Via Business2Community : Effective Interview Tips for Hiring the Best Employees
Small businesses saw record profit levels in 2017, according to the 2018 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey. If your business is seeing some success, you may be thinking about hiring. You’re not alone. The NFIB survey found 57% of business owners are hiring employees.
Choosing the right candidate isn’t easy though. So it’s important to create an effective interview to help you make an informed decision. Learn how to conduct an interview to better find out who a candidate really is, and whether or not they’re a good fit for your company.
Prep to make candidates at ease
It can be challenging to figure out if a candidate is right for the job if they’re overly nervous or uncomfortable. An efficient interview process that makes the job candidate feel at ease from the start can help you better understand whether they’d be a good fit for the role.
Gabrielle Bowden, HR director and assistant controller at The Bridges Club, says going right into the interview can “create an expectation of formality where candidates are hesitant to show their true selves.”
At the start of the interview, try asking an ice-breaker question. Here are some examples:
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
- What’s important to you in your career?
- Tell me about yourself and what you’re interested in.
- How has your job search been?
By asking these types of questions, you’re also building a relationship with the candidate. And this allows them to open up during the interview.
You can also send an email beforehand to give them an idea of what topics you’ll cover so they feel more prepared.
You want candidates to be themselves during the interview. The more comfortable they are during the process, the easier it is for you to see their personality and make an informed decision.
Ask behavioral questions
No matter the industry or type of job, candidates go into interviews expecting to be asked certain questions.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What kind of work environment do you prefer?
While you can ask these common questions, it may be more valuable to focus on asking behavioral questions. Asking behavioral questions will get more than a “yes” or a “no” answer. Candidates will have to reflect on their career and professional experiences, which can give you a better idea of their skills, how they think, and their problem-solving abilities.
Here are some examples of behavior-based questions:
- Tell me about a time you encountered an issue and no one was around to help you. What did you do? A candidate’s answer to this question shows you how they think on their feet. It can show you how they work under pressure and if they were able to find a satisfactory solution. Ron Hamilton, who owns an HR consulting company, says the “best way to predict success on the job is to understand how the candidate behaved in similar situations in the past.”
- Tell me your experience of having to work with a difficult team member. This could be an important question if you consider personality and team dynamics a priority. The candidate’s answer will show you whether they can work well with others. Team building and culture is important, so you want to make sure they can still do their work even if there are differences.
- “What is your proudest accomplishment?” Or “Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.” This can show you how much perseverance the candidate has and how determined they are to find a solution. Pay attention to the details and how long they spent working towards the accomplishment or solution. It doesn’t have to be an epic success either; sometimes getting through the day-to-day obstacles or working through a budget issue can show you their dedication. Kristen Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Koru, said, “A history of persevering through mind-numbing boredom can be one of the most valuable predictors of strong performance.”
Don’t forget to ask if they have any questions at the end of the interview. This can show you if your potential employee did any research about you or your company before the interview, Hamilton said. Unless the candidate was asking questions throughout the conversation, it could be a bad sign if they don’t have questions to ask at the end.
Questions to avoid
By law, there are questions you can’t ask during an interview. Despite this, some employers are still asking inappropriate questions. A recent study by the Associated Press and CNBC found 35 percent of people that interviewed for a job within the last 10 years were asked about their age.
Avoid asking questions on these topics:
- Race, ethnicity, or color
- Country of national origin or birthplace
- Marital or family status
There’s a difference between hearing and actively listening. Listening to a candidate is an active skill. It means you’re paying close attention and being engaged.
When you’re listening, it can make for a more in-depth, thoughtful interview. Edward D. Hess, a professor at the University of Virginia, says anyone can be a more active listener by:
- “Getting ready to listen.” When you’re sitting down with a job candidate to interview them, clear your mind and stay focused. Take a moment to breathe or meditate and get yourself in the right mindset for the interview. Be present and pay attention to their entire answer and what they have to tell you. Don’t multitask and try not to get distracted by other things.
- “Go slow and reflect.” As you think about their answer, ask yourself if you understand the point they’re trying to convey. You can take this moment to ask a follow-up question and give the candidate an opportunity to elaborate.
- “Try on another’s idea.” Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes to get a better idea of how they think or why they believe what they believe. Hess says this process will generally lead to conversation.
