Form and Function – A Formula for Talent ROI

By Maria Forbes
July 29, 2015

Team-Building-1-1024x695Do both form and function have a place in employee selection and development? If you are creating a workplace that fosters personal and organizational growth, you should consider the difference, and the synergy of these influences.
A new client had hired a key employee. Jeff had been engaged in a management role. His qualifications surpassed the selection requirements of industry experience, specialized knowledge and applicable skills. He was presented with a thorough description of why his role is important, and what he needed to accomplish.
By this emphasis on the why and what of the position, Jeff understood the function of his new role. Senior management prioritized goals and objectives for Jeff’s position. However, after the first six months of working together they began to question Jeff’s abilities. They wondered if something was missed in the hiring process. They realized they would have to adjust their expectations. What the executive team missed was the how – the personal form that Jeff needed to possess in order to effectively navigate organizational processes and to properly execute his goals. His form, if combined with his knowledge and skills, would enable Jeff to succeed in a very specific way. Without a clear understanding of the appropriate form for executing the role, the executive team missed a critical measure of candidate abilities during the search. Their inconsistent viewpoints of how to get things done left a selection and development gap. It did not take long for Jeff to have difficulty prioritizing his goals and putting his ideas into action with appropriate confidence.
The selection process must include both function and form, or execution, to know with certainty how a new employee will meet the expectations of a role. We were able to create the expectations for executing Jeff’s role, in a reverse process, because this is typically done in advance of a search. Reversed assessment of the requirements for executing the role by executive team proved somewhat inconsistent with the position description. A targeted review of the role enabled the team to discern the aspects of Jeff’s role that were flexible and which components would need to remain in place. Once the functional expectations were merged with the requirements for execution form, we had a complete profile for developing a path to success for the new role with Jeff’s strengths considered. Jeff is now free to engage his strengths and make a reliable contribution to organizational goals.
For assistance in finding the right combination, call us at FIREPOWER Teams!

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