A couple weeks ago, a roomful of my training peers met in Atlanta. These were the folks that entered Vistage Chair training with me in July 2011.
Our training class quickly formed into a peer group and proved the Vistage theory — like thousands of other peer groups have proven: peer groups work. By working like a peer group, rather than simply a training cohort, our class has outperformed every class before or since.
But this isn’t about that.
Fit is everything.
We were deep in a frank discussion about team composition. What do you do when you have one or two people who don’t fit the team? Oh, they might be nice folks. They might show promise. You might need a full team.
But they just aren’t right for the team today. They clash.
That’s when Dan Stuber rose to draw the chart at the right. Dan is a legendary Vistage Chair in Wichita, who cut his teeth back in the 1980s with 10 years in management at Intel.
“Here’s a great way to look at the people on your team,” said Dan, explaining the chart. In so many words…
- A person’s performance rises along the left axis.
- A person’s cultural fit increases along the bottom axis.
- At the bottom left, with low performance and low cultural fit, the decision is easy: fire fast.
- Above that, at top left, are the high performers who are bad cultural fit. They represent a cancer on the organization. They are hard to fire. But they are also to be fired fast.
In both cases, the cultural fit is critically important. It’s healthy or else. Cultural fit cannot be trained into someone. If it’s bad, they’re gone today.
Leaving the right two quadrants:
- At top right are high performers who fit the culture. Love these people. Keepers. Retain.
- At bottom right are people who fit the culture, but are low performers. Move them up (with training) or out (if they prove untrainable).
How Does This Look For You?
Go ahead. Make this simple chart.
Place the names of the individuals on your team in the right places.
And realign — or restaff — your team for high performance and high cultural fit.
Mention of clash? Determining whether someone should stay or go?
This question has been asked before.