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Does your company believe in magic?

September 19, 2008

If I had to make a move that kicks ass, you know who I’ll have on my show?

I’ll have him as the indestructable hero

She the demure heroine

And this dude as the villain.

I wouldn’t want Michael Jackson to play Bruce Willis because no matter how much make-up he puts on, he just ain’t Bruce.

In the movie business how you cast your characters can make or break your production. You spend a lot of effort searching for the right people to play scripted roles.

Work’s no different. When you see a nervous accountant trying to play the role of a gung-ho salesman, you know someone’s trying to pass off Michael Jackson as Bruce Willis. At the box office, that spells disaster.

Yet companies are full of miscasted people. They get grumpy Nancy to play customer service, some pirate buccaneer to look after finances, a paranoid schizo to become a people-manager.

And then when things go wrong, they run around in panic and demand, “Michael, why can’t you be like Bruce!!”

You see, many companies believe in magic. They believe that with a carrot and stick (mostly stick), they can do this.

Sure, they save a few bucks a year on payroll. It doesn’t matter that they’re losing many times more on underperformance and re-training. Or that their hair gets tangled in all sorts of personal issues because no matter how hard Jacko tries, he comes out looking like this.

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone’s good if you can find them the right role. Even Michael. (I’m thinking Sound of Music 2.) B-grade productions can become spectacular hits if you can match talent with a great script.

Meanwhile, we’ll just have to live with those who say, “Aiyah… why you make life so complicated wan. Just get the cheapest guy lor…” while they munch popcorn and complain about why local movies suck. :mrgreen:

[Edit: In case u didn’t notice, this post is actually about the need to test people of their natural aptitudes before you give them a job. Left brained jobs for left brainers, right brained jobs for right brainers, thinking jobs for thinkers, etc. If you are a hiring manager and don’t know how to test natural aptitudes or worse, have never heard of left brain right brain, may god help you.]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2008 9:48 am

    If you’re looking for people to fill up “helper” roles…….then u better find the appropriate ones. Because if u don’t, things will start going downhill from there onwards.

    But if you’re looking for people to improve your company not just from the “helper” perspective, then you better find someone who is creative, dare to challenge with relevant opinions with an above than average attitude.

    Then again, it’ll depend on what kind of leader is he (the big boss)… one-man show = 1 leader, all helpers. Or many-man show = 1 observant, many leaders.

    Not sure u get what i mean. haha

    I know what u mean. One thing I learnt is that the leader need not be the strongest man in the co. but he needs to be the sharpest. To make up for his own weakness in selling, he can hire a professional salesman. The trouble starts when he does not know how to match the talent with the role and hires the wrong guy for the job. I know one multinational that actually leaves the hiring decision to a HR manager who specializes in paperwork (claims, payroll, etc). The whole company is now in a mess.

  2. LC Teh permalink
    September 22, 2008 11:01 am

    They should read Peter Drucker more. ‘It’s not enough to say someone’s a good man. Good for what?, should be the question.’

    True. What’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander. Hey, glad you found back your access to cyberspace. 🙂

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