The gap between promises made and promises kept needs attention, and positive action. Reality is complex as it is, we don't need to complicate things further. Because our complexity may come back to bite us. It does in ways small and big. Small impressions create a fuzzy picture, big ones overwhelm.
This is the story of content for content sake, rather than to communicate, educate, inspire, and (yes) instigate. Storytelling is important, but not more than living and breathing the story. Somewhere in the process, many organizations are getting lost in the forest they don't see for looking too closely at the trees.
Clever is good if that's who you are AND who your customers are. Substitute for clever smart and most other attributes. Seldom the interests of the two are aligned. Often organizations are transmitting on a different frequency than the recipients of their idea.
Customer experience is where this hurts organizations the most. The way an organization hires speaks volumes about its confidence in the product and the team to deliver for customers. And so does how a firm talks about its team.
Recruiting with confidence
4 things I love about
@estately's listing here that too few mktg job posts have: 1) Actually says what you'll do 2) Doesn't ask for ludicrous years of experience 3) Legally but clearly seeking diversity 4) Says "have experience w/ OR want to learn" (yes!)
Honest and specific to the core results of the job at the same time. Please take note recruiters and business owners. What else we know about this description? It wasn't copied or worse built from picking a laundry list of tasks from job descriptions of other companies.
If we were to summarize in one sentence, this organization is looking for someone who understands home buyers, is a good writer who knows SEO and email marketing and can help a collaborative firm of experts build its market.
This is content that sells. If more organizations behaved this way, the hiring process would lose a ton of weight — and create a better impression. Every piece of communication should be conceived as a marketing and brand story. Yes, even legal contracts and living principles.
An example via @BrentBeshore. Someone asked the CEO of Adventur.es:
“What are the ten biggest ideas that changed your life?”
1) Imago Dei: Every person is inherently valuable independent of behavior and beliefs. Everyone matters. Treat people accordingly, without exception.
2) Rationality: In the moment, people act rationally, always. The question is what information, preferences, time horizon, and biases came into play? Removes ability to write-off people/behavior. Forces learning and empathy.
3) Meaningful = Hard: If something worthwhile appears easy, it means I got lucky. Or, I've never done it. Crucial to setting opportunity costs, evoking gratitude, suppressing envy, and cheering others on.
4) Base Rate: The average of how others do is the mostly likely indicator of my future performance. I want to get into situations where the base rate is attractive.
5) Messy: Life is messy. People are messy. Business is messy. Relationships are messy. I’m messy. Messiness should never be surprising. Give myself and others grace.
6) Margin of Safety/Redundancy: Stuff happens. Expect it and be prepared. Applies to virtually every area of life and far beyond investing — engineering, organizational operations, relationships, health, personal finances, etc.
7) Serving vs. Served: The great paradox of life is self-sacrificial service. More I give, with no expectation of reciprocity, the better life goes for others and me. Counterintuitive and countercultural.
8) Non-Linearity: I expect orderly, sequential outcomes. I get compounding, with unexpectedly positive and negative outcomes. Expect the unexpected. Get better at ball-parking nonlinear results.
9) Forgotten: In 100 years, no one will know my name. And certainly, no one will know me and I won’t know them. Living for fame and recognition is like chasing the wind. I try re-read Ecclesiastes monthly.
10) Invert: Avoiding failure is a heck of a lot easier than trying to be successful. Understand predictable points of failure (probability + magnitude) and plan against them. And don't worry, failure will still come often.
Compare with how the organization does business#. Specifically under who we are:
Simple Capital Structure
We are currently investing Permanent Equity I, a $50 million committed capital fund. Little to no debt is utilized in transactions.
People as a Priority
We have a strict “no assholes” policy, which allows for transparent communications, little drama, and no politics.
We’re (almost) always available to advise, assist, or consult with our companies’ leadership. We want to help if we can be helpful. Our communication frequency ranges from day-to-day in challenging or high-growth times, to quarterly board meetings when the sailing’s smooth.
With technology backgrounds, we’re neither scared of it, nor obsessed with it. We view technology as an enabling force, when appropriate. It can improve customer service, employee communication, and business processes. Or, it can be a big distraction.
Intentional Prioritization of Resources
We like to keep things as simple as possible. The adventur.es team is as small as it can be, allowing us to avoid hierarchy and decision paralysis.
We Don’t Play Games
Because while there's no limit for better, there's a limit on the hours of the day, week, and years that we have to make an impact. Work bullies are energy vampires, black holes who use others for their own benefit. Organizations get the culture they encourage — inaction is a choice.
Culture is the byproduct of consistent behavior. We say what we do, we do what we say. Culture debt is the most expensive form of debt an organization can have, because it uses a tremendous amount of energy to repair.
Something important is happening in some organizations — story is a reflection of who and what creates value, and why we're here. We tell stories all day long in how we operate our business, how we act toward each other, and what it feels like to do business with us. Even when that business is applying for a job.
Finding the right fit becomes much easier when every action, word, and behavior is coherent.