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Are There Enough Buses?

Happy New Year my friend. I hope all is looking strong for this 2010.

I have a new thought thread I’d like to share with you. John Collins in his highly acclaimed “Good to Great” writes about “getting the right people on the bus”. My question is “will there be enough buses”? Clearly, from my perspective as a minister to people in job transition I may be accused of being biased, but here is the thought.

Assuming most companies do try to be not just good, but great; then this idea of identifying the people who fit the target profile to load the bus properly becomes the key. We know this is an age-old problem facing every CEO, hiring manager and HR professional. However, as the economy evolves to respond to the various market forces, what are those who do not fit the “get on the bus” profile left to do?

Some who profess to be capitalistic free market advocates would say this is the normal and natural downside. Socialists would say they can fix it by simply building new buses. What is the right answer? I see two forces at work.

  1. The individual must take on personal responsibility to offer the best possible profile to “fit on an existing bus” somewhere. They do this by retraining and updating technical skills, reshaping and refining interpersonal skills/values, and working diligently to stay aware of “bus loading” opportunities. Those already on a bus somewhere must take on greater responsibility for demonstrating their own value proposition to sustain and build their worth for retaining their seat on the bus.
  2. Corporate America must do more to define and assess the qualifications for boarding the bus and the process by which candidates are vetted for boarding. This does not have to be purely empirical data. I know this is a long standing challenge, but is also something sorely lacking across most industries.

Your thoughts?