After 8 years of heading a recruitment company I wrote the Interview Handbook. After another two years of daily interviews, I quit the company in order to cater for my inner nerd.
I then did 12 years in the IT business before Brendan and I started the comapny “Å” (A-Circle.no) in 2012.
Everything got simpler. And simpler. And simpler. To the point where I can now revisit my 10 years in the recruitment business and boil everything down to one page. So here it is, The OnePageBook, Recruitment:
Businesses are concerned with controlling most aspects of operation. Finance, sales, manufacturing, logistics, projects, people, all kinds of processes, planning, even innovation. They don’t want to fail.
People are concerned with controlling most aspects of their lives. Money, job security, family time, kids, house, even vacations. We don’t want to fail.
Society is built upon the need for control. We don’t like when things spin out of control.
Control makes sure we don’t run into unknown territory. It keeps us safe.
It also hinders innovation. Precisely because it mitigates surprises by ensuring we keep out of unknown territory.
I advocate the occasional UNCONTROL. Just “letting go” may not be quite enough. We should sometimes make a conscious decision to uncontrol a situation. To really let it run its own course into uncharted territory. To let the project derail and let the sale cycle take surprising turns. To stomach the uncomfortable uncertainty, embrace failing and let new synapse paths connect.
Business people, salesmen, game theory mathematicians, Donald Trump and negotiators would advice you to get the best deal possible. And the best deal would often amount to getting the biggest share of the pie that you can possibly get.
While that strategy may get you rich when selling refrigerators to Eskimos, it is not the best long term strategy for a partnership.
Whenever you try to get a bigger piece of the pie, the other parties gets less. And their motivation for baking pie suffers proportionally.
Trying to get the “best deal” by getting an unfair portion may be a viable short term strategy. But in the long run it kills partnerships.
The best way to ensure affluent pie making and long term profit is for every party to insist on a fair deal for everyone involved.
The best strategy is not to simply cater for one’s own interests. It is to cater for everyone’s interest. Putting my interest first hurts the other parties’ interests and kills off that much motivation to make the partnership work in the long run.
The best strategy would be to impress as much as you can by delivering value to the partnership as often as you can. Give life to the partnership by continually giving and insisting on a fair deal for everyone involved. Empathy, transparency, putting all cards on the table and dropping all chess gaming are keys to a good partnership. Don’t do tactics. Don’t do strategies. Just ensure everyone succeeds.
Many take pride in being able to do several things at once. Unfortunately, unless you are one of those very rare people who can actually do it, multitasking means doing things more poorly than if you had singletasked each task…
Last week I did a really fun job up in the north of Norway. Together with a group of 20 people from Nordland County Council, we crafted their new communications strategy. Norway is divided into 19 counties, and Nordland is the second biggest. The task at hand was to create the core of their 4 year communications strategy in 12 hours.
The only way to achieve this was to attack the task with radical simplicity. And the result was a three word sentence backed up with a set of 12 simple questions with short and to-the-point answers.
What puzzled me was how strikingly smooth the session went. And so I asked the group at the end. Their answer: “We have a great appreciation for differences”. An excellent answer – because it’s not enough to tolerate differences in a group, you have to really appreciate differences. You have to get a positive kick out of other people’s views and opinions. That’s when you get a group who forge new realities. And so we did.
What was those three words? Check out the video and figure out the Norwegian 🙂
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.”
Usually after having read a 200+ pages book, I wish there was a one page summary I could have read instead.
As Thomas Jefferson once said: “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”
Brendan and myself decided to start condensing our concepts into OnePageBooks. First out is “Organization – The simple way”. In just one A4 page you will get a destilled model and how-to for building organizations.
It’s so prevalent that it is taken for granted – the need for management, for leadership.
I believe the reason why people would need a boss… is because they had a boss. And having a boss dulls your ability to think for yourself, your initiative takes a hit and your creativity gets blunted. Management normally inspires indecision and dependence on management – simply because everyone wants to be valuable. A manager wants to be valuable as a manager. Hence he manages. And through that managing, he directs and motivates. And the people underneath him directs less and self-motivate less.
A few days ago I attended a meeting where the boss insisted that “everyone needs a boss“. I disagreed of course, leading to a moment of confusion. I rocked a fixed idea. Such “obvious” foundations are seldom challenged and often simply accepted without any questioning.
Your skills increase with practice, and your skills decrease with lack of practice. Having a boss that tells you what to do decreases your decision skills. Having a boss that motivates you decreases your self-motivation skills. And that is on a good day. It becomes even worse if you have a bad boss.
But I would maintain that no boss is better than a good boss. Which is why my goal as a father is that when my children reach the age of 18, they would never again need a boss.