Sometimes the most insightful conversations are captured via Live Messenger (or your favorite IM client), but rarely get folded into other blogging or web medium. I was chatting with a friend this afternoon who is being displaced due to economic impacts, and thought I'd capture (and embellish) for my blog. The conversation was about how companies, in an effort to reduce costs, sometimes cut people across an organization, product area, or job level without going through proper due diligence. They're often viewed as just a resource, a headcount, a number that affects the bottom line. And then I had this thought:
Christian Buckley [4:11 PM]:
to put it another way, most companies are good at finding great soccer players, but there are only so many spots on the team.
so a lot of people sit on the bench and never get played. or they run drills, but don't get any playing time.
Friend [4:11 PM]:
that sounds like a good way of putting it
Christian Buckley [4:12 PM]:
and then, after a while, the coach wants more room on the bench, so he cuts a few loose. other good players give up and leave. and the coaches tell themselves "well, I guess they weren't that good after all" because they didn't endure.
you can see this is faulty logic
their best people may be leaving -- possibly the people with the most innate talent, but they'll never know
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, since participating in the Malcolm Gladwell event last month over at Microsoft Research. He used several sports analogies as he talked about the failure of most businesses to capitalize on their talent pools. More on his latest book Outliers and the topic of talent capitalization soon...