Change happens, and we need to hire new people to fill existing or new roles. We go through the typical search:
- Check our internally and our networks
- Engage others to check their networks
- Review and reduce the number of possibilities
- Interview the candidates
- Gather feedback
Whatever the process is, the thought running through the organizational mind is this:
- We have a role defined.
- We need to find the person who can fulfill those responsibilities completely, thoroughly, and passionately.
- We need to find someone with the right “attitude.”
We think about how they can fit within our organization and how they can fit an outlined role. All of this is done in a self-serving way. We think: Who can best serve what we have defined? In other words, it is about fitting someone into a clear mold.
What if we turned this model and question upside down? What if we asked:
How will the presence of this new person change our organization and this role?
What I mean by this is: How will they enhance our organization, change this role to take it to the next level of performance and meaning for the work that needs to be done.
It is a different perspective. Rather than defining what we want them to do, it is thinking about what they will enable us to do differently, do better. It is about change that they can deliver rather than us changing them to fit our organization.
Maybe it is a subtle shift, but I believe it is an important one. We all want to hire superstars and rising stars. Our perception of what constitutes each, though, is based on our distinct perspective and defined (and undefined) organizational boundaries. Opening ourselves to the new person’s perspective may (and likely, if we let them) raise us up out of our organizational ruts.
Now, this is not to say that what we have hired them to do can go undone. It is not that at all. It is about adjusting our perspective and approach with new hires, opening the door for them up to contribute freely in ways that may, initially, be foreign to us. However, if we embrace their perspective and the changes being proposed, we are enabling our organization to improve and grow and, more importantly, empower an inspired workforce.
It is more than a workforce. It is the force of what people have within them to bring about a better, new way of doing things. We may just need to adjust our perspective to prevent boundaries being imposed as someone new walks in our door.
We may need to add a question to our interview set, too. The question could be: How will your presence change this role and our organization? The answer to this question may highlight how the new talented person envisions opportunity, direction, and possibility. Now, we just need to be open to the ideas and change.