How do you ensure that your company, hospital, school or organisation succeeds in the complexity of a competitive 21st Century?
Here’s how… You recruit good people.
What is a good person?
(My mum would say, ‘gutte neshuma’ which means good soul or spirit; someone who brings light to others.)
Well, my suggestion is that everyone is good; or, this is a fundamental of humanity: You human, you good.
But, clearly, from the experiences of everyone I know, in the present and throughout history, not everyone necessarily behaves in a good way; whatever good is. Indeed, good people can sometimes be bad.
This begs the question, what is ‘bad’ – I won’t go down this rabbit hole and instead I will step backwards and focus on recruitment.
People are good.
People are beautiful.
This to me is a fundamental of humanity.
How do you engineer matters that the right people are in the right places at the right times?
This I feel is the question.
Put me as a fish out of water into the wrong environment and I will both suffer and fail to thrive; given the correct circumstances I might turn mean, harried and cross. I am sure my humanity could be convoluted in such a way as to make me a downright bastard
Now, I don’t believe that I am a bastard most of the time and this in part is because my environment is one to which I am suited. Give me an old man or woman, add physical, social or mental health dilemmas and off I go. Couldn’t be happier. It’s like Sudoku to a retired mathematician. Goldilocks.
How did I arrive at this place?
Well, that is the rub (as they say);
I was fortunate to call the shots and attend an interview that was effectively a show-trial. The only applicant for one job to which I had the relevant qualifications – if you look closely you will find this a common denominator across many roles in health, social care and the public sector; those folk foolhardy enough to place themselves in the firing line deserve no better (or worse).
Yet, there are areas where we need more scrutiny.
There are roles, mostly in leadership, but probably in every facet of the caring professions where values are as important, if not more so than qualifications.
I have three degrees; one each from Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard.
It doesn’t mean you have what we need.
You see, qualifications are commodities, arrived-at through hard work and luck. Values are less quantifiable. They reflect the ineffable, the essence of what people determine to be right or wrong, good or bad, in or out.
I will help the stranger who is looking lost; I will sacrifice myself, overlook a mistake, weakness or blunder. Open my heart to that of another – connect feeling and believing.
You are me and I am you.
My values are x, y or z.
Here they are, on a plate.
Nothing too big or too small.
My values are those of fighting for the underdog, supporting the weak and frail, listening to the disadvantaged and less fortunate. Considering the environment, the suffering of others and collective happiness.
Sure, a little hippy, but there you are.
Those skills which are secondary; we call them technical abilities can all be learned.
The former are frequently innate or from deep down inside of us.
It is hard to teach caring.
Anyone can work-out the best way to remove an appendix.
Eye-contact, breathing in synchrony, skin touching skin and we are as close as we can get. These moments are the essence of being. This is all too sophisticated for robots.
Values are how we relate one to another.
Patience, listening, caring, observing.
Sensitive absorption of impact.
I take your fear and convert it into something else.
Don’t seek the high-flying academical results; these can be learned or taught. Look for the warmth. Look for the magical spark of a smile that reveals all.
This is the infinite that will continue long after all of us have become dust.
Today, tomorrow and always.
And, just like that, things work.