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How Fast Is Your ‘B’ Team?
Nearly every learning function is interested in developing high-potential employees. But learning also should consider how to make the organization’s “B” players more effective.
Nearly every learning function is interested in developing high-potential employees. But to have significant impact, learning also should consider how to make the organization’s “B” players more effective.
Jack Welch, former head of GE, once said he concentrated on the “A players in his company” and he wasn’t interested in the “B players.” With all due respect, I think Welch missed that call.
Not every person can be the chief marketing officer, or the key scientist in discovery for R&D, or the person who ultimately determines the go-to-market strategy. But on the other hand, those people can’t achieve organizational success by themselves, either.
Let’s follow Welch’s point for a minute — that the A players are the most important people in an organization. Let’s compare them to the weight-bearing walls of a house. They are unquestionably critical for sustaining the overall structure. But a home with only the weight-bearing walls in place is not really a structure that can be bought or sold, and no one really wants to live there.
Not the ‘Fastest Few,’ the ‘Slowest Many’
The essence of understanding the difference between A people and those connected with any other letter is that everybody matters and everybody counts. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in two decades of consulting is competitiveness is not determined by the learning speed of the “fastest few,” but by the learning and execution speed of the “slowest many.” Let me point out that “slow” doesn’t have anything to do with intellect. It means “slow” in being invited to the table to learn what others have already had the chance to assimilate to.
This statement may seem obvious, but if you don’t appreciate its meaning, it can stop your organization in its tracks. Picture it like this: The senior leaders — the A team — of a company are climbing a mountain range. The rest of the people in the organization — the B team — are two peaks behind at the base camp.
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
May 29th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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