Teams and Talent


The Art of Hiring to Build a Team

Hiring the right people is one of the most challenging parts of the work environment. I was fortunate enough to be part of an agile team in 1988, at the age of 22, which hired by consensus. Since then and for the last 20+ years I've been heavily involved in finding and hiring people. Hazarding a guess, I've read 3,000+ resumes and probably interviewed about 500 people. My roles ...


The Second of Two Articles In the first article I briefly discussed some core factors around practice based organizations and introduced the first four key benefits of such organizations. Four other benefits are valuable, especially when considering some of the challenges seen in Organizational Design (OD) for larger organizations ... hen I worked ...


The First of Two Articles - Matrix management is not uncommon in larger organizations. Most of us have experienced its negative use - namely confused accountability and frequent moving of people from project to project resulting from poor management planning. Practice based organizations employ matrix management, yet the key focus leads mostly to improving the quality and capability of project teams. ...


It seems so simple, but in my experience the #1 reason why groups do not advance or improve is because the environment that a company's leaders create does not foster a culture of improvement. Next to the issues of recruiting talent and discerning what an organization really needs to focus on to achieve its goals, the lack of the following five substances impedes team improvement for which the ultimate ...


Can BMW Create the Next E30 M3?

For the last twelve years, I have been the titular shepherd of the BMW E30 M3 Special Interest Group (the SIG, as we call it). The E30 M3 was the winningest car in the history of Touring Car racing. This incredibly unique car was conjured up in 1985 by then BMW M czar Paul Rosche and a team of crack engineers. It is the Shelby ...


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 ...


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. tend to frame topics in analogy - this helps shed the lesser relevant details and focus ...


"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?! magine you're the general contractor, having a house built. One carpentry crew manages to put ...


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 ... henever someone asks that question, akin to "what do you want to do ...