- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

Tribes in the organization: seeing the world in segments, one character at a time (part 1 of 3)

These 8, self-explanatory categories of people are the natural focus of traditional HR and management systems . They are needed for good governance. They all sit in the formal organization, similarly the traditional focus of those HR/management structures.

A list
High/medium/low performer
Talent pool member
Leadership (several layers)
(dis) engaged
New hired
Next generation leaders
Team leader/management position

The next 8 categories are off the radar screen on HR/management in a range that goes from ‘I don’t know what you are talking about’ to ‘I know some of these folks, what am I supposed to do?’ and anything in between including treating them as good/bad anecdotes, necessary evils, curiosities and ‘ok, good managers know how to deal with them’.

B list
Mavericks and rebels, even without a cause
Deviants (positive). Do things differently, have another playbook and succeed
GPAs (General Pain in the Back Side; acronym non PC)
Contrarians, because they can
Nonconformists. Good ones, less good ones, but see things through glasses nobody else has
Sceptical for all seasons
Hyper-connected. Good or bad, they spread behaviours, role model at a scale, set mountains on fire and multiply anything they get their hands on
Hyper-trusted. Multiple reasons, it does not matter which ones.

Neither list is good or bad, they are two categorisations of people. Whilst the A list refers to the visible and formal, and it’s crucial as governance and overall performance management, the B list has the potential to make or brake anything.

Entire cultures are shaped by the B list whilst the A list watches the show almost hopelessly.

An entire HR/OD/culture shaping/company building platform could be set up exclusively on the B list. There are tools and processes and systems to deal with the less powerful A list, but we treat the B list as an Amusement Park.

The B list is the Hard List.

Are you able to identify people, particularly in the B list? Beyond the anecdote? Seriously?

OK, more on this tomorrow with an extended list. Clean your glasses, you need to see it. I will suggest a simple exercise then.


Continue the conversation….

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  2. Can you put your organization through an MRI? [1]
  3. The Myths of Company Culture [1]
  4. The Myths of Management [1]
  5. High tech, high touch in the digitalization era [1]