By Dinte
Sept. 14, 2012

In the context of human capital, particularly hiring C-level executives, disruption often is seen as a negative. It’s risky. It could lead to a change in the way an organization does business, is seen in the marketplace, and, of course, makes people decisions.

The word disruption, like the word change, can sound negative or intimidating without context.  However, disruption is often a necessary stop on the road to innovation and development.  Steve Jobs once said his professional goal was to “put a ding in the universe” or to create valuable change in the business world with a revolutionary idea. He couldn’t do it alone and this need for creative and innovative thinkers clearly set the tone for all of Apple’s hiring decisions.  As an executive search firm, we find executives with this same level of enthusiasm and potential for positive disruption. We have found that our more successful candidates come from dynamic environments.  They know how to inspire a team to be open to disruption in order to create something amazing.

Human resources advisor, John Sullivan, offers another analogy. “In my many years of working with corporations, I have come across only a handful of HR leaders who have taken the time to quantify the business impacts of recruiting (Google and Apple are the best). But if you shift industries and look at the sports and entertainment industries, it is well established that recruiting is the most impactful people management function. In pro basketball for example, you could take an average individual player and attempt to develop them over time into a ‘LeBron James.’ However, if you wanted immediate results with a low risk of failure, you would simply recruit LeBron away from his current team,” says Sullivan in ere.net article, News Flash: Recruiting Has the Highest Business Impact of any HR Function.

When looking for the perfect “LeBron James” for a client, we often see our clients be the most successful when they are willing to step outside their comfort zone.   Recently, we were challenged to find an executive with leadership experience unrelated to the industry of our client.  Our client believed that an executive with a different background would bring creative insight and would drive innovative product development.  While we still presented candidates with plenty of leadership experience and the right cultural fit, the candidates each brought unique experience from different markets to the client.  The candidate selected for the opportunity was able to bring a fresh perspective to the leadership team and inspire even more productive and positive disruption.

What do you think? How does your organization inspire positive change and disruption? How do hiring decisions impact your employees and clients?

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