RIGHT SELECTION , not RECRUITMENT

The more I have work on Strategies , more I traverse through the landscape with Successes & Failures & the more I learn about Business , the more & more I am convinced that — Strategy / no strategy , Technology / no technology ; the most fundamental factor for sustained business success is RIGHT  people  . Right human resource is a multiplier & wrong resource is a divider

Therefore Right Selection is a fundamental business process for an Organisation — it’s first level Quality Control . Great organisations like Google place overwhelming emphasis on employee selection , to an extent that they advocate even cutting $ from Training budget & putting into Selection budget . Selection process in best of organisations are therefore more elaborate , intensive , rigorous & with involvement from the highest level ( not outsourced or abdicated )

While each organisation will & should evolve its own selection process , here are some observations & learning which can help most  :

# Do not hire or pay for what you can ; pay for what you can’t : Historically most make the mistake of interviewing candidate based on his CV & select based on Academics , Knowledge / Skills , Experience . To me this is belief has outlived its expiry date . These are not selection parameters , but rejection parameters . ( It is like Power steering / Power window for a new car — this is no more a decision parameter ) You should not even ask anyone for interview if he / she does not qualify on these parameters . But once shortlisted , don’t waste your time on checking knowledge / skills , academics . Knowledge & skills is what you can impart & hence if your , otherwise Right candidate is short on these , they can always be imparted — then why pay for what you can do . You must hire & pay what a candidate brings , but you can’t impart . This is what I call as ” Constitution ” of a candidate . Constitution is what makes a Horse ,a horse & a Donkey , a donkey — you can do nothing to change & hence look for & insist on while hiring . A constitution is how a candidate , as an individual is ; his / her attitude , application , perspective to work , beliefs , etc …. these are the elements define what he is & significantly impact what he can do in the job

# Do not be under illusion ; we are not in transformation business  : We need to understand that we do not have the wherewithal , nor the mandate nor the time to transform anyone against his / her wishes . We can not turn a Mango into an Orange & vice versa . Do not be under the naive impression that we have the tools to do it . Training can only make a donkey into a better donkey ; but never into a horse . It is like a Fertile land v/s a Barren land . This choice has to be made at the point of selection ; not after

# What is a RIGHT constitution  : I guess , a large portion of profile of a RIGHT candidate is likely to be Universal ; though some portion will always be contextual to the Industry , Business environment ,  Stage of evolution of your organisation & its Value system . I can share what I have distilled as a set of 5 parameters – what constitutes a RIGHT person for us in our current business context : (i) Independent thinking , (ii) Ownership , (iii)  Self management , (iv) Learning ability , (v) Problem – Solution ability .  I have elaborated on these 5 attributes in my last posting in December …. for any more clarity you can always reach me at yatinsamant@yahoo.co.uk ; yatinsamant@handiman.in

# Right selection is a skill , we need to train our interviewers on : Although right selection is so fundamental to business success , ironically , practically none of us , the world over , has even been formally trained in ” Quality Interviewing ” , nor are the interviewers are ever measured on their ‘ performance ‘ — with the exception of a few organisations ( again like Google ) . From my experience I can certainly tell you that right interviewing does require Training , Practice and Measurement & feedback

“OWNERSHIP ” as distinct from ” SINCERITY “

Right person ‘ profile

To me , selection of a ( right )team member is a fundamental process for Business Success — it is actually not a recruitment , but a Quality Control process . To me ‘ Right ‘ person is by his / her Constitution and not by education or knowledge / skills . Essence of my experiential learning in this subject has helped me distill 5 distinct attributes of a ‘ RIGHT ‘ person in our business context :

– Independent thinking

– Ownership

– Self management

– Learning ability

– Problem solving ability

While entire thought process behind ‘ Right selection ‘  ( including knowing Horses from Donkeys ) deserves to be a separate topic & on which I promise to share with you my enlightenment next month , special purpose behind this note is to awaken you to the distinct difference between Ownership & Sincerity .

Many take these two words / attributes ( Sincerity , Ownership ) as interchangeable — they do not know / understand the difference . Many of the rest of us probably subliminally know some difference but are either confused or can not articulate well , the way I will now lay out for you

It started with , when I asked my team members to self rate on the 5 ‘ Right ‘ person attributes I listed above . I saw many of my team members rating themselves 4 out of 5 on Ownership , which got me thinking …. It was clear to me that they were no where even 3 on this … yet as individuals , they have been dedicated , sincere , intelligent & interested — then where is this ( my ) perceived discordance coming from … when I reflected deeper , I realised that they were probably rating themselves on ‘ Sincerity ‘ , when thinking of ‘ Ownership ‘ ( I could understand & agree if they rated themselves 4/5 on Sincerity ) , when I interacted with them on my dilemma my understanding was confirmed . That prompted me to give them clarity on the difference between the two concepts , I hope it will help you too .

