• Books I have read in 2010: 1

    Good to Great

First Who…Then What

Debb and I met today to discuss the next chapter in Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great.  I really enjoyed reading the “First Who…Then What” chapter and actually found that I needed to be a little persuaded by Collins as he presented this idea. 

The idea behind this chapter is that if you have the “right people on the bus” you can more easily establish the vision of your organization and because you have the right type of people they will be fine with whatever direction you head.  My first reaction was that the right vision would attract the right people, but my thinking is slightly flawed in that if your organization has to change directions or adjust then those right people might become the wrong people. 

My thought process was also impacted by the fact that here at Dare 2 Share, for the last 12-18 months, we have put alot of energy into our mission and vision.  The recently, due to unfortunate circumstances related to a difficult economy, we had to lay 5 people off.  A very difficult experience this past year.  Since we were recently coming off of the lay-off which came after such a long process of establishing vision my experience was inverted compared to Jim Collins’ advice.

Collins also discussed how to be rigorous in determining getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) as well as making sure that the people on the bus are in the right seats.  He offers up the following 3 Practical Disciplines:

  1. When in doubt, don’t hire.  Keep looking
  2. When you know you need to make a people change, act.
  3. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.

APPLICATION: In processing this chapter and these final 3 Practical Disciplines I immediately began to think of what this would look like for the Sales Team at Dare 2 Share.

  • We have a very rigorous hiring process in place at Dare 2 Share, especially for the Sales Team.  This reinforces for me that it is much more important to hire the right people to begin with and to put a continued emphasis on character, work ethic, values, and basic intelligence than educational background or experience.
  • I struggle with the second principle in that I have been able to identify people that have been the wrong people on the bus, but being in a ministry lends itself to more grace and a strong desire to give people the benefit of the doubt.  The principle is easy to understand but difficult to put into practice, but acting sooner than later in this instance should prevail.
  • The third and final principle is one that I am most excited about as I am going to have the opportunity to implement it in the next few months.  With the recent lay-offs we are understaffed.  We also have some changes in our conference schedule for next year.  Those two factors will contribute to needing to reassign some of my staff to different assignments.  This principle will now be the first filter I put my ideas through in making those assignments.  I will be sure to post my conclusions as those decisions are made in the next 8-12 weeks.
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