Subscribe to Let's Talk Business!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I went out looking for turnips yesterday (yes, at the grocery store). Having never bought a turnip before, it was risky, but I felt pretty confident. I was going to make turnip soup. I made soup, but...
Went to two stores and found no turnips. At the third stop, I found some vegetables that didn't look like turnips to me, but the sign said they were turnips (even two different kinds). So I bought them. And made my soup. It's good soup, but it's not turnip soup.
I should have googled before I left, not after I got back. Now I know. I won't tell you what kind of soup I made, because this is already too embarrassing, but remember, it is good soup.
Like I said, no sense being stupid if you don't show it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
As I sit here, I see two other people working on their computers, and we're all using our Macs. I've noticed a lot more Macs lately, at least among the Starbucks crowd. I wonder if there's any sort of correlation there.
I've been considering the new iPhone, but haven't felt the need just yet. They're cool, but do I really need all that stuff? I use my phone to make calls. I only recently started texting, and I don't have a camera on the phone. I discovered how to set the alarm last week, but I know it does some other things that I either don't use or don't know about, so do I really need email, web, GPS, and who knows what else? Probably not. Still...
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Do you hire people who fit a narrow range of experience to fill a specific position, or do hire people who have great skills in a variety of areas but that might not match the specific experience or training you’re looking for in a particular position? I’d lean towards the latter. Sure, for some highly technical positions you need people with very specific experience and training. But most of the time the technical skills are secondary to attitude and work ethic. You can train someone to do a job, but you can’t easily change someone’s attitude and work ethic.
I’ve hired both ways, but I find it’s better to hire someone with people skills, who’s willing to learn, and who will work to make the organization successful. Someone who will not only fit in with the organization, but will act as an influence on others. In one of my interviews with the former president of a successful high-tech company, I was told how they hired many people who were either not technically qualified for a position they were filling, or who were very overqualified. But all the employees possessed a desire to learn, grow, and help the organization succeed. They trained the unqualified people, and kept the overqualified people engaged and interested in the job.
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins makes the same point. Hire talented people, then let them make the organization great in their own way. Too bad not every organization thinks this way. I’ve recently spoken with a couple of people who are fixated on finding someone who meets a strict and narrow set of work experience. If you don’t fit exactly, you’re not considered. I bet they’re missing out on some very talented people who could help them move their organizations forward and upward. If they would only open their eyes to the possibilities.
The same thing can be seen in rugby. With many teams, if you don’t have experience playing in a particular position, you’ll never get a chance to play in that position. A good athlete can learn the specific skills required in a particular position. It’s not as easy to take someone who happens to have experience playing in one position and turn them into an all-around athlete who might provide a much needed spark.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I received a couple of copies of the Russian edition a couple of days ago. I can't read a word of it, but it looks good. Actually, the quality of the book itself is much higher than the U.S. edition. It's very well done, and I'm impressed. I'm waiting for someone to send me a plane ticket to Moscow for a book signing and seminar tour. Hey, I can dream, can't I? I'd love to go to Russia. I love to travel and visit new places.
So here's a picture of the book. I haven't received a photo quality copy of the cover yet, so I just scanned this in. That's my name in Russian up in the top left corner.
Now if only my publisher would lower the price of the U.S. edition (hint, hint), this valuable tome would get into the hands of the masses.
Oh, and I'll get back into regular posting on this blog. I've been extremely busy lately, so have been lax. As to whether I've actually been accomplishing anything, that's another matter.