# Sincerity is an attribute ( inside )of a person , Ownership exhibits ( externally ) in outcome . Sincerity is about what you are ; Ownership is about what you achieve

# Sincerity is to do with Efforts ; Ownership is about Result

# Effectively , Maids are Sincere ; Mothers are Owners  !

” Maid to Mother ” is yet another of my proprietary , IP registered program about Organisational Transformation ….. but about that , some other time … In the meanwhile & till I connect back with you next month with more on Right person selection ; please share your views / perspectives on if & how different you feel is Ownership from Sincerity .

Success of Democracy is in knowing where it ends

  • Success of Democracy is in knowing where it ends  
    • I do not know whether people who swear by Democracy , understand what it means . Let’s see how
      • For most it is unidirectional
        • They understand it only in one way … from ‘ me to you ‘ & not from ‘ you to me ‘ . What it means is that I have full freedom to say & do what I like . You accepting my freedom is incumbent on you ( you don’t have a choice ) . If you don’t , you are intolerant . However the reverse is not true ; Under your ‘ freedom of expression ‘ you can not say anything that ‘hurts ‘ me . Interestingly in today’s context with growing impatience & politically nurtured ‘ sensitivities ‘ … there is practically very little that you can say (except praising me ) that does not have a chance to hurt me . Hence it is not pure democracy …. It is  “ My Democracy “  v/s “ Your Democracy “  which I propose to promote and protect
      • For most it is unilateral
        • Me declaring or claiming my freedom is the only perquisite for me to exercise it . It does not require your consent , let alone comfort . My freedom is about how I feel , not about how you feel .
        • The problem is that this is possible only if each individual is living on isolated islands ( in their own world ) where there is no interdependence . However in today’s ‘ connected’ world where , what I do or do not do , impacts you ; it is not possible to unilaterally ‘ declare ‘ or exercise my freedom , without thinking of the repercussions of this on my ecosystem  . It is like if I have a sick person at home , I may not exercise my freedom of playing out music loud . Then it is not an academic debate whether I have the right , more important is me choosing not to exercise my right if it encroaches on someone else’s right to peace .
      • For most it is Absolute & unlimited
        • Democracy or freedom is not absolute … anywhere . Each country , each community has rules , code of conduct and there is a rule of law . There are legally enforceable & morally acceptable restrictions ; e.g. I can not have a freedom to kill some one , even if I want to … the law prohibits that . So is the case of a Code of conduct or Rules or Policies … on one hand they restrict individual freedom ; but they are created with a larger purpose ; it overall optimizes harmony & advantage for everyone .
        • This is necessary , because my freedom need not constrain someone else’s freedom . Traffic signal is a great example . Should a free individual not have freedom to walk or drive vehicle in any part of a free country … off course one should . But just imagine chaos & damage / loss such unrestricted freedom will cause at a traffic junction . Putting traffic signal there is constriction of my right to move freely ; but I must understand that this restriction maximizes advantage for all , on a larger scale .
        • Hence freedom is never absolute , it comes with a framework , rules dos/donts . For best exercising freedom , it needs to be channelized . Exactly as channelizing flow of a forceful river to convert it into positive energy …. Unrestricted river force will cause devastation
      • For most it is Subjective
        • Once we set a framework to freedom , everyone should have equal & transparent access to exercising it . Then there should not be ifs & buts . And there can not be two / different ways for two people to exercise the freedom . There can’t be different interpretations , based on convenience … there cant be different rules for different individuals . Restrictions are not harmful as is the discrimination .
        • Here is where most make mistake ; some knowingly ( exploitation ) & some unknowingly ( lack of awareness ) . Each ‘ interprets ‘ the way it suits her/him & then ‘ explain ‘ how that is the right way . This is not freedom / democracy . This is hypocrisy & chaos .

     

    • Democracy or freedom is not absolute – exercising it has rules / regulations , framework , it has restrictions in larger interest . Hence it is not easy . It is a responsibility as much as it is a privilege . It involves pain & patience in the short term for a long term enduring advantage . And it is not in isolation … it is my freedom in the context of equal freedom for my fellow citizens . In fact the test of maturity for Democracy lies in me being more sensitive and protective of your right to freedom & in turn you doing the same for me . Evolving to that level is what makes democracy strong & enduring . Today everybody is zealously self guarding in the garb of upholding democracy . That is not democracy , that is being pure selfish …. Democracy does not require aggressiveness to drive ; it requires selflessness to thrive .

