Friday, 20 May 2011

It ain't our culture...

I had a long conservation yesterday about interviewing and interviewees that made me stop and think.  We'd just interviewed an excellent candidate who ticked all the recruitment boxes - great CV, demonstrable successes, clear references and a very credible candidate with gravitas.  However, they turned him down because "he great - the best we've seen - but he won't fit with our 'company culture'"  I was also told that "the problem with this Agile approach is that it delivers things too quickly - can't you slow the team down a bit?"

Now part of that I'm sure was due to a blinkered HR approach that seems to be centred around "harmony" and employing "corporate clones" to develop some mythical perfect culture.  But, "harmony" doesn't mean "balanced" - if an organisation isn't delivering what it should it seems to me that they should be looking for something or someone different to make things happen.  A good team has a balance of people with diverse views & attitudes.  Conflict, managed properly, delivers innovation, competition and fun.  Employing the sort of people that "won't upset the people who are already here" seems very short-sighted.  In fact, it can only lead to stagnation and blandness.

Agile depends on creative conflict to deliver effectively, but then does proper corporate management.  Is the drive for "consistency" leading to the death of Agile?  


  1. Holy cow!

    Seriously? They turned him down? They said slow down?

    Even without this agile thing, they just said, we want to be less efficient than we could be, and we don't value high performing people.