the photo. 

There are people who have strayed so far away from congruent behaviours, that they cannot perceive the opportunities. It would take a massive amount of work to bring them back. 

As managers and leaders, you need to first evaluate their potential for growth and development and choose whether they are worth the investment of your time and energy. Then ensure you connect their own personal aspirations to the company's goals. When people are working towards an inspiring future they'll have the incentives to let go of old habits and fulfil their potential. 

I say there are no good or bad people, just congruent and incongruent.

Choose wisely. Then invest in your people. The return to your company and yourself in your time, money and energy will be manifold.

Congruence will always work.

My challenge to you Jeroen, as an expert in strategy, how does this impact the strategic thinking and planning in an organisation?

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