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 on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

First “who,” then “what.” In Good to Great, Jim Collins tells us to prioritize getting the “right people on the bus.” But how do we know if we have the right people on the bus?

Four years ago, PCI implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System (“EOS”) as a framework to run our organization. One of the essential tools in EOS is “Right Person, Right Seat.” Known as RPRS in EOS parlance. For someone to “RPRS,” that person must meet two tests:

1: The person must share our organization’s core values. Step one: outline our core values. Step two: rate the person on how well they exhibit those values, scoring either a “+” for most of the time, a “+/-” for some of the time, or “-” for most of the time they do not live this value. The ratings are then compiled. Each organization comes up with its own “bar.” Still, EOS recommends a minimum of more pluses than plus-minuses and never a minus for any of the values.

When everyone scores “above the bar,” we know we are creating a workplace culture with strong team chemistry.

2: Next is “GWC,” which stands for “Gets it,” “Wants it,” and “has the Capacity to do it.” Step one is to outline the five most important responsibilities for each role or “seat” within the organization. Then, it’s as simple as asking the three GWC questions. The answer to each question is a non-negotiable Yes or No. “Kind of” is not an option!  

Here are the three GWC questions:

First: Do they get it? Or, does this person have “a deep, meaningful understanding of the seat they have been hired for?” writes Dean Breyley in his blog post “No more guess who with GWC.” “When someone gets it, they have that intuitive feel, the natural aptitude for understanding what is required to deliver. A ‘No’ means that this position isn’t suitable for them and the company to get what it wants, and it’s time to find someone else for this seat.”

Next: Do they want it? Does the work positively motivate them on a daily basis? “Can they bring their whole self to the game every day, over and over again, with enough energy to move them and the company forward at the pace you require?” Dean asks. “If this work isn’t what they truly want to do, they may find a way to do other things.”

And, finally: Do they have the capacity to do it? Dean writes: “Do they have the mental, emotional, physical, and time capacity to do the job – and do it well? Mental capacity relates to their abilities and knowledge. Emotional capacity is their understanding of how ‘what they do’ impacts others. Physical capacity relates to the endurance and dexterity required for the seat. Time capacity is tied to the amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds the seat will take.”

Note, of the three GWC questions, capacity is the only one where someone can improve if the business is prepared to invest the effort in doing so.

If the answer to any of the three questions is “No,” then that person is in the wrong seat. This exercise often highlights issues a company may be facing.

Making sure the right people are in the right seat is an organizational imperative AND serves any individual in the wrong seat. “When people don’t GWC their seat, they may be self-aware and yet choose to suffer in silence until it gets so painful that they leave or are pushed out,” Dean observes.  

Leaders must take action, Dean notes. While doing so can be difficult, all parties ultimately win, and tremendous organizational energy is unleashed as a result.


Reflection: Thinking about my people, is there anyone sitting in a seat who doesn’t genuinely get, want, or have the capacity for what they do?

Action: If the answer to the question above is “yes,” what would be the impact to them, to me, and my organization if we made one people move this quarter?

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