The next steps
At the end of each interview, it’s good practice to tell candidates when they can expect to hear back about the job. And depending on how well the interviews went, you may already know who you want to offer the job to. In this case, you can start crafting an offer letter.
If you need to bring in any candidates for another round of interviews, that’s OK, too. This can be an opportunity for the rest of your team to meet the candidate.
Since you’re hiring a new employee, make sure they have the proper protection they need if a work accident happens. Most businesses in the U.S. must buy workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp helps cover employees if something happens to them while on the job.
Effective interviews for the best hires
Hiring and interviewing new employees can be challenging. It’s a big decision that can have adverse effects on your business if you make the wrong choice. Hiring the best person for the job can be a game changer, however, as they’ll likely contribute to the continued success of your business.
You can make candidates comfortable, ask them better questions, and be a more engaged listener. Each of these things can create a more effective interview and help you find top talent for your business.
Via INC : The Biggest Secret to Hiring (It’s Not What You Think)
The way to win in business is to mold your workers to fit your culture.
For most employers, she’s the holy grail: the day-one-ready new hire. In she walks, preloaded with requisite skills. Just add caffeine and let her rip. But with unemployment at near-record lows, people like her are hard to find. Good. That scarcity is an opportunity.
In today’s tight labor market, the talent-is-hard-to-come-by lament is near universal–and also potentially misleading. The problem isn’t so much that employers can’t find workers for jobs that require skills, some experts say. It’s that employers want workers they don’t have to train. That attitude may deny businesses a powerful competitive advantage. That’s particularly true for entrepreneurial companies, which rely on workforces’ thinking and acting differently from incumbents.
Chad Laurans would agree with that. When he founded the Boston-based home-security company SimpliSafe in 2006, Laurans wanted to upend the industry with install-it-yourself hardware and no long-term service contracts. So he refused to hire anyone with industry experience. “We didn’t want that baggage,” he says. The venture-backed company–which employs about 600 people–hires from all levels of education. Training ranges from a month for call-center workers to potentially years for an engineer.
“Hiring people to do something they haven’t done before is powerful,” says Laurans. It’s possible, he continues, that a day-one-ready hire “is going to be bored, or they are just not going to be driven.”
As an entrepreneurial leader, “I really don’t want fully skilled people, because I want it to be done my way,” says Tom Peters, whose new book, The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide With Work That Wows and Jobs That Last, argues that training should be investment No. 1. Companies willing to train new hires, Peters says, can simultaneously address needed skills and the business’s distinct culture to produce employees who “do things in ways that fit our character.” In his formulation, “the company with the best training wins.”
The expectation that hires will hit the ground running emerged during looser labor markets when companies enjoyed a surfeit of choice. They also ran leaner, and so the appetite for anything less than prime talent abated. “Over the past 20 years, companies got very picky looking for people who were the exact right fit,” says Todd Thibodeaux, CEO of CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association that trains and certifies people in a variety of IT skills. “They weren’t interested in taking people who were entry level or were maybe 75 percent of the way there.” Companies also hate the idea of spending to make workers day-one ready for someone else. “Employers are convinced if they train people they are just going to lose them,” says Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School.
Of course, it is in the interest of a dynamic economy that businesses give workers their first shots, increase their value through education and experience, and then wave goodbye as they depart for better opportunities. But it is not in the interest of individual employers. Such concerns not only produce under-investment in training but also cause the proliferation of noncompetes, which these days extend all the way to beauticians.
But training makes workers both more likely to join and less likely to leave. Asked what attracts them to employers in a study by PwC, Millennials ranked training third, above benefits, flexible schedules, and employer values. Research shows increased retention among employees who are encouraged by their prospects for advancement and feel obligated to employers who invest in them. And a well-developed training muscle allows companies to react quickly to shifts in demand–from SharePoint to Slack, for example–and update their own workforces in response.
Such advantages should persuade business leaders to stop viewing themselves narrowly as consumers of talent and focus on becoming producers. There’s no reason entrepreneurial companies can’t be as innovative about developing talent as they are about developing products and services. Some already are.
Techtonic Group, for example, is both software development firm and apprentice farm. The business, based in Boulder, Colorado, employs a cadre of apprentices whom it trains in multiple skills while simultaneously deploying them (with a more senior team) on client projects. After 1,000 hours of working with apprentices, clients can hire them onto their teams–they now possess ample evidence of their ability. Techtonic, which raised a $2 million round in April, is the first Department of Labor-registered apprenticeship provider for software development.
