Saturday, July 18, 2009


Warren Buffet cites 3 qualities to look out for when recruiting: Integrity, Intelligence and Energy. Now tell me, how do you assess these using a cv? Answer: you can't. A cv will give you a measure of experience, but little else - and that's assuming the candidate has integrity.
Whenever I've recruited, I've really only been interested in these 3 qualities, with experience coming in fourth. You can train skills - you can't train attitude.
So why on earth does the recruitment industry, aided and abetted by HR departments, persist in judging candidates by their cvs alone? And why do they shortlist only those that match the job spec as closely as possible when the result is to maintain the status quo, promote stagnation and inhibit change and evolution?
My hunch is that this behaviour is driven by fear - fear that a decision based on intangibles cannot be supported by evidence. Evidence provides a firewall against criticism, it defends judgement and protects the hapless decision-maker.
The crying shame is that each time a recruiter opts for safety, another chance for the organisation to evolve goes out of the window.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


This is the slightly tautological title of a short paper that I've just written. I found writing it both cathartic and illuminating. I had to quickly let go of the idea that it could cover the whole subject - not just because there would be a lot to say, but also because the boundaries of facilitation as a concept or discipline are fuzzy to say the least.

I also had to dispense with the idea that I could define it in any rigorous fashion. The engineer in me protested: how can you write about something that you can't define? Well I can define it, but how does that help if someone else's definition is different - and maybe just as valid?

In the end, I've just written a series of observations and conclusions on some of the aspects of facilitation that interest me. It is non-linear, it is not intellectually disciplined - in fact in some ways it bears resemblance to some of the conversations that I've facilitated. It is certainly open to rebuttal and I'm sure that you may disagree with some of my points.

I'm happy with that as questions and uncertainty are often more powerful than answers.

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