Monday, 11 October 2010

A divinely simple approach to talent management!

There's an intentional theme running through the HR Case Studies posts this week!

Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, which is one of the most-attended churches in North America. We've already mentioned that those who have accepted the invitation to speak at Willow Creek's Annual Leadership Summit include Gary Hamel, Jack Welch, Tony Blair and Bono.

The size of the leadership and management team at Willow Creek is such that it resembles that of a major commercial organisation, and the importance of getting the right person in each key position is no different to that faced by a secular business.

The approach of Bill Hybels to executive selection is one which is worthy of exploration regardless of whether you're a priest or a pagan, a believer or a sceptic:

It took me nearly thirty years to figure out a plan for how to build a dream team. II tried all sorts of mental grids for prioritising people-qualities along the way, but the only one that stuck was made up of three simple Cs: Character, Competence and Chemistry

Hybels goes on to say:

Good character is touch to discern in an interview but you have to do your due diligence to make sure that the person you're about to invite onto the team has got it.

Only after a person passes the character test to I check for competence. I make no apologies for looking for maximum competence in my teammates: gifts, talents and capabilities that will take the team performance to the next level.

But before I recruit anyone, I take them through the chemistry screen. I used to be a doubter when it came to emphasizing "fit" in a new recruit, but I've learned the hard way to trust my instincts: if I get negative vibes the first two or three times I'm in someone's presence, it's likely I'm not going to enjoy working with that person day in and day out.

OK. Question: The approach of Bill Hybels may be pretty simple and unsophisticated, but can you fault his technique for identifying talent?

1 comment:

  1. I think Mr Hybels is just stating simply what happens during most recruitment interactions. I do however have a little unease about the emphasis on chemistry.

    Have you ever met someone and either at worst taken an instant dislike to them (but can’t quite put your finger on why) or at best felt ambivalent towards them? Then, having then been put into a situation where you’ve had to work with them, you’ve gain a respect for them that is unexpected or even a friendship that you’d never believed possible?

    There will always be extremes but I do worry that putting people through a formal ‘chemistry test’ may mean that competence counts for nought and the best person may well not get the job. I guess it depends on the role but very rarely do we work solely one on one so I may well have ‘chemistry’ with my interviewer but go on to create ‘poison’ with my work colleagues or vice versa.

    Of course you need to get on with your colleagues but, with the exception of certain adult industries and maybe the coalition government; you don’t need to climb into bed with them (unless you really want to)!!