Tech jobs aren’t the only ones inspiring creativity. In 2015, Saxbys Coffee, a chain headquartered in Philadelphia, launched an unusual partnership with Drexel University to open student-run cafs on campus. Undergraduates manage everything–frothing the cappuccinos, sure, but also hiring, firing, marketing, and calculating the P&L. Company managers swing by regularly to check in and answer questions, but none are onsite. Students learn on the job and in the classroom, where Saxbys helps shape the curriculum. Founder Nick Bayer created the program to promote entrepreneurship, but it also primes the talent pipeline–from store managers to corporate–with young people who know Saxbys chapter and verse.
Such programs represent a creative, ambitious approach to eliminating skills gaps inside companies. Great businesses are born when entrepreneurs can’t find something they need and so build their own. Great workforces are born the same way.
Via Polsinelli : Employer Beware: Considerations When Hiring a Competitor’s Employees
Restrictive covenants, such as non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, typically assist employers to protect their legitimate business interests. When properly drafted and implemented, an employer can use these types of agreements to limit an employee’s ability to unfairly compete after he or she concludes employment.
However, restrictive covenants cannot be used to prohibit regular, ordinary competition. While some employers may be deterred from considering an otherwise qualified applicant who is subject to post-employment restrictive covenants, there are steps employers can take to limit their exposure to claims of unfair competition when interviewing and hiring employees subject to these kinds of restrictions.
- Ask about restrictions at the earliest reasonable and possible opportunity. Be specific when asking about any agreements in which these provisions might be contained. However, take care to avoid discussing the applicant’s former employer’s confidential information.
- Obtain a copy of the agreement or agreements if a decision to hire is likely and review and analyze the enforceability of the restrictive covenants at issue, as well as whether the applicant can perform the position without violating the restrictions.
- Clearly instruct the applicant not to disclose any confidential information, even if volunteered. Depending on the restrictions at issue, the new employer may also need to instruct the applicant not to solicit any of the former employer’s customers, clients, or employees. Consider also including an attestation to that effect in the offer letter or employment agreement.
- Evaluate the likelihood of litigation. Assess the circumstances of the employee’s departure, the similarities between the former position and the new role, the nature of the industry and proprietary information or trade secrets at issue, the business relationship (if any) between the hiring employer and the former employer, and the former employer’s propensity for litigation, among other things.
Employers that determine that hiring an applicant subject to restrictive covenants justifies the risks of doing so would do well to discuss proactive options with an attorney. In some situations, opening the line of communication with the former employer prior to – for example – receipt of a cease-and-desist letter demanding the termination of new hire’s employment can be very productive.
The existence of restrictive covenants, standing alone, should not in all cases discourage employers from hiring an otherwise qualified candidate. With careful planning, a savvy employer can substantially limit its exposure to interference and misappropriation claims and position itself with a strong defense should the former employer decide to pursue action against it.
Via CIO : 11 bad hiring habits that will burn you
From dragging out the process to missing red flags, missteps in the hiring process can lead to talent shortages, retention issues and mismatches that often derail team cohesion and productivity.
Ask IT experts what’s wrong with the hiring process and the same problems appear. It takes too long. Job descriptions aren’t on point. The hiring tools are out of date. There’s too little communication. And diversity goals remain unmet.
The worst part? It’s a lose-lose for both parties. Experienced candidates get passed over. Job hunters with potential are overlooked. Red flags are ignored, and even when the hire is made, it’s often a bad fit. The process is broken.
The good news is that focusing on the design of the hiring process — rather than short-term needs, on the fly — can help. If you make sure everyone in the process contributes meaningfully to the effort and use metrics to evaluate the success of your hires, you can get your hiring process back on track. Read on to identify and avoid hiring methods that create more headaches than they solve.
Dragging out the process
IT pros have long bemoaned the time it takes to hear back from prospective employers — and the long wait to get an offer letter. Kelly Finn, a principal consultant for the IT search division at recruiter WinterWyman, says things start heading south when your interview process takes too long.
“Candidates get soured on the company and assume it’s not well run in general,” she says. “There’s also the risk of losing candidates to other offers.”
Of course, rushing the process can also lead to negative outcomes. Better communication from the beginning, though, can help.
