Clever People

Not employing enough "clever"people

"...highly talented individuals with potential to create disproportionate amounts of value from the resources that the organisation makes available to them..."

Rob Goffee, 2008

Characteristics of clever people are

- skills not easily replicated

- their knowledge is tacit

- smart enough to be in the right place at the right time and know it

- they are not necessarily hierarchical aspirants but are often organisational-savvy

- they are sources of creativity in the organisation

- are well-connected to networks of other clever people

On the other hand, it is best to select staff on performance rather than talent. One of the best examples of selecting staff based on talent only, rather than performance is Enron. With the support of top-tier consultancy firm (McKinsey), Enron was encouraged to select the smartest people - irrespective of their experience and performance. Its dramatic collapse was caused by many issues, but pivotal was the selection and promotion of the "brightest"irrespective of performance.

Don't under-estimate the people who are graduates from the "school of hard knocks" or "university of real world. Too often we pay much too much attention to academic qualifications rather than performance. Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steven Jobs (Apple), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Adam Pisoni (Yammer), Elon Musk (PayPal & Tesla Motors), Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald (co- founders of Appster - app development and strategy firm) were all either school or university drop-outs.

. Not understanding the sequence for selecting the most suitable person

i) select a few (around 6) traits that are pre-requisites for success in the position, eg technical proficiency, engaging personality, reliability, etc.

ii) each trait should be independent

iii) develop a few factual questions around each trait that are able to be assessed reliably

iv) use a scale rank, ie 1 to 5 to rank the answer to each question

v) collect information on one trait at a time, scoring each before you move onto the next one. Do not skip around

vi) to evaluate each candidate, add up the scores

vii) select the candidate whose score is the highest

NB Keep personal judgments out of the selection process

. Don't under-estimate the people who are graduates from the "school of hard knocks" or "university of real world. Too often we pay much too much attention to academic qualifications rather than performance. Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steven Jobs (Apple), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), etc were all university "dropouts".

 

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