Lack of Resources Is No Excuse for Lack of Rigor

Audio Transcript

Business executives can more easily fire people and, equally important, they can use money to buy talent. Most social-sector leaders, on the other hand, must rely on people underpaid relative to their value in the private sector or in the case of volunteers, not paid at all. 

Yet a finding from our research is instructive. The key variable is not how or how much you pay, but whom you have on the bus. The comparison companies in our research—those that failed to become great—placed greater emphasis on using incentives to motivate otherwise unmotivated or undisciplined people. The great companies, in contrast, focused on getting and hanging on to the right people in the first place. Those who are productively neurotic. Those who are self-motivated. Those who are self-disciplined. Those who wake up every day compulsively driven to do the best they can simply because it is part of their DNA.  

In the social sectors, when big incentives—or compensation at all in the case of volunteers—are simply not possible, the First Who principle becomes even more important. Lack of resources is no excuse for lack of rigor. Indeed, lack of resources makes selectivity all the more vital.

Copyright © 2017 Jim Collins, All rights reserved.