“Set their expectations on your timeline, and treat every entry-level hire as you would a senior hire,” says Liz Wessel, CEO and co-founder of WayUp, a site for early career job hunters. “One way that we’ve been able to create meaningful dialogue with our candidates is by sending them engaging content — press coverage, blog articles, or videos — about the company, the role, or the team. In doing so, we can maintain communication with the candidate and create an ongoing rapport, even if the process is dragged out over a couple of months.”
Overreliance on standardized tests
While they’re useful for making sure candidates have the aptitude for an IT job, some organizations put too much stock in technical and personality-driven testing, says WinterWyman’s Finn.
“Many tests don’t tell the full story of a candidate’s skills or work style,” she says. “Relying too heavily on them might eliminate a great candidate with potential. Also, many people are simply not good test takers.”
Brad Davis, branch manager of information technology at Addison Group, suggests asking technical questions during the interview instead of subjecting IT pros to test taking on their own time.
“Skilled IT professionals are a hot commodity in today’s market,” Davis says. “Some of these candidates may have four or more opportunities available to them at any given time. Between their current work schedules and interviewing for other positions, many of these candidates don’t feel the need to complete hiring tests or skills assessments. Some of their other opportunities may not require them, and most companies can’t afford to miss out on top talent by requiring testing. To solve this, hiring managers should ask technical questions during an interview to get a feel for candidates’ skill levels without requiring lengthy testing.”
The asymmetrical nature of the employer and soon-to-be employed by its nature can leave a candidate feeling uninformed and anxious. You want to provide clear feedback, Finn says, and updates on where the process stands.
“Everyone appreciates an update and constructive criticism,” she says. “It’s also important to respond to candidates who are not going to be considered for the role. A reasonable benchmark would be to respond within one week if possible. This can be as simple as an automated response that lets the candidate know that their application has been received, but you’re considering other candidates who are a stronger fit. The good will that this generates goes a long way toward maintaining a positive impression of your company in the market.”
Job descriptions that shoot for the moon
Hiring experts say they frequently see job descriptions and requirements have little bearing on reality. This frequent mistake — classic overreach — can put off qualified candidates or lead to a bad fit.
“Job descriptions should very clearly differentiate the must-have items from the nice-to-have items,” Finn says. “If a job description looks unrealistic, candidates will question a manager’s expectations and even their management style.”
Elissa Tucker is a principal research lead at performance improvement and benchmarking firm APQC. She says job requirements have become a sort of hiring manager wish list.
“These lofty rather than practical criteria narrow the candidate pool and increase the risk that the new hire will be overqualified, grow dissatisfied, and leave the position prematurely,” Tucker says. “Craft job requirements that reflect the minimum capabilities needed to learn a role over time and take into account which capabilities are realistically available. The recruiter and hiring manager need to have frank conversations about which capabilities are truly required to do the job and how much the hiring manager and organization are willing to pay to secure them.”
Untrained hiring managers
Some hiring managers head into interviews with a list of questions that they expect will show off a candidate’s strengths and weed out weaker prospects. Jamie Winter of APTMetrics, an organization staffed by Industrial-Organizational psychologists, says the well-worn list isn’t enough to make a good hire.
“New hiring managers in particular and hiring managers in general need additional guidance on how to ask follow-up questions to gather valid data during the interview,” Winter says. “Then they need to apply scoring standards to fairly evaluate the data they collect in the interview. If the organization uses other tools like tests, hiring managers should be provided with training on how to use the data to help them make better decisions. This creates fairness, accuracy and consistency in how candidates are evaluated.”
Letting a vacancy drive your hiring process
It’s unwise to develop your hiring strategy at the moment you realize a position needs to be filled. Yet all too often, that’s what happens, Tucker says.
“A better approach,” she says, “is for HR and business leaders to meet at least yearly to anticipate future hiring needs and brainstorm candidate sources. Then recruiters and employees can foster connections with these sources and candidates. When a position opens, the recruiter already has a pool of promising candidates to reach out to.”
Mike Bailen, vice president of people at Lever, proposes a standardized kickoff meeting, between managers and recruiters, before the search begins.
“In the meeting,” Bailen says, “stakeholders can cover a few areas: calibrating the perfect role profile, getting clear on what you need to be evaluating, and brainstorming areas of focus for the interview team. If you don’t take enough time to both identify the competencies of the ideal candidate and how you’ll assess them, you could find yourself with a slower time-to-fill, messy funnel, or a hire that’s poor a fit. At the very worst, this lack of clarity could lead to unfair hiring practices and bias. Each interviewer on your panel should have a detailed understanding of how they can contribute to the process: what they are assessing, why that focus is important, and strategies that will help them evaluate the candidate as objectively as possible.”
