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So we’ve dealt with the right people part of my people theme. If you remember, I referred to the people part of a business being like a bus (ala Good to Great, by Jim Collins). First we have to get the right people on the bus, then we have to get the wrong people off the bus. Those have been dealt with- now we’re going to look at getting the right people that are still on the bus into the right seats.
What does it mean to put people in the right seats on the bus? There are a few different things to look at in making this happen. I really like Gino Wickman’s philosophy in his EOS Worldwide system- I’ll break it down here.
The first step is to figure out which seats should be present. Traditionally, this was done by creating an organizational chart using the people available in the company. This is (usually) a faulty premise- it normally results in protecting egos, trying not to hurt feelings, tiptoeing around people with strong personalities, and keeping people around for no better reason than that we like them. There’s a much better way.
If we were to leave out who is currently employed by the company- including the leadership team- what is the structure that would best serve the company for the next year? Map out all the positions necessary- again, without any consideration for who is currently working for the company. Only after the whole map is made without specific names in any position do you begin to place names of available people in positions.
This process has a few different possible resulting outcomes. The most common is that there will be people with their name in multiple positions. Remember- there must be a name in every position. When the map was made, we said that we only put in positions that were necessary. It follows, then, that if the positions are necessary, we must have a name in each and every one. We deal with this situation by finding people to fill roles that don’t have a permanent occupant as soon as possible.
Another possible outcome is that there are people at the company who don’t have a position available to them. Although not common, it’s not even unheard of to have someone on the leadership team who’s redundant in the new organizational chart. This would be a case of having the right person, but no seat for them. In other words, they live our core values, but when everyone else has taken their seat on the bus, this person is left standing in the aisle. Assuming we’re talking about a for-profit business, we can’t afford to keep such people around- as much as we hate to see them go. You’ll have to swing that cool handle around to open the bus doors so they can go down the steps and out the door..
Again- using Gino’s method, we measure each employee in each position against three measurements- what EOS calls GWC. G stands for gets it.
(If someone hates what they’re doing, chances are they won’t excel at it. C stands for capacity.)
It’s time to do the difficult work of setting up the correct structure of your company with your leadership team. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing exactly what positions are necessary to move forward, and the knowledge that the people you have on staff are in the correct position for them- that the best interests of the company are being served.
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