Getting the “right people on the bus” philosophy is the wrong philosophy. How disappointing history is, business solutions to improving the United States manufacturing industry has not changed in a hundred years. Back in the early 1900s and 1800s the United States went through a similar economic downturn. The root cause was simple, we failed to keep up with technology, and we failed to preserve an educated workforce. We also have lost sight of the markets, combined with a lack of market aggressiveness; we began importing more than we exported which in turn created a devastating imbalance in trade. The historical research to support these statements is simple for anyone to conduct using Google or Yahoo. Therefore, the disappointment comes about from our lack of learning from our past lessons learned, it appears we wasted all this relevant knowledge and are reinventing the wrong wheel.
We have become so focused on getting the “right people on the bus” that we’ve destroyed morale. We as a society have created a negative bearing for employee integrity because the “right people on the bus” mind-set clearly means everyone is just a number. Getting the “right people on the bus” philosophy is the wrong philosophy, because most firms can’t afford to be getting rid of people to make room for the perceived right person. The people left behind become negatively affected by this practice. These people left behind subconsciously fail to thrive, always followed by a succession of updated resumes going out in all directions. Even the top performers now left with a feeling of despair; this is a natural human behavior that adversely affects employee loyalty and performance.
This means, having the “right people on the bus” is not enough: getting the people in the right seat is of greater importance. You can do this by building positive relationships, identifying and focusing on people’s strengths, and exploiting these strengths in a way that everyone wins, and everyone benefits!
“right people on the bus” from Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t. New York: HarperCollins.