Missing red flags
If a red flag appears in the interview, says APTMetrics’ Winter, pay attention and amplify that by 10 to envision the problems you’ll be facing once the hiring is over. He recalls an instance years ago when he wished he had listened to his instincts. Instead, he paid the price.
“During the interview I asked a question about this person’s ability to work with others,” Winter says. “The candidate gave an example of a time when she was working on an important and highly visible project with another person and suddenly the person just stopped working with her and told her she could complete the project any way she wanted.”
Winter thought it sounded odd, but the candidate described the situation in a way that made her appear blameless, and he ignored the story. “I hired this person because her credentials were really great. Well, over a period of about 11 months before this person left the firm, there were several issues related to her ability to work with others on the team and many hours of very unproductive time dealing with these issues. Had I paid attention to the red flag I picked up in the interview, the bad hire could have been avoided.”
Failing to look within
Faced with a looming vacancy, most hiring managers and recruiters look outside the organization to start their search, and it can lead to the same sources and same types of candidates, year after year, says APQC’s Tucker.
“These practices make it harder to find a match, add time to the hiring process, and lead the employer to miss the best candidates,” she says. “Both HR and managers should seek out and support internal talent moves.”
One way to improve internal recruiting is to create an inventory of staff skills and keep it up to date, she suggests. And HR managers should broaden their search to include contract and part-time, job sharing and remote workers.
Passing on potential
If you’re hiring a junior position, and especially if you’re looking at recent grads, WayUp’s Wessel advises weighing their upside rather than their work experience.
“Focus on their leadership abilities, their communication skills, and how well they function on a team,” she says. “Don’t get bogged down in the fact they don’t match everything in the job description. If you hire the candidates with potential, they’ll grow within your organization, and begin checking off those boxes over time. Consider a student’s part-time work experience as real work experience. After all, over 80 percent of college students work their way through school.”
Failing to focus on communication skills
Dave Smith, senior director of engineering at DigitalOcean, says that hiring managers need to consider soft skills and think through how new hires will exchange ideas, collaborate, and execute efficiently on big projects.
“I like to test people’s communications skills in interviews by asking them to tell me their story,” Smiths says. “For example, their resume in chronological order: Where did they start their career, and what was the journey like from there? How people respond here gives me a good sense of their career trajectory, but also how they communicate on a topic they know well.”
Inability to create a diverse staff
Hiring managers looking to create a diverse workforce often get in their own way, says Wessel. She lays out the scenario she’s seen multiple times especially in large firms.
“The HR teams say they are looking for a specific type of candidate,” Wessel says. “For example, a diverse candidate pool that is at least half female — but the employees who are interviewing candidates have serious unconscious bias and end up rejecting those same diverse candidates. They didn’t implement best practices among their hiring managers or interviewers. Some companies have unconscious bias training, but that’s usually not nearly enough to make a dent in the problem. We see this more often than we’d like. ”
Wessel mentions a positive step organizations can take to drive more success when attempting to diversify their staff: Promote from within.
“Most businesses start tackling this problem by bringing in diverse and qualified candidates at the junior level,” Wessel says. “While that’s well-intentioned, I’ve found great success on my team by hiring diverse managers who can help foster an environment of inclusion. Management is what sets the tone for the team and I’ve found that junior-level candidates respond well to seeing themselves reflected in the senior team members of a company when they come in for an interview. Without that, you may be able to get junior members in the door, but it’s harder to retain them for the long term.”
Via B The Change : How to Increase Your Company’s Impact by Hiring for Deep Diversity
Business Leaders Must Create Conditions for Learning—Without Introducing Chaos
For decades, workplace diversity was treated as an issue of legal compliance. Our predominately white male hegemony, which felt threatened by women and minorities entering the workforce, grudgingly began dismantling the glass ceilings (and in many cases very concrete ceilings) fearing regulatory sanction.
Around the 1990s, diversity began to emerge as an issue of “sensitivity” or “tolerance,” with business leaders becoming as concerned with their reputations as they were with regulatory compliance.
