A tale of the tape. Rules of the road. Other observations and missives. Some of the topics we find pertinent and meaningful to share with our clients.


Questions in the Second Order Harmonic

Imagine a team as an organic jigsaw puzzle. Teams are fractal in nature – they are thematic but variation abounds. They are ever-changing. When building or augmenting teams, the goal is not to hire the best people in a vacuum, but rather the best people that fit into the theme one is trying to achieve. This changes the nature of an interview. If you wanted to hire the most knowledgeable person, just give them a test. I don’t mean to be glib, but this kind of staffing is ludicrous. The second order harmonic is about finding out who the person is, what they think, why think what they think and most importantly, what they do about it.


Over the last dozen years of my career I’ve had to spend significant time hiring talent building teams. I’m often asked how I make determinations about people and decide who to pursue. Obviously the answer is complex, as people are complex. But the second order harmonic is key to seeing through the complexity.


"A" Players Are High Maintenance

“A’s hire A’s. B’s Hire C’s” – Steve Jobs

Let’s face it – “A” players are high maintenance. They have ideas. Even worse, they have ideologies. They don’t like to sit still. They struggle to suffer fools. If you’re managing “A” player’s you’ve got your hands full. So why on earth would you want them?!


The conversation started with, “Is J2EE appropriate for Web Applications?” I ended up thinking about the data model. Here’s the video which spawned the ensuing observations . . .


What are you looking for in work?

The other day I was having lunch with a friend who runs a professional services company. He asked me a pretty simple and typical question which we’ve all been asked before – “So what are you looking for in a work opportunity?” My answer started where most do, but it just might have ended somewhere unexpected …

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