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Jim Collins –Your Company Key Indicator for People - Corrections [Dallas Growth Summit]



If you’re a Jim Collins fan you know that in Good To Great he preaches First Who Then What. Collins was enormously entertaining and educating. If you’ve heard him speak you’re amazed at his ability to proficiently use the language. He reminded me of a socially acceptable and completely professional Sheldon, from the Big Bang Theory. I mean that as a high compliment. He’s brilliant.
If people are the first place to start with your business, doesn’t it make sense to have a key indicator to monitor how well you are doing in this all important resource?
Here are the questions Collins asked the audience to complete:
1.       How many key seats do you have in your company? [He defined when one of the audience asked for a definition, key seats as anywhere there is a key risk if you don’t have the right person. Some of the larger companies had as many as 200, most had ten or more.]
2.       What percentage of key seats do you have empirical confidence that they are the right people?
3.       Would you guess that percentage is increasing, holding steady or decreasing?
Collins suggested that if your answer to question two is not consistently north of 2/3’s you’re probably going to have problems with growth. He felt that for a company to be growing consistently it needs to be 90% or better.  Are you measuring whether or not you have the right people in the right key positions? If it’s that important to success, doesn’t it make sense to measure it?
Collins repeated the need for discipline and that success is not a function of circumstances but of discipline and choice. He also noted that leaders don’t know the answers; rather they are excellent at determining the right questions.
He also pointed to Appendix Five in his book How the Mighty Fall for six generic characteristics on who would be the right people for key seats.   I will explore them in a later blog.
I must make a correction to my blog from yesterday.  Apparently I erred in telling you that most leaders who start a business are not equipped to grow and build it. Collins pointed to no less famous examples as Henry Ford, Bill Gates, William Hewlett and Dave Packard as founders who were more than capable and successful at building their businesses. 
There is plenty more to share on Collins and a bunch of great offerings from the afternoon session with Aubrey Daniels. I’ll have more on that in the weeks ahead including debunking those you-tube videos and other behavior experts who are pushing and agenda that rewards don’t work. Daniels points out that this is bologna and I’ll explain why in future blogs. 

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