Today, the issue has evolved into one of core business strategy, as customers develop more discerning tastes for the social defensibility of the companies from which they buy. And, while open racism, sexism, homophobia, and cissexism have by no means been defeated, the best companies across all sectors now understand that promoting diversity is critical to maintaining social license.
But for conscious companies, which aim to serve a higher social purpose and challenge the status quo, the bar is higher. For them, diversity is about more than social license. Promoting diversity has become a “ticket to play” for purely profit-seeking businesses. But social-purpose businesses must do more than just play: They must try to change the game.
Why Diversity is Indispensable for Social Impact
Our most critical social challenges are complex, structural, and systemic. There is no “silver bullet” solution, for example, to wealth inequality. This complexity means that we will never all the answers.
True commitment to social impact demands that we build our strategies around questions: striving to be “learning organizations” that search for new insights into the challenges and experimenting with different approaches. These are tough questions with complex answers. For example, the question at the heart of Whole Foods’ work, “How do we make fresh, healthy food more accessible to people throughout our community?” does not have a single answer; rather it serves as a rallying point for organizational learning and community engagement.
Authentically asking such questions requires a whole-systems perspective. Without it, even the most socially minded companies risk becoming “locked in” to a single perspective or settling for being socially defensible (“we are not contributing to the problem”) rather than socially impactful (“we actively work to solve the problem”).
Complexity is all about contradictions: Two beliefs about an issue might both be “true” but also in conflict. Learning is what happens when we find common ground in conflicting perspectives. The challenge of improving maternal health, for example, looks very different to an expectant mother in rural Ghana than it does to the CEO of a health care company in the capital city. Without all perspectives, you cannot see the whole system.
For conscious businesses, the kind of diversity that helps you build a learning organization — what we call “deep diversity” — is thus a fundamental criterion for impact. “Deep diversity” means more than gender and ethnic diversity, though these are crucial. It also includes diversity in social perspective: the variety of lenses through which different segments of society view our challenges.
Is the issue you care about one of class, sustainability, economics, information, gender, or power? Chances are, it’s a mix of all of these and more. Truly impactful conscious companies harness deep diversity to identify innovation opportunities, build trust with customers, avoid groupthink, and better understand what’s really valuable to those they want to help.
For example, the Ghana-based social enterprise Voto Mobile has strived to build a company culture that appreciates the diverse social perspectives relevant to its mission. Voto uses mobile technology to change who has power and voice in the development process, “making it easy for businesses, governments, and NGOs to share information and gather feedback through interactive SMS or voice calls in local languages — using mobile to instantly reach across distance, language, and literacy barriers.”
Voto’s staff members have been carefully selected to represent the various viewpoints on that challenge: end users, paying customers, how technology is built and used, livelihood contexts of intended beneficiaries, and gender issues. Acknowledging that it will never have all the answers, Voto also relies on its clients to educate it on the context of their particular initiative.
Creating Conditions for Impact through Deep Diversity
There are thousands of how-to guides, tools, and articles on promoting gender and ethnic diversity in the workplace. Fundamentally, promoting “deep diversity” is no different, although it does call for an even greater reflection on the varied social perspectives that matter in your work.
Whether your mission concerns inequality, sustainability, poverty, or any other social issue, there will always be many ways to frame the challenge.
Conscious business leaders must ask themselves: What questions lie at the heart of our mission? Which different social and political lenses might people use to answer those questions?
If some of these make me uncomfortable, is that discomfort justified, or am I missing out on opportunities for learning? Once you understand the different ways the challenge can be viewed, you can begin to hire for diversity in social perspective.
Finally, the critical challenge for any leader looking to leverage diversity for impact is to create the conditions for learning without introducing chaos. You don’t want your organization to become a conflict zone in which nothing gets done.
This is where leadership comes in: Aleader’s task is to create an environment of learning through action, ensuring the tough questions are asked while you keep moving forward. In fact, leading business strategist Julian Birkinshaw has described business leadership as the promotion of emergence while keeping entropy at bay. For example, successful leaders create “collision spaces” in their organizations: meetings and spaces in which debate is encouraged but is also facilitated to ensure the focus stays on learning.
If we are to be authentic, the struggle to create a values-driven economy demands that we venture into socially and politically sensitive territory. Challenging the status quo will always be hard, but by leveraging “deep diversity,” conscious companies can continue to demonstrate that impact is possible, even in the toughest of circumstances.