Matching Talent to Task
Stop focusing on what's left out and bring out what is inside of people.
Over the years, I've had a chance to take many personality tests, leadership gap treatments, or behavior inventories in terms of assessing my own leadership style in relationship to others on my team. After each assessment and debrief, I always feel more connected to what I'm learning about myself and others.
Yet, as a lifetime coach and leader of teams, I often find the execution of the process and the collaboration that ensues very mixed in terms of outcomes for success. Despite my best efforts, I often invest far too much time on coaching gaps and far too little time matching talent to task.
This morning I had the privilege of working with Phil Olsen, President of Know Your Strengths (KYS), a full-service firm specializing in the assessment of human capabilities and the matching of talents with tasks. KYS has range of clients throughout the country and provides services related to talent discovery, job modeling, recruiting, screening, hiring, training, motivating, team building, managing & retention.
I left the session not only inspired by Phil with many new methods and approaches, but also with some very practical tools on how organizations can do a far better job hiring, coaching, and unleashing their teams for success. While I could fill a blog series on the insights from today's sessions, here's three practical tips on how to make your organization better in the next 90 days.
1. Have a process for talent discovery through selection - It is alarming how many organizations depend on the following flow for hiring:
Post job + Conduct interviews + Discuss feel/fit + light reference checks = Hired
While some organizations insert a performance task or depend on a deeper reference check process, few organizations ask potential candidates to take a judgement index, execute a pro-scan, or more importantly co-review the same data from the folks with whom they'll be working. Such light and rapid tools could save both firms and potentially employers a lot of resources in time off task when attracting and retaining potential talent.
2. Coach strengths not "your strengths" - Successful coaches are not just those who can pass on what they've learned or how'd they'd do it. The genius of great coaches comes about when they tap into the strengths of those they coach. When talent meets task, the employee can perform in ways that's like breathing for you and me. In one study from Gallup - 70% of time coaches spend is on what tasks the employee does poorly. Imagine if 70% of the time was spent on unleashing what tasks the employee does well in to the many products and services in your charge.
3. An over-emphasis on "your quality and fidelity" is a short play to limited scale, the long play is unleashing challenging tasks to talented teams - Recently I read Dave Blanchard's 2015 Shareholder letter regarding Praxis, the Community, Venture Group and University. As I start my new role as Chief Design Officer for Matchbook Learning, I find myself connecting this letter to Phil's work this morning. I am looking forward to dreaming and designing as to how we might position Matchbook Learning on a similar long play vision, armed with a transformative worldview, targeting a series of education continuums (elementary, middle, high school, college, post-college) that are badly broken with our own growing team of talented people who care.
In addition, I am looking forward to matching talents to tasks in helping other ed-entrepreneurs in residence at our Matchbook Accelerator transform human potential. Stay tuned for how we'll help unleash what is already inside of our team, instead of staying distracted by what's left out.