If you were to list your most important people assets, above the best set of skills and competences, above the best track records, I would suggest that inquiring, inquisitive and restless minds are your top. Without that, everything fails.
Inquiring, inquisitive and restless minds could be a pain. They could question everything and they may do so for the sake of it, so, they are not good inquiring, inquisitive and restless minds, or they can genuinely see different angles, being unsettled by default positions and ‘un-examined life’, and think critically. If so, they are a gem. And as such, you do have headcount for them. Must have.
The ability to seriously seek, seduce and give home to those inquiring, inquisitive and restless minds is a fundamental function of the leadership of the organization.
In the old days, whatever that may mean today beyond one week, these kinds of minds were assumed to be the ones of people in Research and Development, or Science for that matter. Today, this is bread and butter for all functions, all staff, all layers of management and leadership.
If you get this right, if you recruit the right people and you train old and new in Critical Thinking, you are providing the fuel for innovation. Winning and moving forward, reinventing the organization or simply being ahead of the game require those ‘skills’. Without that in your DNA, you are in the path of McDonaldization, slow or fast. Incidentally, McDonald’s is a successful model. The most successful if you run a McDonald’s franchise.