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Hiring for the Unknown
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis publishes the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index with data going back nearly 40 years. Without going into the details of how this index comes about, the one thing it will tell you with certainty is that uncertainty is on the rise and likely continues to do so for years to come.
With this comes a profound challenge for any leader: How do you lead into and in the unknown? And for anyone hiring – how do you hire and set up your people for this challenge?
Ironically many companies still hire people to tell them what to do. When the new hire shows up for her first day on the job, we give her the company handbook, instruct her to get familiar with the wiki, have her shadow some colleagues, and then tell her what to do. We even neatly write it down in a job description…
All of which assumes we even know what to do in the first place. Reality is, of course, far from it. We (hopefully) know what our North Star and our core principles are – the rest everyone in the organization needs to figure out for themselves and together — also our new recruit.
This means you are better off hiring people to tell you what to do. You pay them top dollar – why wouldn’t their job be to figure this out and tell you?
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