First who, then what?

1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.

Monday through Thursday we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations.  On Friday, I share something we are doing at PCI in our quest to earn a spot of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

PCI is a “culture first” company.  Our business strategy is to be a great place to work. We begin by seeking out great people who share our values.

2: In his legendary book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, Jim Collins tells us that visionary organizations begin by “getting the right people on the bus.”  The priority is to find the right people and make sure they are in the right seats.  

Only then do they focus on where to drive to the bus.

“First who.  Then what,” Jim writes.

Why is this the right order?

Because “the executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there,” writes Jim.  “No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. 

“They said, in essence, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus.  But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”

3: This principle is even more relevant in the current environment which is best described as VUCA: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.

“When facing chaos and uncertainty, and you cannot possibly predict what’s coming around the corner, your best “strategy” is to have a busload of people who can adapt to and perform brilliantly no matter what comes next,” Jim writes.  “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”

More reasoning to support Peter Drucker‘s famous quote: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

More next week.

______________________

Reflection:  In my organization, how do we assess if we are “getting the right people on the bus”?  

Action:  Discuss with a colleague.

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