Whose bus is it anyway?

Many leaders quote Jim Collins’ phrase “get the right people on the bus” when they implement change. Very often, this is euphemism for re-structuring that leads to the “exiting” of people, i.e., getting the “wrong people off the bus”.

What I don’t get is why no one ever questions how unitarist, judgemental, hierarchical and manipulative this is?

Dare I say there’s no such thing as right people or wrong people, just people in all our glorious diversity. We all have foibles, we all have potential, we all have talent and we all have worth. In this regard, leaders are those who can animate human potential, not those who can only work with like-minded people.

You don’t get engaged staff through a ‘selection’ process but rather through the ability of leader/s to create conditions for genuine cooperation, collaboration and co-working. In my way of thinking, if staff aren’t engaged, it’s not their fault but that of the leaders. Why? Because they haven’t got a clue how to inspire, motivate and collaborate.

Unfortunately, I’ve been round the block long enough to see how this has worked in practice. The right people on the bus today (talent management) always seem to be the wrong people off the bus (restructuring, redundancies) tomorrow.

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