A few weeks ago I was meeting one of the most senior people in an organization.
We were talking about corporate developments and what the near future might bring. Of course we talked about macro factors and we talked about competitive and market pressures.
But the thing he dwelled the most on was talent.
He said: “We do not need more engineers, better marketers or more outstanding people in operations and finance. What we need; is more people who can handle uncertainty – in all our functions.”
The point I took away was that while technical skills can be found and hired (and upgraded) relatively easily, finding people who emotionally can manage not knowing what’s going to happen in 6 months or even within the next 3 months is going to be a key point of differentiation.
Why? Because those people don’t panic (and make bad decisions), they don’t leave if the path is not clear, and they are wired in a way that allows them to quickly adapt and perform.
Finding these people and testing that ability in a conclusive way is obviously the challenge.
I’ve found that people with small company experience or better yet more than a couple of years of true start-up experience have that emotional component – convincing them to come work at a big corporate though…