Monday, April 20, 2009

Nell Minow's Catching Ideas

This morning my business partner Dan Wallace sent me to a site about management pointing to Nell Minow's insights:

What Nell Minow, co-founder of the Corporate Library looks for when hiring people, “I really look for a kind of a passionate curiosity. I think that is indispensable, no matter what the job is. You want somebody who is just alert and very awake and engaged with the world and wanting to know more … Another thing that’s important to me in hiring somebody is the ability to become very fully engaged with the company, and that is a real challenge when you get past a certain number of people. The fourth person you hire is just a different kind of person than the 25th person you hire … And this is where it starts sounding like I’m looking for someone to date, but I also look for a sense of humor, because that’s really the best indicator of some kind of perspective about the world. And ultimately I won’t hire anybody who can’t write … It’s just tremendously important, their precision, their vocabulary, their sense of appropriateness of communication.”

See more from Ms Minow in the piece 'The Importance Of “We” In Managing People'
Ms Minow points to characteristics which are also very useful if you're looking to build a problem solving team. She recognizes that within that criteria, you can hire very different people. She is not saying you need people with high EQ. High EQ does not equate with engagement. You hire curious people who can think clearly and express those thoughts through precise language. Not everyone uses language with precision.

For example, I downloaded a whitepaper over the weekend partially based on this content claim: "This report will attempt to answer how social media marketing benefits businesses." I am interested in how people utilize social media. How do you use a blog to close a sale? That you claim to use a blog to close a sale is not very interesting without understanding how it is accomplished.

But the report actually was just full of charts and graphs around a survey result. The data only showed 'that' respondents claimed social media marketing benefits businesses, not a word on 'how' the benefits were achieved. It is like saying I am going to show you how you can build a wood house, and then show you a wood house.
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