“Leaders don’t flock. You have to find them one at a time.” — Ross Perot
But imagine doing that every time you are looking to fill in a higher management position. Wouldn’t it be difficult to single out that one best candidate who can do the job just perfect, without a pool of candidates sitting on the bench, awaiting their turn?
In an era where doing perfectly what has been asked of you is not sufficient, it is of critical importance to build and cultivate a culture of superior performance, taking initiative and doing beyond what is needed. In an unheard of feat, Vivek Randive of Tibco fame fired his Americas Sales head as he was doing only well. He further explains his decision by saying that if you do what is asked of you, then you get a C minus and if you do it good you get a C. But today that is just not sufficient! So what is? He says you are excellent when you do something which nobody has asked of you, but you do it for the benefit of the project and thereby the organization.
Well an employee like that would definitely be an asset to any organization but the real question is then how do you find them? If you are like Yahoo and can afford to change 4 CEO’s within 5 years and after that spend millions on head hunting the next CEO, there is little to worry; but for rest of the world, there are more economical options out there. Following are some simple yet profound modifications that can be included in your talent management planning and consecutively in its execution to build a culture of highly motivated employees:
- Talent Acquisition: Before hiring anybody for any role or department, check not only an alignment in organizational and personal values but also for an attitude of taking initiative. Most organizations today have stringent selection procedures that check an applicant’s aptitude, subject-matter knowledge and personality traits, but where these procedures fail is that they do not clearly try to measure the individual’s ability to excel beyond what has been asked. So the next time you look at a CV, try figuring out will this applicant go that extra mile?
- Training/Communication: Communicate the standards of excellence, impart right training to achieve those and focus on creating and sustaining a learning culture
- R&R: Reward and recognize the individuals who try taking this leap and highly appreciate those who adopt the practice. Make your rewards and recognition social thereby increasing its effect. Keep reinforcing this practice to build a culture of high performance and motivation.
- Cultural Modification: Develop a culture of appreciating those who take the pain and effort to go beyond the trodden path. Communicate the values to employees and give them example by leading the case.
Including some of these basics in your organizational strategy may help you develop a talent pool that can be further trained and developed to fill in higher positions and lead the organization.