Here’s a true story that perfectly illustrates why 80% of people hate their jobs.
A US-based start-up was looking for a strategist. The successful candidate would be driving an innovation team. Here are the role summary and responsibilities.
Job Title: Strategic Innovator
Job Summary: The role is for a ‘strategy champion’ who will be responsible for client strategy, managing the start-up team, relationship management between the incubator corporation and the team.
Big problem already: The summary describes three people, not one. Color code below. There is not a single person in the world who can adequately carry out this job summary. It requires three ‘Intellects’ (the way our mind channels our thinking) and humans are not made with three Intellects. All of us have only one primary Intellect.
Anyone who takes this job is going to be stressed out from day one. They will have the responsibility for performing the jobs of three different people.
Let’s continue and look at the job responsibilities in more detail. First here’s the color code of the four Intellects.
Yellow: Innovator with on-demand creativity
Red: Engineer or executor
Blue: Account/Relationship Management
Green: Sales/Lead Generation
Attends key strategy discussions both to initiate and challenge ideas
Builds and maintains relationships with clients and takes part in the sales process
Sets out work streams for the start-up team and manages the work process
Assists in creating the overall strategy and delivery methods
Builds innovation strategies with clients and pollinates them to the start-up team
So the detailed list of responsibilities confirms the impossibility of the task set out in the summary. The employee will concentrate their time on their Intellect-aligned tasks and ignore the others – and feel guilty about it. Meanwhile his/her boss will be on their case asking why the other tasks ‘that you promised us in the interview you could do’ have not been done. Or have been done badly.
The solution to this problem was rapidly identified by a Method Teaming consultant. Map the Intellect required for the strategy role and seek a candidate whose Intellect is a match. All tasks that are not the natural territory of a strategist should be assigned to people whose natural territory it is.