I love you. You’re perfect. Now change.

I love you A5 Flyer Nov 27_page_1_sml

Growing organisation seeks perfect employee to join the team for long-term relationship. Must be able to work in harmony with others, bring unique talents and experience and be keen to achieve massive success.

The hiring process begins. Your eyes meet across the interview room. There’s a spark between you. This candidate is good! When they speak you hear a choir of angels. They rise to the challenge of every test with poise and grace. And they have the experience to back up their claims of skill and success. Everyone agrees.

The decision is made. I love you. You’re perfect. You’re hired!

Then our story takes a more sinister turn. Very quickly your thoughts turn away from what you loved about them and what made them perfect. Now you’re seeing them through a very different lens. They slip easily into your performance management processes and you start to focus your attention on their weaknesses and how to fix them.

The love affair is over. Now change.

Lost are the opportunities to leverage the potential of the individual and bring it to fruition because now the emphasis has shifted and your attention is divided at best, and completely focused on the negatives at worst. You may be asking them to be something that they cannot be and do something that they will never do with any great flair.

Here are some assumptions:

  • People have a preference for certain types of work activity
  • And for working in certain ways
  • During their careers they seek out opportunities to do the things they prefer
  • As they practice these things they become more proficient

We can either create the conditions that allow them to use their preferences to great effect within the role they are engaged to perform OR we can disregard their preferences and tackle where they fall short.

If we do the latter then I believe we are setting ourselves, and our people up for failure as we attempt to bring everyone – up to or down to – the same level of mediocrity. And so, potential never comes to fruition!

The alternative is that we keep our attention firmly on what we loved about the person when we first met them and build them up to be awesome powerhouses of preference and performance!

This blog was inspired by the musical comedy of the same name and the fact that my business partner Kate Hargreaves is currently rehearsing for her part in a local theatre production of this very musical!

Bev Holden is half of The Clear Thinking Partnership. She’s been successfully leading teams at work and in the voluntary sector for more than 20 years.

With her business partner Kate Hargreaves, she designs and facilitates learning events and programmes for clients who are passionate about people and who want their people to think more clearly, act decisively, engage with their teams and realise their full potential. You can connect with Bev on Twitter and Linked In.



Today’s thought was provoked by good friend and fellow entrepreneur Martin Johnson from www.YourBigPic.com

We’ve been successfully collaborating for a year and a bit now and it’s all good. We had reason to ask about the commercial proposition for something we’re working on and our conversation moved to the topic of Effectuation. (You can see a short video that explains the principles by clicking on the link).

We’ve not paid it much attention before and it struck me that there maybe others out there who have yet to discover it’s principles.We started by looking at it from a small business perspective.

Having seen life from the big business corporate perspective and more recently as an entrepreneur, at Clear Thinking we like to look at how entrepreneurial thinking can be applied to the corporate world. And guess what, the Effectuation people have read our minds. Here’s the link to the Corporate Effectuation video.

So, here are some questions to get your mind racing……

1. Which of the principles of Effectuation are being used in your business?

2. Who naturally brings effectual thinking into the way they work in your business  What can you learn from them about the way they think?

3. What if you switched to effectual thinking? What could the possibilities be?

We’ll be asking the people we work with about their experience of effectuation in practice and we’d love to hear your stories too.