The job description is dead. It is replaced by a Lego box, no instructional manual and a map.
Welcome to the company. Good to have you. Your business card says Director of Business Development but this is only in case you meet another Director of Business Development somewhere so you don’t feel too lonely.
Your role is to get this Lego box of pieces called possibilities and build something. And then another thing. Here is the map. We are going somewhere around here, and if you could help us to figure out how to get there safe, fast and profitable, it would be much appreciated. Mind you, the ‘somewhere around here’ may change a bit so you’ll have to be flexible and prepared to abandon the half made helicopter Lego model, and perhaps use some of the pieces for a submarine.
We hired you because you are, or we think you are, an entrepreneur. We don’t hire employees with background and skills anymore. We hire entrepreneurs with some background and skills. Which means, entrepreneur as in ‘undertaking’ something, you know, actually doing something, as supposed to thinking of doing. Also we love an old version of the term used in France somewhere in the 18th Century that says entrepreneur is ‘bearer of risk’.
So, just for the record. We don’t mean busy-ness, we mean business. We don’t mean any risk, we don’t mean chaos and we don’t mean permanent state of blue sky thinking. In fact, we are not much in the sky, but with our feet on the ground.
As you will find out in the next hour or so, your business card title bears no consequence internally, where colleagues do many things that the business card never says.
Here is the credit card, the toilets are next to the left and then right, build your Lego, get moving, help us in the travel and have some fun. By the way, these are the non negotiable behaviours in this journey: (specific list to continue here)
Commentary. No standard, inflexible, pre-defined job description has a place today in the knowledge economy (agrrr, sorry, the term is so old…) We are kidding ourselves. I personally would not hire anybody who is determined to follow their role description to the letter. So, whoever things like me, can we please stop writing those jobs descriptions as a shopping list for the supermarket?
The push back I get frequently is: surely you don’t mean any job description? To what I tend to twist the question and ask to list the jobs that could not follow the above rule. Usually, the list contains the ones that are most likely to be taken over by the digital revolution.
This position is not anti-skills or experts either! If I have a brain tumor, I want a neurosurgeon, not a paramedic. But, no apologies, I want accountants who can spell passion, passionate business developers who can spell spreadsheet, HR people who can spell R&D and R&D people who can sell something. It’s 2016, if you noticed.
Just get lots of Lego Boxes of Possibilities, some maps and good leaders, and forget the Quantum-Physics-like Competence System. It looks good on powerpoint and impresses the CEO, but it’s as useful as a little boat in a tsunami.
Your ‘job description’ post in one of my favorites. Great stuff. Thanks so much.
Your ‘job description’ post is one of my favorites. Great stuff. Thanks so much.