INTUITION v/s IMPULSE 

Intuition and impulse , both may appear as ‘ flashes ‘ occurring to mind , without a logical deduction process ; however they differ on the source they come from
o Intuition comes from ‘ inside ‘ – it is a result of wisdom from accumulated & seasoned experience and abilities . It is a refined though conscious sense or feel .
It is the evolution of Unconscious Competence
o Impulsive thought ( Impulse ) on the other hand appears on the surface — like a ripple on a water surface , it has a short life … no reason for being , no reason for ending .
Neither does it come from a deep inside , nor does it create a deeper impact . It does not have a basis , it is just a flash without purpose or connect
It is like a body without a soul
If I have to take an analogy … Impulse and Intuition , both may appear as shiny droplets , for the uninitiated …. Intuition is like a Pearl whereas Impulse is like a water bubble … will not last , but you will not miss when it is not there . Pearl is too precious to be lost

HOW ADEQUATE IS ADEQUATE

  • Adequacy / inadequacy are not physical boundaries but , states of mind , it depends on what you believe . That’s why what is adequate for one may not be so for someone else , similarly what was adequate today , may not be same tomorrow or vice versa
  • What is a good fashion ?… there is no one all encompassing answer , fitting all . Good fashion for a person is what he / she can carry off comfortably & confidently . That’s why if someone is awkward wearing the trendiest of clothing , it’s bad fashion for him ; on the other hand if Gandhiji was comfortable moving around in one cloth around his waist , that was most appropriate fashion statement for him .
  • What is good / appropriate donation in quantum or form , for a person ? Here too there is no ‘ one size fitting all ‘ , nor is there any absolute threshold . To me that ( amount of ) donation / charity is your threshold , which after you give away , you should be able to ( mentally ) forget . A good donation for you needs to fulfill following criteria :
    • It should not create a feeling of ‘ loss ‘
    • It should not create a sense of ‘ ownership ‘ … it is that amount which should not make you ‘ follow through ‘ to see what use the receiver is putting it to … it no longer belonged to you
    • It should not create a sense of inflated ego of having done a huge favour ( & in turn to expect the receiver to be ‘ indebted ‘ to you )
    • It should not create / retain any ‘ attachment ‘ . Your satisfaction / happiness should come from the fact that you did what you wanted to for a good cause , your attachment ended there …. What the receiver does with it is neither under your control nor should be your concern . You should neither have a judgment on how ‘ appropriately ‘ the receiver is using it nor should it make you unhappy , even if you think he/ she is ‘ misusing ‘ your generosity or even is ‘ disrespecting ‘ your gift .
    • Overall once done , you should be able to forget the details of the ‘ good deed ‘ you did . It should not prompt you to flaunt your ‘ generosity ‘ at any possible forum / opportunity . You should be able to sleep peacefully without a thought about what is / will happen to the object of ‘ your charity ‘ .
    • For any donation / charity where above criteria are not likely to be fulfilled , you are better off without donating .
  • Similar is the case for investment . Your capacity to invest is not defined by your affordability or the accumulated wealth , but by your ability to ‘ carry off ‘ the investment in amount & form . That amount is appropriate for you , which after investing ( God forbid not , but should it happen ) if you happen to lose , you should have the capacity to gather yourself up & stand on your feet … you should be able to take that knock without collapsing .

COMMUNICATION

When I read in CVs of prospective candidates , I get scared to see liberal use of adjectives like Perfection or Excellence in Communication , because often , the reality is far from it . At most , many oversimplify to equate language proficiency with communication efficacy . Communication is beyond & in fact transcends language boundaries . An excellent communicator may not be bound by grammar of the language . Communication to me is about REACHING  …..

  • Communication is not about sending , it is about reaching
    • Communication is what recipient receives , not what the sender sends . If both are different , try understanding recipient’s mind .
    • Establishing communication is about ‘ connecting ‘ . Mechanisms to ‘ send out ‘ message does not ensure connectivity – which has to do with ‘ reaching out ‘
  • Communication is not about providing information , it is about creating intended impression
    • Success of communication is measured by the change it brings in , vis-à-vis the desired goal , not by who did / did not send what mail to whom and when

 

 

 

INCENTIVISING V/S BRIBING

Is there a difference between Incentivising & Bribing  ?  For those who don’t think , these two sound different ; for those who can think , would not have thought so , but will get confused , once I ask this question & will start thinking .

In the first instance , when you start thinking deeper , it may appear to you more that both are in principle similar , the more you start thinking …. however think even deeper & the real difference will start getting clear to you .

  • Three points of difference :
    • Incentives are for reinforcing the right behavior … recognizing you for what you should be doing ; Bribe is inducing wrong behavior … tempting you to do what you should not be doing
    • It’s the reversal of “ Cause and Effect “ . Incentives is the RESULT of the reason ( your commitment to the task ) you work on ; whereas Bribe is THE REASON why you do the task ( result )
    • Incentive payout is in reposition of faith & that you may want to induce / reinforce a similar behavior again … whereas bribe payout is out of the distrust that even legitimate work will not happen without paying bribe & that you may not want it to be reinforced . Incentive payout is by choice , bribe paying is out of a compromise
  • Some people distinguish ( to reduce their guilt out of having to a bribe ) between ‘ Good bribe ‘ & a ‘ Bad bribe ‘ . For them , a god bribe is & is called – Speed money , for expediting what is otherwise legitimate & above board ; whereas a bad bribe is for inducing an illegitimate act , something is not above board & what was not to be .
    • This argument sounds so temptingly logical to believe , however the danger is that if you buy in here , you will lose your discretion to differentiate between Good & Bad by the intent behind … if this gate is opened & if this anchor is given up , human intelligence can justify any act / behavior , depending on which of it you are .