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November 18, 2009

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Interesting post, as usual, Mike, and I have made a note of the book title. If I can offer a personal testimonial. I've been working in the IT industry since 1980 (29 years...yikes!) and the best part of my day is *still* when I get to learn some new skill. So much so, I would say it's hardwired into my personality type. And yet, I have met people who are seemingly uninspired by that kind of challenge. If the technique you describe in your post is to be effective, your recruiting will have to focus on and attempt to select those who have the "learning-is-the-reward" personalities. At least it will be easier to recruit that kind of person, than to try and teach the skill after the fact.

Hi Terence,

Yes, we are looking for people who experience the thrill of solving problems. If that does not “do it” for some people, then perhaps we have less to offer them and get them motivated. Yet, I think everyone prefers this way of working.

I totally agree that recruiting for these personality types is easier than trying to teach the skills. In fact I have been consistently unsuccessful in trying to instil this passion in those that do not already have it, and so I now recognize this limitation (in me) and instead put my effort into recruiting people who do like to solve problems.

I like to ask potential team members to describe the last time they felt excited about a project and why, what books are they reading, and what hobbies they like. These are no guarantees of a passion for problem solving, but can be insights into spotting lifelong-learners and those with inquisitive minds. I’m not necessarily looking for people who invent gadgets in their spare time, a love of travel, puzzles, or learning foreign languages can all be clues too. A recent inspiration is Maurice, a business subject matter expert on my current project. He is getting ready for retirement after a long career, but has an infectious glee for finding solutions to complex problems that it is almost impossible to not get carried along with, just great.

Thanks for your comments
Mike

Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.

Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.

As always an excellent post on a first class blog.

For those of you leaders, managers and PMs out there who wish to develop the theme of empowerment I commend 'mission command' philosophy to you.

Mission Command is a proven military style of command that essentially empowers the team by giving them the 'why' and the 'what' of a tasks without cinstraining them by the 'how'

Plenty about to find out more: try Google Knol or here www.missioncommand.org.uk

Keep up the good work!

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