How to Make Effective People Decisions?

by Vinaya HS on February 23, 2007

in Business & Management

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Drucker on people decisions:

No organization can do better than the people it has.

People decisions are the ultimate – perhaps the only – control of an organization. People determine the performance capacity of an organization. No organization can do better than the people it has. The yield from the human resource really determines the organization’s performance. And that’s decided by the basic people decisions: whom we hire and whom we fire, where we place people, and whom we promote. The quality of these human decisions largely determines whether the organization is being run seriously, whether its mission, its values, and its objectives are real and meaningful to people, rather than just public relations and rhetoric.

Any executive who starts out believing that he or she is a good judge of people is going to end up making the worst decisions. To be a judge of people is not a power given to mere mortals. Those who have a batting average of almost a thousand in such decisions start out with a very simple premise: that they are not judges of people. They start out with a commitment to a diagnostic process. Medical educators say their greatest problem is the brilliant young physician who has a good eye. He has to learn not to depend on that alone but to go through the patient process of making a diagnosis’ otherwise he kills people. An executive, too, has to learn not to depend on insight and knowledge of people but on a mundane, boring, and conscientious step-by-step process.

Action point: Don’t hire people based on your instincts. Have a process in place to research and test applicants thoroughly.

This article reminds me of the time (in my earlier organization) when an external agency was contracted to supply candidates. That agency sent “experienced” candidates in droves. After a few interviews a pattern emerged:

  • All the candidates had worked on a common pool of fishy projects, albeit in different roles.
  • For one project, one of the candidates said he had worked on Linux but the resume mentioned Windows. When questioned, he admitted that the resume had been prepared by the agency! So much for credibility.
  • One candidate said he had worked extensively on Bluetooth, but he had no clue what frequencies were involved.

In short, it was a mega-fabrication effort!

Made me wonder, why we simply didn’t walk into a good college and hire the best. Spoke to human resources who simply said, “We don’t do campus recruitment any more.”

“No organization can do better than the people it has.” That organization certainly isn’t.




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