The nights are drawing in, the hopeful energy of the launch of your latest improvement effort is dissipating. Deadlines not met; support waning; new challenges emerging. At about this time organisations press the “Hire a new Change Leader/Transformation Director” button. It seems a simple, and yet all encompassing response. Many of these new hires are gone by the summer, as they were poorly considered. Here is a simple and powerful tip for hiring. The interview process will typically proceed like this:
1. “Tell us about previous change/transformation programmes?” This usually reveals a lot of the boxes to be ticked – engagement, sponsorship, benefits, success.
2. A deeper dive “What did you specifically do?” This reveals interventions designed and delivered, conversations well managed, prioritising and saving the day.
3. A deeper question is often unasked. Ask it. “HOW DID YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?” This reveals whether or not you are talking to a “doer” (a builder and executor of tasks), or talking to the “architect” (someone who defines and sequences the tasks). Often good doers fail to recognise that someone was directing them. Ask question 3 above, to identify the architects.

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