Talent Optimization: Don’t be a Chicken Bus

Chicken Bus 1  vs.  Chicken Bus 2

Everyone’s heard Jim Collins’ “bus” metaphor: “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Here at Brandon Hall Group we talk a lot about talent acquisition, talent management, and talent optimization and work to educate the market on getting the right people in the right seats. But does anyone ever stop to think about the bus?

In this article, “Is Your Company a Chicken Bus?” Robert Hatta likens a rapidly growing company to a chicken bus; a mode of transportation that’s cobbled together based on what people can do and what’s needed at the time. Although this mode of transportation gets the job done quickly and inexpensively in the beginning, it’s eventually going to head off of a cliff.

Every company starts out as a chicken bus, or at least an economy car that’s got a driver, maybe some passengers, and is heading down the road to some greater purpose. So how do you make sure your company becomes the optimal bus with plenty of seating and a working air conditioner rather than a chicken bus where your assets are strapped to the top and sides and everyone is holding on for dear life?

Join us at 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29, for some insightful strategies at Brandon Hall Group’s complimentary webinar, Talent Optimization: Where Learning and Talent Meet. It features David Wentworth, Senior Learning Analyst at BHG, and Donald Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute.

Until then, some ideas to think about:

  1. Know where you’re going – even chicken busses have a destination. Know what you want your organization to be and what is necessary to accomplish those goals.
  2. Think about who you want to join you. On a chicken bus, people join quickly, and bring along a lot of baggage; try to hire people who you want to be there for the long term and their baggage is something you really want to transport.
  3. Optimize your passengers. Once people are on your bus and in the right seats, help them grow and encourage learning.

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Erin Spencer



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