Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Quickest Path to Irrelevance: Compromise

What happens to products, services, or ideas when people compromise on them?

Irrelevance happens.

In continuing my series on how organizations make themselves irrelevant in the world, I've come to agree with this thought: that compromise on an idea, product, or service often times leads to mediocre things.

You might be raising your eyebrow now. Compromise leading to mediocrity? Blasphemy! Indeed, our whole modern culture is built around this notion of "tolerance." It's politically correct. It's less abrasive. It's less stubborn. It's more forward thinking.

I say it's backwards thinking...when it comes to certain things. For instance, when you have a WOW idea. Or when you have a vision of what could be, and you want to turn it into what will be.

Unfortunately, organizations sometimes prevent these WOW things from happening. I take that back...not sometimes...MOST times. Why? You get together with people. Ideas are thrown around. People have different agendas. Before you know it, the original vision or idea takes a backseat to what becomes a conglomeration of thoughts from everyone in the room. Then of course someone (aka the leadership team) has to approve the idea/product/service. More deliberation ensues. More crap gets added on to satisfy "them."

And then...what was a WOW idea becomes a compromised "huh?" idea. It's a "huh?" idea because after the dust settles from all the meetings and deliberations, the eventual customer for that idea looks at it and doesn't understand how it addresses a need in their life.

This happens in a lot of departments, projects, or BUs in organizations. And recruiting and HR departments are no exception to this. How many times have recruiting departments compromised on an ATS system in order to satisfy every single "stakeholder?" And how many times has that lead to a system...which originally was intended to make recruiters MORE efficient...that leaves everyone wondering who in the world picked this thing to begin with.

Even worse, what about when organizations compromise on talent? How many times has an organization looked over a talented candidate because HR says they're not within the "Sr. Associate payband?"

Day in and day out, I see how a lot of people make compromises. And slowly...their projects, BUs, or departments begin becoming irrelevant. Maybe that's why executives hate HR (recruiting included...let's admit it, they still lump all of us together with that term): It's made so many compromises over time that it's become irrelevant to an organization's strategic roadmap.

Maybe I'm way off here. So don't take my word for it. Just check out what others think.

Maybe you'll see that just doesn't make sense to compromise. Not when irrelevance is on the line.


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