People Stuff: The Pros and Cons of Building an A-Player Organization

Business is math. By that, I mean that if we really wanted to, we could create a mathematical model to depict almost every aspect of a business and then connect those models to build projections and assist with performance analysis. Realistically, most of the work associated with building such models doesn’t generate enough value to justify the investment, but even rough mathematically-based models can be highly informative. One of the areas where this comes into play is in analyzing supply and demand in terms of homegrown talent. Last week, … [Read more...]

People Stuff: “A Players”

Back in the early 1990’s, I had the great fortune to be a client of Brad Smart, author of the book Topgrading and creator of the Topgrading® system. Brad is probably the person most responsible for coining the term “A Player.” I have used Brad’s system to hire nearly 100 professionals with virtually no regrets. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of Brad and the system he invented. For Brad, if you really want to build a successful and enduring organization, one of the most important things you need to do is ensure that your talent acquisition … [Read more...]

People Stuff: Workload Capacity and Managing Expectations

Woody Allen once said that 80% of success is showing up.  I am more inclined to believe that 80% of success is managing expectations.  If you manage expectations and then consistently deliver, if not exceed them, people are likely to be OK with virtually whatever happens, even if sometimes you are preparing them for bad news or the possibility of a bad event.  They were prepared and you did what you said you would do. Every organization has an unwritten norm regarding the amount of hours people are expected to work.  These norms aren’t … [Read more...]

People Stuff: Taking Your Business to the “Next Level”

For several weeks now we have been drilling into the notion of time span capacity and some of the key implications related to your Accountability Chart. As you may recall, I think time span is a BIG IDEA with some huge implications. Today, I want to talk about one of the implications in terms of what it really means to take your organization “to the next level.” For most of us, taking our company to the next level means ratcheting up some component of performance, like revenues, productivity, or communications. A less common, but more … [Read more...]

People Stuff: Time Span Capacity in Management

For several weeks now, I have been drilling into the notion that to get great people for your organization, all you need to do is get the right people into the right seats. Easy, right? (Yes, pun intended.) Last week, we went beyond looking at the individual and what makes him or her appropriate for a seat – i.e. that he/she clears your cultural bar and GWCs the role – and started to drill into the layers or strata of your Accountability Chart. In summary, I suggested that time span capacity is the predominant characteristic separating one … [Read more...]