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Cheri Dudek-Kuhn | Do you have the right people in the right seat?

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Many of you reading this are familiar with the term “Right People Right Seat” (popularized by Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great”). And I think it is safe to assume you, like the rest of us, want to have all the Right People in the Right Seat on your Organization’s “bus.” Great! Sounds simple enough. But how do you know when you have all the Right People Right Seat (RPRS)? You wonder, “How can I quantify that information?”

I have a surprisingly simple tool that will be a game changer for any organization working toward 100 percent RPRS. Not easy, but simple. There are two prerequisites to using this tool.

1. You will need to do the hard work of establishing your company’s Core Values. Not long-winded aspirational hoopla, but a small list of Core Values (3-7) written succinctly that exist in your business and truly are CORE to who you are as an organization. See my article “A company’s Core Values matter” in October’s Wenatchee Valley Business World for more on that.

2. You will need a complete Accountability Chart (an Org Chart designed to capture your company’s primary functions and the roles and responsibilities of each of those functions or “seats”). This is a Fundamental Tool in the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) tool kit that will work for any business of any size.

Both of these will take discipline and effort on the part of the leadership team to pull together but worth every bit of your valuable time to create. Once you establish your Core Values and create your Accountability Chart, we use what is appropriately called a People Analyzer to determine RPRS and to quantify it in a way that will make having those difficult conversations less difficult by moving the focus to actionable items and behaviors.

The chart looks something like this:

In this fictitious company-there are five Core Values (CV). This determines the Right Person part of the equation. The rating scale is as follows:

♦ + means they exhibit this CV most of the time (none of us is perfect)

♦ - means they do not exhibit this CV most of the time

♦ +/- means sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t

This company has set “the bar” as any combination of 3 “+’s” and 2 “+/-’s” with NO “-’s”. This is typical for most of my clients. We want a high bar but not an impossible bar. When someone is below the bar we can see exactly where, in which core value and provide substantive examples and feedback to move them above the bar, or out the door if he or she cannot get above the bar.

The G, W and C refer to the Right Seat. Does this person Get it? Want it? And have the Capacity to do it? Here you need 3 Y’s (Yes). Generally the answers to the GWC questions are clear when your Accountability Chart is complete.

In this example, John is a Right Person in the Right Seat. Jan is the Wrong Person in the Right Seat (sometimes you can correct this-but often a culture miss now will never be a culture fit later). Sally is the Right Person (she is a great culture fit) in the Wrong Seat (ideally you will have a different seat for her that she will GWC but if not you will have a tough decision to make).

This tool will revolutionize how you solve your people issues. A company that approaches 100 percent RPRS (Right People Right Seat) is unstoppable. Imagine the possibilities in your own organization! Intrigued and want more than this Reader’s Digest snippet? Check out the book “Traction” by Gino Wickman. (Or simply reach out — I am always happy to share.)  


Cheri Dudek-Kuhn is a leadership enthusiast and CEO at Orchard Corset. Read her leadership blogs at cheridudek.com//category/latest-news/.